Detection of Major Enteropathogens Associated with Calf Diarrhea in Dairy Farms of Afar Region Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Diarrhea is one of the most common causes of sickness and mortality among newborn calves. It has serious financial and animal welfare indications in both dairy and beef herds. Diarrhea in a newborn calf is one of the most common diseases in young animals, causing huge economic and productivity losses to livestock industry worldwide. Dairy farming is a growing cattle production system in Ethiopia. However, morbidity and mortality of calves are among the factors that have been hindering success of dairy industry. Multiple enteric pathogens such as virus, bacteria and parasite are the most common causes of calf diarrhea. However, various facets of diarrheal disease caused by rotavirus, coronavirus, E. coli K99 and Cryptosporidium parvum infections in calves in Afar region are inadequately understood. A Crossectional study was carried out from February 2020 to April 2021 with the aim of prevalence and associated risk factors of rotavirus, coronavirus, E. coli K99 and Cryptosporidium parvum infections in calves from selected districts of Afar national regional state, in north east Ethiopia. A total of 176 fecal samples of 0 up to 6 months old diarrheic calves were collected by purposive sampling. Samples were tested for those four pathogens using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, different factors were measured the level of association between variables. Out of the 176 samples tested 59 were positive for at least one pathogen by ELISA. Positivity rates for each pathogen were, coronavirus 45 (25.5%), Cryptosporidium parvum 29 (16.5%), rotavirus 18 (10.2%) and K99 enterotoxigenic E.coli 11(6.25%). From positive viral samples of ELISA test 38 were propagated in Madin Darby bovine kidney cells. After 3 following passage, progressive cytopathic effect (CPE) i.e. rounding, detachment as well as demolition of mono-layer cell of all samples was observed. The study sit, time of first colostrum feeding, and duration of colostrum feeding were significantly associated with the occurrence of rotavirus, coronavirus, Cryptosporidium parvum and E. coli and this are indicative of the need for strict prevention and control mechanisms such as practicing early colostrum feeding in newborn calves.



Afar, Calf Diarrhea, E. Coli and ELISA Test