Prevalence and molecular characterisation of Giardia duodenalis in calves with diarrhoea

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The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Giardia duodenalis in diarrhoeal faeces from calves that were reared in Korea using PCR and ELISA. Diarrhoeal faecal samples were collected from 590 calves (<3 months old) throughout the country from November 2013 through March 2015. Data were analysed according to the region of collection, season, and type of diarrhoea. Of the 590 collected faecal samples, 77 (13.1 per cent) and 78 (13.2 per cent; true prevalence 9.1 per cent) tested positive by PCR and ELISA, respectively. The results from both testing methods were in agreement in 501 (84.9 per cent) samples, with a κ value of 0.34, which suggests fair agreement. The PCR results showed a higher prevalence in summer and in cases of haemorrhagic diarrhoea (P<0.05), while the ELISA results showed a lower prevalence in cases of pasty diarrhoea (P<0.05). Phylogenetic analysis of the β-giardin gene sequences of G duodenalis showed that the sequences detected in this study belonged to assemblage E, which is specific to cattle and livestock. The higher prevalence of giardiasis in calves with haemorrhagic diarrhoea found in this study differed from previous studies. Therefore, researchers and veterinarians should be aware of the possible involvement of giardiasis in haemorrhagic diarrhoea.

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