Identification of zoonotic Giardia duodenalis in Korean native calves with normal feces
Giardia duodenalis is an important zoonotic protozoan parasite that infects humans and other animals. This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence and molecular characterization of G. duodenalis infection in the feces of normal and diarrheic pre-weaned calves aged 1−60 days. Fecal samples were collected from 90 Korean native calves in 7 different regions in the central region of the Republic of Korea (ROK). Of the 90 fecal samples, 9 (10%, 9/90) were positive for G. duodenalis by PCR using the β-giardin gene. Phylogenetic analysis identified G. duodenalis assemblages A and E in the farms examined and G. duodenalis with both assemblage A and E was detected in one farm. Assemblage A was detected in calves with normal feces, while assemblage E was frequently identified in calves with diarrhea. This is the first report of the identification of assemblage A in pre-weaned calves with normal feces in the ROK. These results suggest that G. duodenalis infection is closely associated with calf age and management systems including overcrowding, age-mixed grouping, and hygiene. Thus, giardiasis in calves is an important disease because of its zoonotic significance and should be screened in young animals. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the transmission routes of zoonotic G. duodenalis assemblages.
KeywordsGiardia duodenalis Pre-weaned calves Management system Zoonotic significance
This work was performed with the support of the Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science & Technology Development (Project No. PJ01197804), Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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