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Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(2), 29; doi:10.3390/vetsci4020029

A Retrospective Cohort Study of an Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis among Veterinary Students

1
Molecular Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health Laboratory, Institute of Veterinary, Animal & Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
2
Institute of Veterinary, Animal & Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
3
MidCentral Public Health Service, Palmerston North Hospital, Palmerston North 4440, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Katharina D. C. Stärk
Received: 20 March 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Control, Prevention and Elimination of Zoonotic Diseases)
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Abstract

An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness occurred among a cohort of 56 veterinary technology and 100 veterinary science students at Massey University over an eight-week period in 2013. This coincided with calving in New Zealand’s seasonal dairy farming system and a time when calves with diarrhoea are commonly seen by veterinarians. Laboratory and epidemiological investigations were instigated by MidCentral Public Health Service (MCPHS) in conjunction with the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS) at Massey University. Eighty students responded to a questionnaire of which 19 met the case definition, a 24% attack rate. Faecal specimens from seven students contained Cryptosporidium oocysts and Cryptosporidium parvum IIa A18G3R1 was identified from one of the specimens. The inferred median incubation period was five days (range 1–12 days). All of the cases were self-limiting, characterized by diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and in some cases vomiting, headache, and fever. Having contact with calves with diarrhoea was significantly associated with increased adjusted odds of being a case (OR 10.61, 95% CI 1.87–108.29 for one week of contact; OR 55.05, 95% CI 3.80–1931.18 for two weeks of contact). Outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis had occurred previously among veterinary students at Massey University, but the extremely high infectivity of C. parvum resulted in student illness despite enhanced hygiene precautions. View Full-Text
Keywords: cryptosporidiosis; calves; veterinary students; outbreak; zoonoses cryptosporidiosis; calves; veterinary students; outbreak; zoonoses
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Benschop, J.; Booker, C.M.; Shadbolt, T.; Weston, J.F. A Retrospective Cohort Study of an Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis among Veterinary Students. Vet. Sci. 2017, 4, 29.

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