Special Issue "Parasitic Diseases of Cattle"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Cattle".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 10502

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Maria Teresa Manfredi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan, 20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: ruminants; parasitic diseases; Apicomplexa; gastrointestinal nematodes; zoonoses; epidemiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessia L. Gazzonis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: ruminants; parasitic diseases; Apicomplexa; zoonoses; epidemiology
Prof. Dr. Michele Mortarino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie e Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Milano Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: immunology and microbiology
Dr. Luca Villa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: ruminants; parasitic diseases; Apicomplexa; neosporosis; epidemiology
Dr. Sergio Zanzani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: parasites; protozoa; Apicomplexa; Toxoplasma gondi; Neospora caninum; goat; sheep; spatial analysis; endo/ectoparasitosis; parasitic diseases; vectors; domestic carnivores; ruminants; laboratory animals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Parasitic diseases are still a constant presence in cattle herds, both in conventional and organic systems, and knowledge of these diseases is an essential condition for implementing adequate control strategies and increasing the profitability of farms. Their epidemiology has changed over the years according to factors of both human and environmental origin, and the progress in diagnostic methods has made it possible to deepen the etiology with the identification of parasitic strains. Furthermore, in recent years, emerging parasitic diseases such as besnoitiosis have been spreading on cattle farms in Europe, leading to a reconsideration of the zoonotic risk of cattle meat consumption. The purpose of this Special Issue is to publish original research papers or reviews to update the knowledge on the current status of parasitic diseases in cattle.

Areas of interest: Parasitic diseases of dairy and beef cattle; the impact of parasites on production (meat and milk) and reproduction; zoonotic risks from cattle products; epidemiology and control of parasites in organic and conventional farming systems; molecular epidemiology of parasites in cattle; immune response to parasites.

We invite you to share your recent findings through this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Maria Teresa Manfredi
Dr. Alessia L. Gazzonis
Prof. Dr. Michele Mortarino
Dr. Luca Villa
Dr. Sergio Zanzani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • cattle
  • parasites
  • helminths
  • protozoa
  • ectoparasites
  • organic farming
  • conventional farming
  • control
  • epidemiology
  • immunology

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Utility of Serological Analysis for Neospora caninum Infection in Dairy Cattle Farms Management: Serological Investigation and Evaluation of the Effects on Reproductive and Productive Performances in Two Study Herds in Northern Italy
Animals 2022, 12(6), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12060786 - 20 Mar 2022
Viewed by 452
Abstract
Neospora caninum is recognized as a major cause of abortion in cattle, determining economic losses, particularly in dairy industries. To evaluate the impact of neosporosis on herd efficiency, and to understand how the serological analysis for N. caninum is explicative of the farm [...] Read more.
Neospora caninum is recognized as a major cause of abortion in cattle, determining economic losses, particularly in dairy industries. To evaluate the impact of neosporosis on herd efficiency, and to understand how the serological analysis for N. caninum is explicative of the farm picture, an epidemiological study was designed in two dairy farms recruited as a case study. Blood samples were collected from 540 animals, including cows and heifers over 12 months, and analyzed by an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test with subsequent antibody titration. Overall, 94 animals (17.4%) were identified as positive to N. caninum antibodies (15.5% and 18.5% in Farm 1 and Farm 2), with differences between the farms concerning the antibody titers (Chi-square, p-value = 0.04), particularly in cows (Chi-square, p-value = 0.018). Consequently, a different pattern of abortion episodes was depicted in the two investigated farms. Considering reproductive and productive performances, the number of inseminations necessary to make an animal pregnant was higher in seropositive cows (2.4 and 2.9 in Farm 1 and 2, respectively) than in seronegative ones (2.1 and 2.4 in Farm 1 and 2, respectively). Similarly, particularly in Farm 1, the number of days in milk of not-pregnant cows was higher in seropositive (167.7) than seronegative animals (133.4). Moreover, although the association between N. caninum infection and milk production is still unclear, both the daily milk production and the 305-mature equivalent milk yield were lower in seropositive (31.02 and 11,838.94) than seronegative cows (33.59 and 12,274.88) in Farm 1; an opposite pattern was otherwise depicted in Farm 2. The study showed that even if N. caninum circulated equally in the two herds, the dynamics of the parasite infection and its outcome may be different, also depending on the specific situation of the farm. In this way, the integration of serological analysis for N. caninum, the reproductive and productive parameters, and the information on herd performances, could give specific indications for the application of control strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
Article
A Preliminary Study on the Relationship between Parasitaemia and Cytokine Expression of Peripheral Blood Cells in Trypanosoma vivax-Experimentally Infected Cattle
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3191; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113191 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Trypanosoma vivax outbreaks have been reported with increasing frequency worldwide, causing significant economic losses in livestock. Though several studies have suggested that cytokine responses may influence infection caused by Trypanosoma sp., their exact role remains unclear and may vary according to the animal [...] Read more.
Trypanosoma vivax outbreaks have been reported with increasing frequency worldwide, causing significant economic losses in livestock. Though several studies have suggested that cytokine responses may influence infection caused by Trypanosoma sp., their exact role remains unclear and may vary according to the animal species and parasite strain. The present study aimed to evaluate cytokine expression of peripheral blood cells from three Girolando dairy cows experimentally infected with T. vivax. For this purpose, blood samples were collected prior to the inoculation on the day of inoculation (D0), the day after inoculation (D1), and then every seven days up to 119 days after infection (DAI). Each animal presented a unique pattern of cytokine expression. While a tendency of a Th1 cytokine response was observed during the patent phase (presence of circulating parasites), an increase of Th2 cytokine expression was found at the beginning of the sub-patent phase (low parasitaemia or aparasitaemic periods). In animals that presented a better control of parasitaemia, IL-6 and IFNγ increased during most of the trial period. On the other hand, the cow that presented reduction of IL-1β, IL-2, and TNFα during the entire period did not control parasitaemia properly. A balance between the Th1 and Th2 profile is beneficial for parasite control and animal health. The results found in the present study are a first step towards elucidating the dynamics of cattle’s inflammatory response against T. vivax, requiring future studies focusing on the role of key cytokines on the controlling of parasitaemia in different stages of bovine trypanosomosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
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Article
Risk Factors for Bovine Cysticercosis in North-West Italy: A Multi-Year Case-Control Study
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3049; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113049 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 750 | Correction
Abstract
Taenia saginata is the causative agent of bovine cysticercosis, a zoonotic parasitic disease with a worldwide distribution. Bovine cysticercosis is considered to be an important food safety issue responsible for human taeniasis and a major economic concern since infected carcasses undergo condemnation, freezing [...] Read more.
Taenia saginata is the causative agent of bovine cysticercosis, a zoonotic parasitic disease with a worldwide distribution. Bovine cysticercosis is considered to be an important food safety issue responsible for human taeniasis and a major economic concern since infected carcasses undergo condemnation, freezing and downgrading. The aim of the current investigation was to assess the presence of farm-level risk factors for bovine cysticercosis in an endemic area in North-West Italy. A questionnaire was designed to collect information relating to several farm structural features, as well as management practices, environmental characteristics and attitudes of farmers. The questionnaire was administered in two separate time intervals by direct interview to previously selected case and control farms. Overall, 32 case farms and 131 control farms were included between 2005 and 2011 and 50 case farms and 192 control farms were included between 2014 and 2020. The present survey showed a significant association between the detection of bovine cysticercosis cases at slaughter and farm proximity to picnic spots, closeness of wastewater treatment plant effluents, loose-housing systems and presence of employees along with the family members, highlighting the need for targeted awareness raising policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
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Article
Emergence of Parafilaria bovicola in Austria
Animals 2021, 11(10), 2966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11102966 - 14 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Veterinarians reported cases of cutaneous bleeding in cattle in Austria in the spring and summer of 2020. It was our goal to confirm the tentative diagnosis of parafilariosis by identifying Parafilaria bovicola in exudate samples using molecular methods for the first time in [...] Read more.
Veterinarians reported cases of cutaneous bleeding in cattle in Austria in the spring and summer of 2020. It was our goal to confirm the tentative diagnosis of parafilariosis by identifying Parafilaria bovicola in exudate samples using molecular methods for the first time in Austria. We asked veterinarians in the field to collect exudate from typical lesions on cattle. We performed polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) and sequenced a 674-bp section of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I in all positive samples. Overall, in 57 of 86 samples, P. bovicola was confirmed by PCR in cattle from Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria, Salzburg, Carinthia, and Tyrol. Sequencing detected four different haplotypes or genotypes, respectively, indicating multiple routes of introduction. We conclude that parafilariosis has spread in Austria and we expect that the number of reports of clinical signs and losses due to carcass damage will increase in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
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Article
Rumen (Calicophoron/Paramphistomum spp.) and Liver Flukes (Fasciola hepatica) in Cattle—Prevalence, Distribution, and Impact of Management Factors in Germany
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2727; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092727 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of rumen flukes on German cattle farms via the sedimentation technique, and to identify the rumen fluke species occurring in Germany. Additionally, the prevalence of patent Fasciola hepatica infections was determined. Furthermore, a short [...] Read more.
This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of rumen flukes on German cattle farms via the sedimentation technique, and to identify the rumen fluke species occurring in Germany. Additionally, the prevalence of patent Fasciola hepatica infections was determined. Furthermore, a short questionnaire was answered by the farmers. A prevalence of 5.5% and 9.5% was detected for rumen flukes and liver flukes, respectively. Coinfections occurred on 2.1% of farms. In northern Germany, the rumen fluke prevalence was higher than in southern Germany, while for liver fluke the distribution was reversed. Rumen flukes were mostly identified as Calicophoron daubneyi, but in four cases, sequencing revealed Paramphistomum leydeni for the first time in Germany. Grazing and feeding of fresh grass, as well as organic farming, were significantly associated with rumen and liver fluke occurrence. In contrast, suckler cow husbandry only had an influence on the occurrence of rumen flukes, but not liver flukes. Trematode eggs could be detected in both, farms with and without deworming. Since there were only a few studies about Paramphistomidosis in Germany, more attention should be paid to these parasitic diseases for animal welfare and animal health reasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
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Article
Seroprevalence of Major Pasture-Borne Parasitoses (Gastrointestinal Nematodes, Liver Flukes and Lungworms) in German Dairy Cattle Herds, Association with Management Factors and Impact on Production Parameters
Animals 2021, 11(7), 2078; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11072078 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1685
Abstract
Pasture-borne parasites adversely affect bovine health and productivity worldwide. In Europe, gastrointestinal nematodes, especially Ostertagia ostertagi, the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica and the lungworm Dictyocaulus viviparus represent the most important parasites of dairy cattle. The present study assessed exposure towards these parasites [...] Read more.
Pasture-borne parasites adversely affect bovine health and productivity worldwide. In Europe, gastrointestinal nematodes, especially Ostertagia ostertagi, the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica and the lungworm Dictyocaulus viviparus represent the most important parasites of dairy cattle. The present study assessed exposure towards these parasites among 646 cattle herds in three parts of Germany during 2017–2019 via antibody detection in bulk tank milk (BTM). Overall, O. ostertagi levels indicative of production losses were detected in 41.2% (266/646; 95% confidence interval (CI): 37.4–45.1%) of BTM samples, while F. hepatica seroprevalence amounted to 14.9% (96/646; 95% CI: 12.2–17.9%). Only 2.3% (15/646; 95% CI: 1.4–3.9%) of samples were D. viviparus antibody-positive. Significantly lower O. ostertagi as well as F. hepatica seroprevalence was detected in dual-purpose breeds compared to high-performance breeds from the same region. Management factors related to parasite exposure included access to fresh grass and hay, silage quality and anthelmintic treatment. Furthermore, F. hepatica and O. ostertagi seropositivity was significantly associated with suboptimal herd-level body condition. Interestingly, the relationship between seropositivity and productivity differed between breed types. Negative impacts on milk yield were detected only in high-performance breeds, while O. ostertagi seropositivity was associated with a lower milk fat content in dual-purpose herds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
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Article
Prevalence of Fascioliasis and Associated Economic Losses in Cattle Slaughtered at Lira Municipality Abattoir in Northern Uganda
Animals 2021, 11(3), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030681 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Fascioliasis (liver fluke infestation) is one of the most important parasitic diseases affecting cattle, other ruminant animals and humans. Fascioliasis causes large, but usually neglected, economic losses to cattle farmers and traders. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence and [...] Read more.
Fascioliasis (liver fluke infestation) is one of the most important parasitic diseases affecting cattle, other ruminant animals and humans. Fascioliasis causes large, but usually neglected, economic losses to cattle farmers and traders. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence and associated risks for fascioliasis in slaughter cattle and estimate the financial losses due to liver condemnation at the Lira Municipal abattoir in Uganda. A total of 216 cattle were sampled during the study period. Animal breed and sex were determined by observing the phenotypic characteristics of the animals. Age was determined by assessing the eruption and wearing of permanent teeth. After slaughter, the liver was examined for presence of Fasciola spp. (liver flukes) by visual inspection, palpation, and incisions. The bile ducts and gall bladder were similarly examined for presence of mature Fasciola spp. The gross weight and amount of liver trimmed-off due to fluke infestation were determined. Of the 216 liver examined, 65.7% (n = 142) were infested with Fasciola spp. Cattle that were aged 4–5 years old at the time of slaughter had significantly greater odds (OR = 5.84; CI [2.79–12.22]) of being infested with Fasciola spp. compared to those that were younger than 3.5 years old. In contrast, cattle that had a body condition score of 3.5 or 4 had lower odds (OR= 0.42; CI [0.21–0.88] and OR = 0.22; CI [0.04–1.10]) of fascioliasis than those with a BCS of 3. Other tested variables including animal origin, breed, sex, and gross weight of the liver had no significant effect on the prevalence of fascioliasis. This study also revealed that the abattoir loses an estimated 38 million UGX annually due to condemnation of Fasciola-infested liver (one UGX= 0.00027 USD; July 2016). Our study showed that the prevalence of fascioliasis was high in Lira District, Uganda, which results in a large amount of liver being condemned and destroyed, leading to financial losses for affected farmers in the area. Therefore, there is a need to take the necessary preventive measures to control the disease and increase awareness among farmers and medical personnel in the area due to the zoonotic nature of fascioliasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
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Communication
Effect of Mixed Invasions of Hypoderma bovis and Ostertagia ostertagi in Cattle on Milk Yield and Contents in Polish Dairy Farms
Animals 2021, 11(2), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020464 - 09 Feb 2021
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Wide distribution of ecto- and endoparasites in cattle is a serious problem in the sustainability of a farm, due to the negative impact on animals’ health and productivity. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of antibodies against Ostertagia and [...] Read more.
Wide distribution of ecto- and endoparasites in cattle is a serious problem in the sustainability of a farm, due to the negative impact on animals’ health and productivity. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of antibodies against Ostertagia and Hypoderma in udder milk samples and the comparison of milk yield and content of the basic components of milk in ELISA-positive and ELISA-negative cows. Milk samples were collected from 148 lactating cows from 3 herds. Antibody detection was performed using specific ELISAs for Ostertagia ostertagi and Hypoderma bovis. Milk yield and content of protein, fat, and dry matter were studied in samples from each individual cow 11 times per year at 4 week intervals. The extensiveness of dual parasitic invasions in individual herds, estimated on the basis of udder milk testing with the ELISA test, varied and amounted to 3.22%, 11.36%, and 4.76% in the three studied herds, respectively. No antibodies were found in 61.2%, 22.7%, and 57.1% of the milk samples from the cows in each herd. The milk yield of ELISA-positive cows was significantly lower in comparison to the efficiency of ELISA-negative cows and amounted to 294 kg and even to 3672 kg of milk per year, per cow. No significant differences were found between the fat and protein contents of milk between ELISA-positive and -negative cows for both parasites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
Article
The Age-Related Cryptosporidium Species Distribution in Asymptomatic Cattle from North-Western Spain
Animals 2021, 11(2), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020256 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 967
Abstract
An age-related distribution of Cryptosporidium species has been reported in cattle, with C. parvum being predominant in suckling calves, C. bovis and C. ryanae being predominant in post-weaned calves and C. andersoni being predominant in adults. However, variants to this pattern have recently [...] Read more.
An age-related distribution of Cryptosporidium species has been reported in cattle, with C. parvum being predominant in suckling calves, C. bovis and C. ryanae being predominant in post-weaned calves and C. andersoni being predominant in adults. However, variants to this pattern have recently been reported. Thus, fecal samples (n = 594) from asymptomatic cattle were collected in north-western Spain. Animals were classified as <1 month (G1), 1–2 months (G2), 2–12 months (G3), 12–24 months (G4) and >2 years (G5). Cryptosporidium detection and species identification were performed by SSU rRNA PCR. Individual Cryptosporidium prevalence was 16.7%; it significantly decreased with age. Cryptosporidium parvum was predominant in G1 and C. bovis was predominant in the rest of the age classes; C. bovis and C. ryanae were especially prevalent in G2 and G3. Cryptosporidium occultus was not found in suckling calves. Finally, C. andersoni and C. xiaoi were occasionally detected in G5. The presence of C. parvum in all age classes implies significant animal and public health concerns. The predominance of C. bovis in cattle older than 1 month supports the idea that the age-related pattern of Cryptosporidium species described in cattle is not fully consistent, and thus further studies are still needed to identify those factors determining the species distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
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Correction
Correction: Rubiola et al. Risk Factors for Bovine Cysticercosis in North-West Italy: A Multi-Year Case-Control Study. Animals 2021, 11, 3049
Animals 2022, 12(5), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12050636 - 03 Mar 2022
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Error in Institutional Review Board Statement [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases of Cattle)
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