A study was carried out to investigate how common Cryptosporidium infections are in beef calves in Swedish suckler herds and to explore which species and subtypes that occur. We further aimed at identifying factors associated with shedding of Cryptosporidium oocysts in this type of calf management. The study was conducted in two regions in Sweden and included 30 herds. Faecal samples were collected from calves younger than 3 months. A brief clinical examination was done and a questionnaire was used to collect data on management routines. Faeces were cleaned and concentrated and oocysts identified by epifuorescence microscopy. Cryptosporidium positive samples were analyzed at the 18S rRNA and GP60 genes to determine species and Cryptosporidium parvum subtype, respectively. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with infection. Oocysts were detected in 122 (36.7%) calves from 29 (97%) herds, at 400 to 2.4 × 107 OPG. The youngest positive calves were only 1 and 2 days old. There was no association between age and Cryptosporidium infection. Cryptosporidium bovis, Cryptosporidium ryanae, C. parvum and Cryptosporidium ubiquitum were identified, with C. bovis being the major species. Two C. parvum subtypes, IIaA16G1R1 and IIdA27G1 were identified. Routines for cleaning calf pens and number of cows in calving pens were associated with infection.
In March 2013, a veterinary student tested positive for Cryptosporidium; four classmates reported similar gastrointestinal symptoms. We aimed to identify source(s) and risk factors for Cryptosporidium infection in university persons symptomatic between 21 January and 14 April 2013. Sixty-four (79%) students from a cohort of 81 fourth-year veterinary students completed questionnaires, identifying 13 cases; four were Cryptosporidium parvum GP60 subtype IIaA16G1R1b, two were IIdA24G1, seven did not submit stool samples. Thirteen cases attended the university's field clinic before symptom onset (13/37 attendees, 35%); 11 visited at least one of four farms where students recalled seeing calves with diarrhoea. C. parvum subtype IIaA16G1R1b was identified in calves at one of the farms. Entering pens of calves with diarrhoea [relative risk (RR) 7·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·7-33·5] and eating in clinic cars (RR 9·1, 95% CI 1·3-65·8) were associated with being a case. Washing hands at least twice per farm visit (0 cases, P = 0·03) was protective. This outbreak investigation was notable for rapid and effective collaboration between public health, veterinary and environmental sectors, leading to swift identification of a microbiological and epidemiological link between cases, infected calves and their farms. We recommend frequent hand-washing using proper technique and dissuasion from eating in clinic cars to minimize possible exposure to contaminated surfaces.
We report the first description of a new Rhabdoviridae tentatively named eelpout rhabdovirus (EpRV genus Perhabdovirus). This virus was associated with mass mortalities in eelpout (Zoarces viviparous, Linnaeus) along the Swedish Baltic Sea coast line in 2014. Diseased fish showed signs of central nervous system infection, and brain lesions were confirmed by histology. A cytopathogenic effect was observed in cell culture, but ELISAs for the epizootic piscine viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV), infectious pancreas necrosis virus (IPNV), infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) and spring viraemia of carp virus (SVCV) were negative. Further investigations by chloroform inactivation, indirect fluorescence antibody test and electron microscopy indicated the presence of a rhabdovirus. By deep sequencing of original tissue suspension and infected cell culture supernatant, the full viral genome was assembled and we confirmed the presence of a rhabdovirus with 59.5% nucleotide similarity to the closest relative Siniperca chuatsi rhabdovirus. The full-genome sequence of this new virus, eelpout rhabdovirus (EpRV), has been deposited in GenBank under accession number KR612230. An RT-PCR based on the L-gene sequence confirmed the presence of EpRV in sick/dead eelpout, but the virus was not found in control fish. Additional investigations to characterize the pathogenicity of EpRV are planned.