Longitudinal study of Giardia & Cryptosporidium infections in lambs

The natural course of Giardia and Cryptosporidium infection in lambs will be determined and the species/strains will be characterised genetically.

The protozoal parasites Giardia and Cryptosporidium are common in livestock. In dairy calves, the incidence of infection is 100% and the parasites can be significant causes of diarrheal disease.

Giardia intestinalis USCDCP [Public domain]

Giardia intestinalis
USCDCP [Public domain]

However, there little work on the incidence of infection in lambs and it is not known when lambs become infected with these parasites. It is also not known if these parasites are associated with clinical disease in lambs.

Key methodology: 

  • Immunofluorescence microscopy will be used to enumerate cyst and oocyst excretion in the faeces of a group of lambs from birth until 20 weeks of age.
  • DNA sequencing will be used to characterise the genotypes/species of Giardia and Cryptosporidium identified in the samples

Supervisor

Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Ryan OHandley, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Pathobiology infectious disease and public health