University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Andrew Conroy, Thompson School of Applied Science
The Prevalence Of Cryptosporidium Amongst Commercial Dairy Cattle Farms In New Hampshire And Farmer Perceptions Of Related Signs Of Illness
This research addresses the prevalence of Cryptosporidium (crypto) amongst calves and farmers perceptions of related signs of illness at commercial dairy farms in New Hampshire. Crypto is a zoonotic disease, and data shows that the most common route of infection is fecal-oral transmission with dairy cattle fecal material. The objectives of this research include collecting pooled fecal samples to test for crypto through ELISA testing at the NH Veterinary Diagnostic lab. A secondary part of the research is conducting a farm survey to examine if farmers or employees exhibit illness related to being infected with crypto and their perceptions of the disease. In part our hope is to understand how relevant this disease is to farmers and the relationship between prevalence and farmer perceptions of possible related illness. Finally, as a UNH student project, the research may help improve crypto biosecurity protocol at UNH. UNH must reduce the overall infection and related illness rates at the Fairchild Dairy for students and guests. The importance of this research is that it raises awareness to the public health and dairy farmers of the disease in order to help understand how it can be prevented and to understand the presence of the disease at commercial dairy farms in New Hampshire.