Prevalence and Genotyping of Giardia Duodenalis From Beef Calves in Alberta, Canada

Vet Parasitol. 2003 Mar 25;112(4):289-94. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4017(02)00422-3.


Giardia infections in domestic cattle has come under increasing scrutiny owing to the potential contamination of surface and ground waters through manure distribution on fields and pasture runoff. The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence and genotypes of Giardia duodenalis in beef calves in major beef cow calf farms in Alberta, Canada. Fecal samples were collected from beef calves aged 2-10 weeks at nine farms in Alberta. Samples were examined for the presence of G. duodenalis cysts by immunofluorescent staining. Giardia cysts were found in 168 of the 495 fecal samples examined, with prevalence ranging from 7 to 60% among farms. Genotypic analysis of positive isolates utilizing PCR and sequencing of a 292 bp fragment of the 16S-rRNA locus, revealed the hoofed livestock genotype in 41 of the 42 isolates. One isolate was identical to the Assemblage A genotype. The results of this study demonstrate that beef calves in this area are primarily infected with the livestock genotype which is thought to be specific to artiodactyl hosts and non-infective to humans. This suggests that the Giardia carried by beef cattle may be a minimal zoonotic threat.

MeSH terms

  • Alberta
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cattle Diseases / parasitology*
  • Genes, Protozoan / genetics
  • Genotype
  • Giardia / classification
  • Giardia / genetics*
  • Giardia / isolation & purification*
  • Giardiasis / epidemiology*
  • Giardiasis / parasitology
  • Giardiasis / veterinary*
  • Phylogeny
  • Prevalence
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S