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29-06-2008 - Outbreak of cryptosporidiosis among veterinary students

Outbreak of cryptosporidiosis among veterinary students

R. Gait, MBChB, MSc, MRCGP, DRCOG, DFFP1, R. H. Soutar, BVM&S, MSc, MRCVS2, M. Hanson, MBChB, FRCPath, FRCPEdin3, C. Fraser1 and R. Chalmers, BSc, PhD4

1 NHS Lothian, Deaconess House, 148 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9RS
2 Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1QH
3 Lothian University Hospitals Trust, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road South, Edinburgh EH4 2XU
4 UK Cryptosporidium Reference Unit, National Public Health Service, Microbiology Swansea, Singleton Hospital, Swansea SA2 8QA

In January 2007, six veterinary students became infected with Cryptosporidium species, and records indicated that another student had been diagnosed in November 2006. It was established that the seven students had worked with cattle from the same farm. Microbiological tests indicated that they were infected with Cryptosporidium parvum. Subtyping by sequence analysis indicated a common source of infection for five of the students, but there was insufficient material to type the other two samples. Investigations indicated that the outbreak was caused by a lapse in hygiene, particularly handwashing, on a farm with enzootic C parvum in calves.


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