Can disinfection with slaked lime help control cryptosporidiosis in calves?

Last changed: 17 November 2017

In this study we will investigate if including slaked lime in the cleaning routines can reduce the spread of Cryptosporidium infection and improve the calf health.

Diarrhea is common in young dairy calves in Sweden and is often caused by C. parvum. The parasite is resistant to all recommended disinfectants making it particularly difficult to control. We have shown that slaked lime decreases the viability of C. parvum in the laboratory. When slaked lime treatment of the calf pens was used as a complement to the standard cleaning procedures in two herds with long-lasting cryptosporidosis problems the farmers reported a lower incidence and less severe diarrhea in the calves. This indicates that slaked lime treatment might be an effective control measure in cattle herds. However, before the method can be recommended the efficacy has to be confirmed in a controlled study.

The aim of this study is to investigate if treatment of calf pens with slaked lime will prevent spread of C. parvum and improve the calf health in herds with C. parvum associated diarrhea problems.

Four dairy herds will be recruited and each herd will participate in the study for 6-7 months. During this period slaked lime will be used to disinfect half of the individual calf pens while the remaining pens will be left without lime treatment.

We expect the results to show if slaked lime treatment is an efficient method to reduce the infection pressure and limit the spread of C. parvum infection among the young calves.


Projekttid: 2014-09-01 - 2017-12-31

Financiär: Swedish Farmers' Foundation for Agricultural Research



Camilla Björkman

Researcher at the Department of Clinical Sciences; Ruminant Medicine Unit