Cryptosporidium parvum is considered one of the most common enteropathogens, responsible for the high incidence of diarrhea and deleterious implications on immunity and health in neonatal calves.

Effective therapy for cryptosporidiosis is limited, so the main mode of action remains preventive hygiene management. Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts are highly resistant to environmental stresses and to many disinfectants. As C. parvum is an enteropathogen, the supplement of plant-originated substances that possess health-promoting traits may target it locally, without the need for absorption.

The pomegranate fruit represents such an alternative. In recent years a growing awareness of the beneficial effects of pomegranate consumption in the human diet has triggered the development of a pomegranate products industry. In turn, this has led researchers to investigate the effects of these industrial by-products on ruminant health and production.

Two experiments were designed to test the antiparasitical and antidiarrheal effects of concentrated pomegranate extract (CPE) supplement in milk in neonatal Holstein calves.

Pomegranate extract was shown to possess antimicrobial and antiviral activities. Hence, it should be taken into account that, during the course of infectious diarrhea, CPE might also contribute to the alleviation of diarrhea, particularly because neonatal diarrhea is frequently caused by mixed infections

Results supported the dietary utilization of CPE to alleviate overall intestinal morbidity, which might contribute to improved production in the beef and dairy industries. The use of CPE may have significant importance for herds suffering from high incidence of cryptosporidiosis. Further studies are needed.

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