Coccidiosis is the most common and an economically important apicomplexans protozoan disease that leads to significant morbidity and mortality in animals worldwide. A cross sectional study was conducted from November 2017 to March 2018 with the aim of determining the prevalence and associated risk factors of Eimeria infection in calves aged less than one year in urban and peri urban areas of Gondar town of Amhara region, Ethiopia. Fecal samples were randomly collected from a total of 384 calves which were included in the study area and examined for the presence of Eimeria oocyst by flotation technique. Out of 384 calves examined, 81 (21.1%) were found positive for Eimeria oocyst. Analysis of potential risk factors revealed statistically significant difference (P< 0.05) in the prevalence of Eimeria infection with the age, origin, body condition, fecal consistency, hygienic status and management system. Particularly calves under 6 month age, in urban area, in poor body condition, having diarrheic feces, housed in poor hygienic pen and those managed intensively have higher prevalence of coccidial infection as compared to other categories. The prevalence of calf coccidiosis was 22.3% and 20.5% in local and cross breed respectively. Similarly prevalence based on sex variations were 21.6% in male and 20.7% in female. However, the difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05) between coccidia infection with sex and breed of calves. In conclusion, the present study figured out that Eimeria was one of the important pathogens of calves in and around Gondar town and consequently affects the productivity of the animals. Therefore, further epidemiological investigations are required to determine the Eimeria species composition; and appropriate disease prevention and control measures are also required to reduce its effect on the animal and on the economy.
Keywords: Gondar, calves, coccidiosis, prevalence, risk factors