A Real Solution for Crypto for Farmers

This control program is designed to reduce the severity of cryptosporidiosis outbreaks in calves.

Crypto Control Leaflet.

It is based on the proven scientific benefits of beta-cyclodextrin as in KRYPTADE  and EXAGEN.

This program markedly

  • reduces the risk of calves developing scours,
  • reduces the intensity of scouring and
  • improves the rate of recovery of affected calves.

Infectious scours is usually identified after scour samples are taken to your veterinarian. The colour, texture, smell or look of a scour is meaningless in identifying the infectious agents present.  Crypto is one of the most common findings from these samples (McPherson 2014).  Though it is possible that other infectious agents may also be present, with the combination of rotavirus and cryptosporidiosis being found in 10% of infections (McPherson 2014).

Because crypto causes extended periods of scouring it is depressing for calf rearers to deal with. Calves require repeated electrolytes until their appetite returns. Identifying calves with scours early increases the requirement for careful observation. There are separate groups of calves created, stressing already sick calves. And there is more intensive management of recovering calves when milk is returned to the feeding regime. The time over which this care is required may extend for  5 – 9 days, with appetite for milk only slowly recovering and  frequently absent for much of this time.

This program will significantly affect farmer experience and make for easier management. This is a really cost and time effective outcome.


The loss of appetite in calves with infectious scours is associated with gastric discomfort. This discomfort directly inhibits the appetite centre in the brain. Until this discomfort disappears or is removed  calves will not voluntarily drink milk. And forcing milk (tubing) only adds to gastric discomfort extending the recovery period further.

The answer is to reduce the infection and the re-infection of the intestine by the crypto oocysts (the infective stage), by knocking them out with beta-cyclodextrin (Castro-Hermida et al 2001).  Beta-cyclodextrin is present in KRYPTADE which is formulated specifically to be gentle and to encourage early recovery of milk. Beta-cyclodextrin is also present in EXAGEN to target crypto oocysts before they get well established. It’s designed for calves known to be at high risk where preventative steps are required. Since calves at highest risk in the first 3 weeks of life, treatment for prevention can be concentrated into the first 14 days of a calf’s life. There is residual carryover of its benefits for 4 – 5 days after EXAGEN is stopped.  Betacyclodextrin has been found to attack the oocyst and reduce their infectivity within 15 – 30 minutes of contact.  So dosing done every 12 hours initially will markedly reduce oocyst output.  This loss of re-infection reduces the gut inflammation producing an immediate start to the recovery earlier than in untreated calves.   EXAGEN is simply added to the milk or milk replacer. It is safe to use, there are no risks of over dosage.


Calves receiving either KRYPTADE or EXAGEN are recovering faster from scours.

The Control Programme: Summary
  • savings in electrolyte doses used per calf – over 40% reduced electrolyte doses
  • savings in labour and time – treating affected calves
  • reduced suffering in calves  – 24 hours faster recovery to full appetite
  • reduced severity of the outbreak with lower numbers scouring – by up to 50% less affected with scours.
  • reduced weight loss of scouring calves – earlier return to milk
  • easier management of scouring calves
  • ad-lib isotonic* electrolytes – an option when calves still feeding

*Isotonic electrolytes means an electrolyte which is “the same as” the internal fluids of the body; in balance so that there is no net flow to the stronger solution from the weaker solution. Practically this description applies to ENERVADE and KRYPTADE.

Damaged intestinal lining cells of the villi tips in very young calves are slower to recover, and are therefore more susceptible to this insult. The slower appetite recovery with high strength solutions of electrolytes may be due to discomfort from the exposure to solutions damaging already injured villi cells:

Healthy gut villi (left) and damaged gut caused by C. parvum infection (right) in a calf (from Thomson 2016).

The damaged gut from infection on the right will recover. During the recovery period regeneration of exposure of damaged cells on the tips of the villi to higher strength electrolyte solutions (high energy) can lead to slower cell recovery.