COCCIDIOSIS

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Coccidia (Coccidiasina) is a subclass of microscopic, spore-forming, single-celled obligate intracellular parasites (meaning that they must live and reproduce within an animal cell) belonging to the apicomplexan class Conoidasida.

Infection with these parasites is known as coccidiosis.

Coccidiosis causes considerable economic loss in the poultry industry. Chickens are susceptible to at least 11 species of coccidia.

The complex life cycles of the coccidia strains virtually ensures its survival in the poultry environment. In the prolific reproductive state that takes place in part of the intestines

The most common species are Eimeria tenella, which causes the cecal or bloody type of coccidiosis, E. necatrix, which causes bloody intestinal coccidiosis, and E. acervulina and E. maxima, which cause chronic intestinal coccidiosis.

Eimeria oocysts are shed in the intestines and passed in the droppings to sporulate in the poultry house litter. Both the size and the shape of the oocyst are used as tools to identify and type the eimeria specie.

 


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