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Cecal coccidiosis in turkeys: Comparative biology of Eimeria species in the lower intestinal tract of turkeys using genetically typed, single oocyst–derived lines

El-Sherry, S., Ogedengbe, M. E., Hafeez, M. A., Sayf-Al-Din, M., Gad, N., Barta, J. R.
Parasitology research 2019 v.118 no.2 pp. 583-598
Eimeria adenoeides, Eimeria gallopavonis, cecum, coccidiosis, color, diverticulum, ileum, jejunum, meronts, oocysts, parasites, rectum, turkeys, type collections, villi
Differentiating the Eimeria species causing cecal coccidiosis in turkeys is challenging. To obtain benchmark biological data for Eimeria gallopavonis Hawkins 1952 and Eimeria meleagridis Tyzzer 1929 and to support the stability of the species concept for each, genetically typed, single oocyst–derived lines of E. gallopavonis Weybridge strain and E. meleagridis USAR97-01 were used to redescribe the biological, pathological, and morphological features of these parasites. Oocysts of E. meleagridis and E. gallopavonis overlap in dimensions, but oocysts of the former have a single polar granule compared with multiple in the latter. Mature first-generation meronts of E. gallopavonis were observed histologically as early as 48 h post-inoculation alongside the villi in jejunum (before and after Meckel’s diverticulum), ileum, cecal neck and rectum, but not cecal pouches. Three asexual cycles were observed suggesting that early workers apparently overlooked one asexual cycle. Examination of endogenous development of a culture labeled “Eimeria adenoeides Weybridge strain” suggested that this strain (found in a number of publications as a large oocyst strain of “Eimeria adenoeides”) matched the species description of E. gallopavonis and so has been renamed herein. Macroscopic lesions induced by E. gallopavonis consisted of caseous material distally from posterior of the yolk stalk through the remaining intestinal tract, excluding the cecal pouches. For E. meleagridis, only the first asexual generation was observed outside of the cecal pouches within the jejunum around the yolk stalk. Second- and 3rd-generation asexual stages developed almost exclusively in the cecal pouches (but not cecal necks). Macroscopic lesions described for E. meleagridis were similar to those of E. adenoeides. Marked corrugation of the cecal serosal surface was observed. Cecal pouches contained creamy colored, caseous material varying from loose material to granular. Distinguishing features of the Eimeria species infecting the lower part of the small intestine are summarized in the present study, and new type specimens were designated for E. gallopavonis and E. meleagridis to provide a stable reference for future work with these parasites.