Oocysts obtained from a guanaco and an alpaca with natural infections were identified as Eimeria macusaniensis and evaluated for host specificity and infectivity over time. In 3 separate trials conducted over 4 yr, 4 adult llamas were fed 500–5,000 sporulated oocysts obtained from guanaco feces stored under laboratory conditions for 41– 84 mo. Infections with prepatent periods of 36–41 days and patent periods of 38–55 days developed in 4/4 llamas. In a fourth trial, 3 adult llamas and 1 alpaca were each fed 1,000 sporulated E. macusaniensis oocysts obtained from alpaca feces stored in the laboratory for 3 mo. Infections with prepatent periods of 33–34 days and patent periods of 14–20 days developed in 3/3 llamas. Infection in the alpaca had a prepatent period of 58 days and a patent period of 1 day. Clinical signs associated with infection, if any, were minimal and included increased fecal mucus and occasional soft feces. These results provide evidence that E. macusaniensis is a single species transmissible amongst alpacas, llamas, and guanacos and that oocysts of this species can remain infective for many years.
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