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1 June 2010 Observations on the Gross Pathology of Eimeria praecox Infections in Chickens
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Challenge infections with 103, 5 × 104, 105, or 5 × 105 sporulated Eimeria praecox oocysts caused moderate but significant weight gain reduction at all infective doses. Substantial reduction in plasma carotenoids and moderate but significant increases in plasma i0005-2086-54-2-834-e01.gif were observed only at the two higher doses when measured at day 6 postchallenge (PC). Daily monitoring of chickens after challenge with 5 × 104 oocysts revealed an inflammatory response in the duodenum and jejunum beginning at day 1 PC that was associated with a significant increase in levels of plasma i0005-2086-54-2-834-e02.gif, which peaked at day 4 PC. A moderate, uniform hyperplasia of the small intestine and significant depression of plasma carotenoids were observed on days 4–6 PC. Plasma i0005-2086-54-2-834-e03.gif decreased to control levels by day 6 PC. All infections were accompanied by production of a mucoid exudate in the duodenum and jejunum, which became thick and opaque by 4 days PC and tended to obscure mildly inflamed areas. These observations indicate that the acute host response to primary infection with E. praecox is both different from and occurs earlier than the response to experimental infections with other Eimeria spp., such as Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria maxima, or Eimeria tenella. These factors need to be considered in observations of pathology arising from co-infections of E. praecox with other Eimeria species, especially in drug sensitivity testing of Eimeria oocysts recovered from litter and in the evaluation of live oocyst vaccines.

P. C. Allen and M. C. Jenkins "Observations on the Gross Pathology of Eimeria praecox Infections in Chickens," Avian Diseases 54(2), 834-840, (1 June 2010).
Received: 16 October 2009; Accepted: 1 December 2009; Published: 1 June 2010

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