The objectives of this study were to evaluate whether a preinfection of Eimeria adenoeides (EAD) or Eimeria tenella (ET) could affect the severity of subsequent histomoniasis in turkeys (Experiment 1) and if previous exposure to EAD infection, when a single or multiple inoculations of EAD were administered with sufficient time for complete cecal recovery, would affect the severity of HM incidence and lesions (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, 200 poults were assigned to 1 of 5 groups, as follows: unchallenged negative control, positive challenge control inoculated with 105 HM, EAD at 500 oocysts/bird and Histomonas meleagridis (HM), EAD at 2500 oocysts/bird and HM, or ET at 9 × 106 oocysts/bird and HM. ET and EAD were inoculated on day 15 and HM on day 20. In Experiment 2, the trial consisted of two different challenge ages to evaluate short- or long-term EAD effects before HM challenge. Poults (n = 260) were assigned to either early-HM-challenged groups (HM on day 19 challenge control or EAD at 2500 oocysts/bird on day 14 with HM on day 19) or late-HM-challenged groups (HM on day 35 challenge control, EAD at 2500 oocysts/bird on day 14 and HM on day 35, or EAD at 100 oocysts/bird every 2–3 days during the first 3 weeks and HM on day 35). An unchallenged negative-control group was used for both the early- and late-challenge phases in Experiment 2. Mortalities were recorded, and surviving poults were scored for histomoniasis-related hepatic and cecal lesions. In Experiment 1, preinfection with both doses of EAD reduced the mortality as well as the cecal and hepatic lesions caused by histomoniasis. In Experiment 2, neither short- nor long-term preinfection with EAD had an effect on histomoniasis-related mortality or lesions. Differences between Experiments 1 and 2 may be due to the level of infection caused by the prechallenge with EAD and the resulting destruction of cecal tissue.
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Vol. 66 • No. 1