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Avian Pathol. 2011 Oct;40(5):515-24. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2011.606798. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Eimeria involved in a case of coccidiosis in farmed red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) in France: oocyst isolation and gross lesion description after experimental infection.

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  • 1INRA, Centre de Tours, 37380 Nouzilly, France.


The aim of the present work was, after a coccidiosis outbreak in a farm rearing red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) in Brittany (France), to identify the Eimeria species and describe gross lesions induced by three of them (Eimeria kofoidi, Eimeria caucasica and Eimeria legionensis) after experimental infection. E. kofoidi oocysts measured 19.3 µm × 16.3 µm on average; neither micropyle nor oocyst residuum were present, but one, two or more small polar granules were visible. After inoculation of 300,000 oocysts per partridge, severe gross lesions were observed in the duodenum and jejunum, characterized by thickened oedematous mucosa and lumen filled with thick mucus, gas and sometimes false-membrane due to sloughed epithelium. E. caucasica oocysts were on average 29.8 µm × 19.5 µm in size; no oocyst residuum was observed, but a large granule was well visible. E. caucasica also invaded both the duodenum and jejunum, causing haemorrhagic points on the serosal surface, as well as mucoid duodenitis and catarrhal enteritis when 30,000 oocysts were inoculated per bird. E. legionensis oocysts measured 22.6 µm × 14.9 µm on average; they presented a clear micropyle beneath which one or two granulations were present. E. legionensis mainly invaded the caeca; low mortality was observed at the dosage of 200,000 oocysts per bird. Caecal walls were thickened and caseous material was condensed into off-white cheesy cores. For each species, oocyst shedding started 5 days post inoculation, peaked at 9, 8 and 6 days post inoculation for E. kofoidi, E. caucasica and E. legionensis, respectively, then decreased and persisted until 15 days post inoculation (end of examinations).

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