Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Parasitol. 1991 Apr;72(3):285-93.

Development of resistance to coccidiosis in the absence of merogonic development using X-irradiated Eimeria acervulina oocysts.

Author information

Protozoan Diseases Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.


Sporulated oocysts of the protozoan Eimeria acervulina were subjected to 0, 10, 15, 20, or 30 krad of X-irradiation and inoculated into susceptible outbred chickens to determine if radioattenuated coccidia could induce protection against parasite challenge. Irradiation treatment had an appreciable dose-dependent effect on parasite development. Insignificant numbers of oocysts were produced by chickens inoculated with parasites that had been exposed to greater than 10 krad X-irradiation. Sporozoites exposed to 15 or 20 krad irradiation conferred significant protection against the appearance of intestinal lesions after parasite challenge. Sporozoites subjected to the highest dose level (30 krad) did not produce any significant level of protection. To investigate this phenomenon further and assess intracellular parasite development, susceptible outbred strains of chickens were administered either nonirradiated (0 krad) oocysts or oocysts that were exposed to an optimal dose (15 krad) or a high dose (30 krad) of X-irradiation. Immunofluorescence staining of tissue sections from each treatment group at various intervals after the initial administration of irradiated parasites indicated that sporozoites exposed to 15 krad irradiation were as capable of invading the host intestinal epithelium as nonirradiated sporozoites. However, at 48, 60, 72, and 96 hr, there was a marked reduction in merogonic development in groups receiving irradiated sporozoites compared to those inoculated with nonirradiated parasites. The latter parasites underwent profuse merogonic development; in contrast, irradiated parasites demonstrated little (15 krad) or no (30 krad) merogonic development. These results suggest that induction of a protective immune response occurs during a critical period early in intracellular development of E. acervulina.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center