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A molecular survey of Eimeria in chickens across Australia

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Godwin, R. M. and Morgan, J. A. T. (2015) A molecular survey of Eimeria in chickens across Australia. Veterinary Parasitology . ISSN 0304-4017

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2015.09.030

Publisher URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030440171530039X


Coccidiosis is a costly enteric disease of chickens caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Eimeria. Disease diagnosis and management is complicated since there are multiple Eimeria species infecting chickens and mixed species infections are common. Current control measures are only partially effective and this, combined with concerns over vaccine efficacy and increasing drug resistance, demonstrates a need for improved coccidiosis diagnosis and control. Before improvements can be made, it is important to understand the species commonly infecting poultry flocks in both backyard and commercial enterprises. The aim of this project was to conduct a survey and assessment of poultry Eimeria across Australia using genetic markers, and create a collection of isolates for each Eimeria species. A total of 260 samples (faecal or caecal) was obtained, and survey results showed that Eimeria taxa were present in 98% of commercial and 81% of backyard flocks. The distribution of each Eimeria species was widespread across Australia, with representatives of all species being found in every state and territory, and the Eimeria species predominating in commercial flocks differed from those in backyard flocks. Three operational taxonomic units also occurred frequently in commercial flocks highlighting the need to understand the impact of these uncharacterised species on poultry production. As Eimeria infections were also frequent in backyard flocks, there is a potential for backyard flocks to act as reservoirs for disease, especially as the industry moves towards free range production systems. This Eimeria collection will be an important genetic resource which is the crucial first step in the development of more sophisticated diagnostic tools and the development of new live vaccines which ultimately will provide savings to the industry in terms of more efficient coccidiosis management.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:Eimeria Species survey Mitochondrial DNA PCR Capillary electrophoresis
Live Archive:09 Feb 2016 02:13
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:50

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