How to prevent Coccidiosis in Poultry

Coccidiosis | Bloody Diarrhea in Chicks

Coccidiosis is probably the most common and devastating disease in modern poultry production. It is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Eimeria. These are obligated intracellular parasites with complex life cycles including sexual and asexual stages.

Causes of Coccidiosis

Various types of Eimeria spp which parasitize specific portions of the intestinal tract of chickens and other animals. factors affecting causing are such as environment, nutrition, temperature, humidity, ventilation, and disease factors associated with Emeria species.

While Eimeria eggs (oocysts) can be mechanically transported by wild birds, these parasites are host specific and thus wild birds do not serve as a biological reservoir.

Host Range

Its mainly found in animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, horses, swine, and poultry (chickens and turkeys). Dog and cats are not hosting but infections occur when transmit by the mechanical is a common problem in farming environments. There 12 species found in cattle, seven species in chicken and turkey, 11 species in sheep and 9 species in goat.

Life Cycle of Emeria spp

The life cycle of Emeria spp is the main causal agent of coccidiosis in poultry and animals. Life cycles in all species are more or less the same. Emeria is an obligate intracellular parasite with complex life cycles including sexual and asexual stages.

Emeria Life cycle
Emeria Life cycle

Coccidiosis in poultry

Coccidiosis is one of the most important diseases of poultry worldwide and most forms are characterized by enteritis. Most coccidial in poultry belongs to the genus Eimeria. All types of poultry affected at the field level.

Range of host

coccidiosis causal agent named Emeria spp is a common problem in farming environments. there are 7 species found in chicken and two species found in turkey. Tyzzeria perniciosa causing coccidiosis in duck. Eimeria anseris in goslings nevertheless, game birds are also affected by coccidiosis. the most common species of emeria which affecting game birds called pheasants and partridges are Eimeria colchici and Eimeria legionensis.

Economic Importance of coccidiosis in poultry

coccidiosis is especially important in intensive broiler poultry operations. Apart from causing disease, subclinical infections cause impaired feed conversion and since feed costs comprise some 70% of the cost of producing broiler chickens, the economic impact of coccidiosis is considerable. For example, it has been estimated that the total cost of chicken coccidiosis in the UK in 1995 was £38.5 million (Williams 1999).

Causes of Coccidiosis In Poultry

The most and common etiological agent causing coccidiosis is Emeria spp in poultry. There are 11 species which are responsible for causing coccidiosis in poultry. But, some reason two species have been deducted and nine species are considering nowadays. The most common species are-

E. acervulina E. mivati E. necatrix E. maxima E. tenella E. Brunetti

Sites of infection in the intestine in poultry

These nine species of coccidiosis which causing coccidiosis in poultry. Every species has a specific site of infection in the intestines of the poultry. Therefore, concurrent infection is always persisting of coccidia in chicken and poultry.

The common sites of infection Emeria spp are

Duodenum-Emeria acervulina

Mid Intestine- Emeria Maxima

Cecum- Emeria tenella

What are the symptoms of coccidiosis?

In poultry, Coccidiosis is generally acute in onset and is characterized by depression, ruffled plumage, , and diarrhea. weight loss due to Eimeria spp affect the intestine making it prone to other diseases (necrotic enteritis) and reducing the ability of this organ to absorb nutrients.

bloody diarrhea in poultry chicks
bloody diarrhea

breast region in coccidiosis
Breast region in coccidiosis

Comb & eyelid became yellowish in color due to destruction of red blood cell in coccidiosis
Comb & eyelid became yellowish in color due to destruction of red blood cell in coccidiosis

Birds infected with E. tenella show pallor of the comb and wattles and blood-stained cecal droppings.

In humans, common clinical symptoms are persistent diarrhea, pale skin, anemia, and weight, etc.


Coccidiosis treatment has given by the two scientific way by the feed treatment and water medication.

Infeed, coccidiostat uses at the required amount and maintain shuttle programme. The most common coccidiostat are Monensin, Narasin, Maduramycin, salinomycin, samduramycin.

Water medication is commonly using by the diclazuril, Toltrazuril, amprolium and suphaclozine sodium etc.

In others species except chicken turkey,

A favourable response has been reported after the use of sulfonamides in drinking water at the same level or half the level recommended for chickens. Clazuril, a close relative of diclazuril (which is approved for use in chick-

ens), was introduced in 1987 in France and Belgium for specific use in pigeons. This product is highly effective in treating coccidiosis in pigeons.

Read: Clinical picture of Coccidiosis in Chicks

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