, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 186-190

Eimeria sp. from the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus): Pathogenicity and immunogenicity ofEimeria intestinalis

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The pathogenicity and immunogenicity ofEimeria intestinalis was evaluated in SPF rabbits. The antimals were given immunizing doses of 6, 6×102, 6×103, and 6×104 sporulated oocysts and were challenged with 3×103 oocysts. The criteria analysed were the daily weight gain and the occyst output. This study showed thatE. intestinalis had strong immunogenicity, as the inoculation of 6 oocysts was sufficient to minimize the clinical expression of the disease following the challenge and to reduce the oocyst output by about 60%. The immunity towards the excretion of oocysts and the illness was absolute in animals inoculated with 600 or more oocysts. Moreover, this protection seemed to be efficient at least 8 weeks after the challenge. The present results also confirm the pathogenicity ofE. intestinalis, although the occurrence of diarrhoea may be irregular, and emphasize the fact that the capacity of thisEimeria for multiplication is not a criterion for clinical diagnosis of the disease.