A survey of Blastocystis in domestic chickens
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The prevalence and morphology of Blastocystis in fresh faecal material from 227 domestic chickens was investigated. A very high prevalence of infection (approximately 95%) was found in chickens from four of the five commercial farms studied. Extremely high numbers of Blastocystis were found in the majority of samples. Blastocystis cells showed considerable variation in size, ranging from approx. 3 μm to approx. 120 μm in diameter. This size range is more extreme than those previously recognised for the organism from chickens. All chickens from one farm appeared free of Blastocystis infection. Most Blastocystis cells appeared to be the vacuolar form, although the shape of the cells and the appearance of the central vacuole contents varied considerably within and among faecal samples. Nuclei showed “spots” of electron-opaque material, generally arranged as a band within the nuclei. Multiple individual cysts within a single outer fibrillar layer were found in addition to single cysts without an encompassing fibrillar layer.
KeywordsSize Range Faecal Sample Faecal Material Commercial Farm Central Vacuole
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