The kinetics of oocyst shedding and sporulation in two immunologically distinct strains of Eimeria maxima, GS and M6
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The kinetics of oocyst shedding and sporulation of two immunologically distinct strains of Eimeria maxima (GS and M6) were compared. Both strains had a prepatent period of approximately 120 h followed by peak oocyst shedding at 144-150 h post inoculation. Mean total oocyst output determined for each strain demonstrated that the fecundity of the M6 strain (12.8 × 103 ± 1.95) of E. maxima was roughly twice that of the GS strain (6.9 × 103 ± 3.33) when inoculated at the rate of 1,000 infective oocysts per bird. The process of oocyst sporulation was followed by repetitive sampling of sporulating oocysts at 26 °C with aeration over a 138 hour period. Sporulation was divided into five morphologically distinguishable stages whose abundance peaked at the following times during sporulation: unsporulated oocysts at 0 h; sporoblast anlagen at 18 h; sporoblasts without sporocyst walls at 22 h; and sporocysts without mature sporozoites at 38 h. The time to 50 % sporulation of E. maxima oocysts observed in the present study was approximately 53 h for both strains and all viable oocysts had completed sporulation by 60 h. In the present study, the prepatent periods, duration of oocyst shedding, and the relative kinetics of sporulation of the GS and M6 strains of E. maxima were found to be virtually identical despite the immunological distinctiveness of these two parasite strains.
KeywordsCoccidiosis Prepatent Period Eimeria Species Stieda Body Unsporulated Oocyst
The authors thank The Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for supporting RAB. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs are acknowledged for funding this research through grants to JRB. Julie Cobean is thanked for her technical support during this project.
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