Diseases / List of Parasitic Diseases / Disease description:

Intestinal Coccidiosis in Waterfowl

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

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General and References

Disease Summary

WATERFOWL Protozoal infection of the intestines, which may cause diarrhoea, sometimes deaths and occasional epizootics in wild waterfowl.

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Coccidiosis
  • Coccidiasis
  • Eimeria Infection

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Disease Type

 Parasitic - Single-celled/Protozoa

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

  •  Eimeria spp.  (Eimeria abramovi, Eimeria anatis, Eimeria anseris, Eimeria aythyae, Eimeria battakhi, Eimeria brantae, Eimeria bucephalae, Eimeria clarkei, Eimeria crassa, Eimeria danailovi, Eimeria farra, Eimeria fulva, Eimeria hermani, Eimeria koganae, Eimeria kotlani, Eimeria krylovi, Eimeria magnalabia, Eimeria mulardi, Eimeria nocens, Eimeria nyroca, Eimeria parvula, Eimeria pulchella, Eimeria saitamae, Eimeria schachdagica, Eimeria stigmosa, Eimeria striata, Eimeria truncata)
  • Isospora spp. (Isospora anseris, Isospora mandari) (Isospora anseris, Isospora mandari)
  • Tyzzeria spp. (Tyzzeria alleni, Tyzzeria chenicusae, Tyzzeria pellerdyi, Tyzzeria perniciosa, Tyzzeria parvula)(Tyzzeria alleni, Tyzzeria chenicusae, Tyzzeria pellerdyi, Tyzzeria perniciosa, Tyzzeria parvula)
  • Wenyonella spp. (Wenyonella anatis, Wenyonella gagari, Wenyonella pellerdyi, Wenyonella philiplevinei)

Infective "Taxa"

Non-infective agents

--

Physical agents

-- Indirect / Secondary

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne
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Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

B9.6.w1, B10.26.w11, B11.39.w7, B11.40.w8, B12.55.w1, B13.46.w1, B14, B15, B16.19.w1, B18, B32.34.w11, B36.26.w26, B37.x.w1, B48.21.w21
J5.24.w1
J27.29.w1
J30.61.w1
P4.1992.w1, P4.1993.w1

Other References

Code and Title List

J1.17.w4
J3.69.w1
J5.12.w1, J5.40.w1
J6.17.w3, J6.20.w1, J6.25.w1
J7.4.w1

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General

WATERFOWL Effects may vary from subclinical or decreased production to enteritis with bloody diarrhoea and variable mortality in domestic waterfowl, and occasional epizootics in wild waterfowl.

Clinical Characteristics

WATERFOWL Variable: asymptomatic (i.e. coccidiasis) to decreased growth rate to acute haemorrhagic diarrhoea or death. Signs include diarrhoea, which may be haemorrhagic, inappetance, weight loss and emaciation, pallor, dehydration, decreased growth rate, weight loss, weakness, anaemia. Growth retardation may be seen in young birds following severe infection (B13.46.w1, B14, B15, B18, B32.34.w11, B37.x.w1, B36.26.w26, B48.21.w21, P4.1992.w1).

N.B. May increase susceptibility to other pathogens e.g. various bacteria, Aspergillus sp. (J5.24.w1).

Incubation

WATERFOWL Clinical signs seen in the period of 3-4 days post infection with Wenyonella philiplevinei in ducks; acute haemorrhage by 4 days post infection and deaths by 5-6 days with Tyzzeria perniciosa in ducks (B32.34.w11).

Mortality / Morbidity

WATERFOWL Variable morbidity and mortality. Rapid mortality may be seen with acute disease. Mortality of 70% may be seen on duck farms with Tyzzeria perniciosa ; nearly 30% mortality has been seen in epizootics in wild Aythya affinis - Lesser scaup (B15, B13.46.w11, B32.34.w11, J5.24.w1).

Pathology

WATERFOWL Gross Pathology: Intestinal lesions - enteritis, may be extensive and haemorrhagic.
  • Early/mild infection: hyperaemia of intestinal mucosa, excess fluid in intestinal lumen.
  • Later/severe infection: serosa hyperaemic and may contain petechiae; thickening of intestinal wall; sometimes mucosal haemorrhages, sometimes mucosal sloughing: white-yellow fibrinonecrotic debris and coccidia overlying the mucosa, sometimes in long sheets. Occasionally intestinal lumen may be filled with fibrinonecrotic or haemorrhagic cores containing oocysts.
  • Site within intestines depends on parasite species, e.g. mainly anterior intestines with Tyzzeria perniciosa in ducks, mainly posterior iliac and lower intestines with Wenyonella philiplevinei in ducks, central and lower small intestine with Eimeria anseris in geese (B11.40.w8, B15, B32.34.w11, B36.26.w26, B48.21.w21, P4.1992.w1).

Histopathology:

  • Large schizonts in crypts of Lieberkuhn, merozoites in tunica propria, necrotic villi (epithelium and corium).

(B15, B18, B32.34.w11, B48.21.w21, J5.24.w1).

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Human Health Considerations

None (B36.26.w26, B37.x.w1).

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

WATERFOWL Susceptibility:
  • Disease (coccidiosis) is seen mainly in juveniles, although infection (coccidiasis) probably occurs in all species (P4.1993.w1, B32.34.w11, B13.46.w1).
  • Infection is reportedly rare in swans (B9.6.w1).
  • Stress may increase susceptibility (B36.26.w26).

Transmission:

  • Oocysts are passed in the faeces.

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Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

Disease has been reported in:
  • Lesser scaup Aythya affinis, particularly females, also small numbers of Canvasback Aythya valisineria and ring-necked ducks Aythya collaris at one reservoir in Nebraska, USA (Eimeria aythyae) (J5.24.w1).
  • Tundra (Whistling) swan Cygnus columbianus (B9.6.w1).
  • Canada geese Branta canadensis, goslings (J1.17.w4).
  • Domestic ducks (J3.69.w1).
  • Rosy-billed pochard Netta peposaca juvenile, common eider Somateria mollissima adult (J7.4.w1)

Infection has also been reported in:

  • Mule duck (mallard Anas platyrhynchos x muscovy duck Cairina moschata) (Tyzzeria pellerdyi, T. perniciosa, E. aythyae, E. nyroca, E. danailovi, Eimeria sp.) (J6.20.w1)
  • Mule ducks (mallard x muscovy) Eimeria mulardi (J6.25.w1)
  • Domestic duck (Anas platyrhynchos), muscovy (Cairina moschata and mule duck (Eimeria mulardi) (J5.40.w1).
  • Pekin duck (Wenyonella philiplevinei), 'domestic duck' (Tyzzeria perniciosa, Eimeria battakhi, E. danailovi, E. saitamae, Wenyonella anatis), Mallard (E. anatis), blue-winged teal Anas discors (Wenyonella pellerdyi), gadwall Anas strepera (Tyzzeria pellerdyi), cotton pygmy-goose (teal) Nettapus (Chenicus) coromandelianus (Tyzerria alleni, T. chenicusae), ferruginous (common white-eye) pochard Aythya nyroca (Tyzzeria pellerdyi), lesser scaup Aythya affinis (Eimeria aythyae), common goldeneye Bucephala clangula (Eimeria bucephalae) (J5.12.w1).
  • Domestic goose Anser anser domesticus: Tyzzeria parvula, Eimeria fulva, E. nocens, E. anseris, E. stigmosa, E. hermani, E. sp (? E. clarkei) (J6.17.w3).
  • Tundra (whistling) swan Cygnus columbianus, Greater white-fronted goose Anser albifrons, Domestic goose (Anser anser domesticus), Greater snow goose Anser caerulescens atlanticus, Lesser snow goose Anser caerulescens caurulescens, Ross's goose Anser rossii, Emperor goose Anser canagicus, Canada goose Branta canadensis, Brent (Brant) goose Branta bernicla, Mandarin Aix galericulata, Northern pintail Anas acuta, American widgeon Anas americana, Northern shoveler Anas clypeata, Green-winged teal Anas crecca, Blue-winged teal Anas discors, European widgeon Anas penelope, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Domestic duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus), Gargany (Anas querquedula), American black duck Anas rubripes, Gadwall Anas strepera, Lesser scaup Aythya affinis, European pochard Aythya ferina, Common goldeneye Bucephala clangula, Cotton teal (pygmy goose) Nettapus (Chenicus) coromandelianus, Red-crested pochard Netta rufina (J30.61.w1).

WATERFOWL Host Species List

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Disease / Agent has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

Disease has been reported in:
  • Lesser scaup Aythya affinis, particularly females, also small numbers of Canvasbacks Aythya valisineria and ring-necked ducks Aythya collaris at one reservoir in Nebraska, USA (Eimeria aythyae) (J5.24.w1).

Infection reported in:

  • Canada goose Branta canadensis (J1.17.w4).

WATERFOWL Host Species List

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

Associated with poor hygiene (particularly contamination of food and water with oocysts), overcrowding and prolonged use of one area, stress (B10.26.w11, B15, B36.26.w26).

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

Worldwide (B36.26.w26).

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

USA: Midwestern states (Nebraska, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Illinois, and Iowa) (B36.26.w26)

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

WATERFOWL In live birds:
  • Clinical signs (diarrhoea, weight loss, pallor) plus large numbers of coccidial oocysts in faeces. N.B. much of damage may have occurred before fecal oocyst production (P4.1993.w1, B11.40.w8, B13.46.w1, B14, B15, B36.26.w26, B37.x.w1).
  • Genus can be identified from oocysts: Eimeria - four sporocysts, each containing two sporozoites; Wenyonella - four sporocysts, each containing four sporozoites; Tyzzeria - eight sporozoites, not contained in sporocysts; Isospora two sporocysts, each containing four sporozoites (B14, B32.34.w11).

Post mortem examination:

  • Large numbers of coccidia in scrapings from the intestinal mucosa, histopathological changes to intestinal mucosa associated with coccidial organisms. Whole length of gut must be examined, since different coccidial species parasitize different areas (P4.1993.w1, B11.40.w8, B13.46.w1, B15, B36.26.w26, B37.x.w1).
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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

WATERFOWL Other causes of diarrhoea and slow growth.

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

WATERFOWL
  • N.B. Coccidiostats at standard prophylactic levels in chicken and turkey feeds can be toxic to waterfowl: halofuginone is toxic to geese, narasin and nitrofuran are toxic to ducks and aprinocid causes bill malformation in ducklings. Ionophore coccidiostats should not be used in combination with sulphonamides, erythromycin or pleuromutelin (B11.40.w8, B12.55.w1, P4.1992.w1).-
  • Amprolium is safe for use (B13.46.w1, B16.19.w1, B37.x.w1)
  • Sulphonamide 25mg/kg orally twice daily or 10mg/kg intramuscularly twice daily; Clazuril 5-10mg/kg orally every third day for three treatments, pyrimethamine and sulphaquinoxaline (60mg/litre of drinking water, three days on, two days off (B11.39.w7, B11.40.w8).
  • Toltrazuril (Baycox) 20mg/kg of feed, or 25mg/l of water, for 48 hours. Sulfamonomethoxine 0.1% in food for 6 days, 0.02% sulfametoazole + trimethoprim (5:1) in feed for four days, repeated after six days (P4.1992.w1).
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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

WATERFOWL --
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Preventative Measures

Vaccination WATERFOWL --
Prophylactic Treatment

WATERFOWL

Treat only if clinical disease confirmed (B11.40.w8).
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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection

WATERFOWL

Low level infection allows birds to develop immunity. Control measures should aim not to totally eliminate coccidia but to prevent high levels of coccidia building up in the environment, particularly in rearing areas: general good hygiene and sanitation, clean out solid-floored runs frequently, move runs on grass/ground frequently, control flies and cockroaches (P4.1993.w1, B36.26.w26, B37.x.w1).
Population Control Measures WATERFOWL
  • Avoid overcrowding (P4.1993.w1).
  • It might be useful to encourage wild waterfowl to disperse if overcrowding persisted on a given area for some time (B15, B36.26.w26).
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening WATERFOWL --
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