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Cocci Corner - What is Coccidiosis?

Coccidiosis is a disease that affects animals. It involves a species-specific parasite called coccidia, a member of the protozoa family along with cryptosporidium.

The parasite is ingested (as an infective oocyst) from the animal’s environment and passes through the digestive system until it reaches the intestine.

Here it invades cells in the intestinal lining – one of the most important tissues in the animal’s body as it is responsible for the absorption of nutrients, including water.

Multiplication

The parasite multiplies inside these cells, completing it’s lifecycle (18-24 days). There are two stages of reproduction involved (asexual and sexual), as new cells in the intestine are invaded and eventually new oocysts are formed which pass out into the environment via faeces.

A single ingested oocysts can lead to the destruction of 50 million cells in the lining of the intestine.

The coccida lifecycle causes cells in the intestinal lining to rupture, leading to inflammation, discomfort and affecting the organ’s ability to absorb nutrients. As well as causing a significant drain on energy as the immune system mobilises against the parasite, diarrhoea can occur in a portion of affected animals. These cases will often involve the passing of dark, bloody faeces and heavy straining.

Oocysts passed by infected animals can survive in most environments for in excess of 12 months. Once passed they will undergo a development phase externally, in which they become infective and can cause new infections. However, only the same species as the original host can be affected, e.g. calves with coccidiosis are not a threat to lambs. This development phase is weather dependent and needs mild, moist conditions in order to complete.

Animals ingest infective oocysts via grazing, visiting contaminated troughs, eating dirty bedding, interacting with other animals or interacting with their environment in general.

Animals will develop an immunity against coccidiosis after repeated exposure. Problems will occur when we have a combination of young (unexposed) and/or stressed animals concurrent with a high environmental burden of coccidia oocysts.

Watch the video below and check out these articles

How soon can animals get coccidiosis?

How does an anti-coccidial drench work?

Preventing Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis is a disease that affects animals. It involves a species-specific parasite called coccidia, a member of the protozoa family along with cryptosporidium.

The parasite is ingested (as an infective oocyst) from the animal’s environment and passes through the digestive system until it reaches the intestine.

Here it invades cells in the intestinal lining – one of the most important tissues in the animal’s body as it is responsible for the absorption of nutrients, including water.

Multiplication

The parasite multiplies inside these cells, completing it’s lifecycle (18-24 days). There are two stages of reproduction involved (asexual and sexual), as new cells in the intestine are invaded and eventually new oocysts are formed which pass out into the environment via faeces.

A single ingested oocysts can lead to the destruction of 50 million cells in the lining of the intestine.

The coccida lifecycle causes cells in the intestinal lining to rupture, leading to inflammation, discomfort and affecting the organ’s ability to absorb nutrients. As well as causing a significant drain on energy as the immune system mobilises against the parasite, diarrhoea can occur in a portion of affected animals. These cases will often involve the passing of dark, bloody faeces and heavy straining.

Oocysts passed by infected animals can survive in most environments for in excess of 12 months. Once passed they will undergo a development phase externally, in which they become infective and can cause new infections. However, only the same species as the original host can be affected, e.g. calves with coccidiosis are not a threat to lambs. This development phase is weather dependent and needs mild, moist conditions in order to complete.

Animals ingest infective oocysts via grazing, visiting contaminated troughs, eating dirty bedding, interacting with other animals or interacting with their environment in general.

Animals will develop an immunity against coccidiosis after repeated exposure. Problems will occur when we have a combination of young (unexposed) and/or stressed animals concurrent with a high environmental burden of coccidia oocysts.

Watch the video below and check out these articles

How soon can animals get coccidiosis?

How does an anti-coccidial drench work?

Preventing Coccidiosis

22
Jan