Identifying Eimeria in ovo

Eimeria are single-celled protozoans that cause coccidiosis, a major intestinal disease of chickens. Coccidiosis makes it difficult for the chickens to absorb feed and gain weight, resulting in economic losses of more than $600 million annually for US poultry producers.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have developed a rapid system for identifying which of several Eimeria species are present on a particular farm.
Microbiologist Mark Jenkins and molecular biologist Kate Miska, both with the ARS Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory in Beltsville, MD (US), developed a method that involves isolating Eimeria oocysts from poultry litter. Combining this process with PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technology enables researchers to identify which Eimeria species are present.
The new method will enable poultry producers to quickly determine which of seven Eimeria species are present on a farm. That knowledge will help them use just the right combination of vaccine and anticoccidial treatment to protect their flocks.

Editor WorldPoultry

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