Research Topic

Coccidian Parasites in Livestock and Small Animals

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About this Research Topic

Protozoan parasites of the subclass Coccidiasina are commonly known as coccidia. This broad group of pathogens are classified as heteroxeneous coccidia, which possess life cyles in intermediate and definitive hosts, and monoxeneous coccidia, whose life cycles occur in a single host. Coccidia affect a large ...

Protozoan parasites of the subclass Coccidiasina are commonly known as coccidia. This broad group of pathogens are classified as heteroxeneous coccidia, which possess life cyles in intermediate and definitive hosts, and monoxeneous coccidia, whose life cycles occur in a single host. Coccidia affect a large spectrum of wild and domestic animal hosts, including livestock and small animals, such as dogs and cats.

A common characteristic among coccidia is the presence of an environmentally resistant stage called oocyst, which is produced in the intestinal epithelium of their mammalian or avian hosts. Coccidia are usually shed in the environment as intact oocysts or as sporocysts. For monoxeneous coccidia, oocyst ingestion is the major form of infection. For heteroxeneous coccidia, the ways of transmission are the ingestion of tissue cysts by carnivorism, the consumption of oocysts/sporocysts in food or water and in some species, the passage of parasites via the placenta. Infections caused by coccidia are worldwide distributed and show a great variation in disease outcome, being responsible for significant economic losses in farm animals, subclinical to fatal illness in companion animals, as well as causing humans diseases like toxoplasmosis, sarcocystosis and cryptosporidiosis.

This Research Topic welcomes articles dealing with various aspects of coccidial infections in livestock (domestic ruminants, equids, poultry and pigs), as well as in dogs and cats. Aspects related to diagnostics, new descriptions, epidemiology and control of coccidian parasites will by the focus of the Topic. The following coccidia are the main targets of this topic: Neospora spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis spp., Hammondia spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Besnoitia spp., Eimeria spp. and Cystoisospora spp.


Keywords: Coccidia, Protozoa, Farm animal, Dog, Cat


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