The occurrence and distribution pattern of Eimeria species among domestic pigeons in Minia, Egypt

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Minia University, El-Minia, Egypt

2 Animal Health Research, Minia province Lab


Avian coccidiosis is an important parasitic disease affecting poultry and causes high economic losses in poultry industry, which acts as an important sector in the Egyptian national income. It is caused by genus Eimeria that belongs to subphylum apicomplexa. It affects domestic pigeons causing great losses, particularly in squabs. So, this study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of Eimeria species infecting domestic pigeons (Columbia livia) in Minia province. Intestines of 400 domestic pigeons collected from various poultry butcher shops as well as 103 pooled fecal samples of household pigeons were microscopically examined by the flotation technique. The recovered oocysts were morphologically identified. The overall prevalence of Eimeria species infection was 27.0% (108/400) and 72.82% (75/103) in the intestinal and pooled fecal samples respectively. Seasonally, the highest infection rate in the pooled fecal samples was in both spring and autumn (80.0%), while the lowest was in summer (56.0%). Meanwhile, the infection rate of the intestinal samples was the highest in winter (33.33%) and the lowest in autumn (20.0%). Moreover, The monthly infection rate of intestinal samples revealed that September and April had the highest rates;(55.0% and 41.62%). However, no infection rates were found in October and November, while monthly infection rate of fecal samples recorded that January and February showed 100% infection rate. Meanwhile, March and August, showed the lowest rate of infection 28.57% and 42.86% respectively. The morphological identification revealed the presence of four Eimeria species, Eimeria labbeana, E. columbarum E.columbae and E.labbeana-like, in pigeons in Minia province. Further studies are recommended to investigate the life cycle and molecular differentiation of Eimeria species infecting domestic birds.


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