COCCIDIOSIS IN SMALL RUMINANTS
Ethiopia has the largest livestock and highest draft animals
population in the continent.
There are approximately 47.7million cattle, 21.7 million
horses,5.57 million donkeys,1million camels and 48 million
heads of sheep and goats.
Sheep and goats are major sources of meat and cash income.
They contribute quarters of domestic meat consumption, half
of domestic wool production,40% of fresh skin and 92% of
semi processed skin export trade.
Diseases, poor nutrition, poor breeding policies and poor
management are major constraints for decreased production.
Coccidiosis is one of the protozoan disease that affects them.
There are different species of genus Eimeria that causes the
The disease is host specific and mostly affects young lambs
and kids .
To understand the taxonomical classification of
The etiology and its different species.
To review the lifecycle,epidemiology,clinical
Sarcomastigophora Sporozoa Ciliophora microspora
Coccidiosis is caused by protozoans of genus Eimeria.
They are highly species specific.
E. aspheronica… E.ovinoidalis…
are most pathogenic
E.ovina and E. ahsata
are known to be pathogenic
•The life cycle of coccidia can be divided into two
phases:endogenous phase and exogenous phase.
During the endogenous phase the parasite undergoes
numerous divisions in the intestinal cells.
•The sheep ingests the sporulated oocysts with contaminated
feed or water.
•The sporulated oocysts release sporozoites in intestinal
Each sporozoite actively penetrates into epithelial cells and
transfers into trophozoite and then to schizont.
The schizonts will contain multitude of merozoites
Each merozoite produce secondary schizont
These secondary schizonts then form second generation
Second generation merozoites penetrate into epithelial cell
of large intestine to initiate sexual development to form
macro and micro gamonts(gamogony) .
• Fertilization of the macrogamete by the microgamete
forms a zygote which further forms an oocyst.
•The oocyst breaks out of the host cell into the intestinal
lumen and excreted with faeces
This phase takes place outside of the body in the
unsporulated oocysts which are passed out in the faecal
material of the sheep sporulate under optimal environmental
4 sporocysts( an oocyst)
Life cycle of ovine coccidia
Coccidiosis of small ruminants is present any where in the
It affects mostly young lambs and kids.
Adult animals are highly resistant to disease, but not
totally resistant to infection.
Sporulated oocysts are resistant to heat and
desication,viable for up to 10 months in faecal sediments.
Humid tropics are favourable for the survival and
development of coccidian throughout the year.
The pathogenesis depends on
* developmental stages of the parasite in the
*The number of oocysts ingested,
*species of Eimeria present,
*age and immune status of the host
Severe damage to the intestinal mucosa cause
Increased rate of peristalsis
Malabsorption and diarrhea which is followed
by dehydration and acidosis
Damage to the epithelial cells of intestine
Subclinical coccidiosis should be suspected during complaints of
In acute cases early signs include
* weakness, fever,
* ocular and nasal discharges
*abdominal pain and persistent straining in an attempt
to pass feces,.
Peracute cases are caused by severe blood loss in the intestinal
may case sudden death before signs of diarrhea.
It offers more reliable indication of clinical coccidiosis
The most consistent and characteristic lesion is
The occurrence of multiple raised, white nodules
on the intestine mucosa
*In per acute cases, the intestinal lumen may
contain fresh blood.
*The caecum is usually inﬂammed
empty,contracted,edematous and thickened
Faecal samples from lambs (pasty or watery) can be taken
directly from rectum
Scraping of lesions should be mixed on a slide with little
physiological saline solution and examined microscopically
The mere presence of oocysts in the faces is not ground
for diagnosis of coccidiosis.
The only sure way to diagnose coccidiosis is
finding of lesions containing coccidia at necropsy.
*Anti coccidian drugs in individual animals may have
*Drugs used for treatment of coccidiosis are:
*Supportive care is the principle therapeutic intervention in
acute case of coccidiosis.
*Diarrhoeic goats should be removed from group and given
oral or parentral balanced electrolyte solution.
Feed lots should be kept dry and clean.
The feed trough should be constructed high enough so that there is
no wastage from it and they are not contaminated by faeces.
Keep bedding as clean and dry as possible (coccidia survive best in
Avoid following-on young lambs behind behind older lambs at
Ensure lambs have sufficient colostrum and nutrition
Conclusion and recomendation
*In general Coccidiosis which is caused by Eimeria
species is the most important disease that cause
morbidity and mortality in both sheep and goats
*It is a self limiting disease which is widely
distributed throughout the world.
*It mostly occurs and affects young lambs and kids
which are in intensive husbandry and under stress
*Necropsy examination offers most reliable
indication for diagnosis of clinical coccidiosis
Based on the above the following points are recommended:
There should be proper management of sheep and
goats to avoid pre disposing factors for the occurrence of
Try to reduce the disease incidence through avoidance
of overcrowding and stress.
Attention should be given for the hygienic system of
housing and feeding
Prevention should be given more attention than