Submitted to: Diseases of Swine
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: July 24, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Coccidia are obligatory intracellular parasites. Eimeria, Isospora, Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasma, and Sarcocystis are important genera of coccidial parasites of pigs. Of these coccidiosis due to Isospora suis and toxoplasmosis are most important. Isospora suis causes diarrhea in baby pigs. Older pigs are refractory and perhaps serve as a source of infection for nursing pigs. Infection by I. suis is confined to the small intestine. Toxoplasma gondii can cause diarrhea and neurological signs in young pigs, and abortion in sows exposed to the parasite during pregnancy. Infection by T. gondii is usually asymptomatic in pigs. Pigs can harbor the parasite in edible tissues for life. Undercooked pork, can serve as a source of infection for humans. Methods of control and public health significance of coccidiosis are discussed.