Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Jardine, J.E. 2008. Severe intestinal coccidiosis in a newborn lion (Panthera leo). Acta Protozoologica. 47:63-68. Interpretive Summary: Coccidia are intracellur single-celled parasites that cause disease in livestock and other animals. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and a diagnostic lab in Australia report fatal intestinal coccidiosis in a lion cub for the first time. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians
Technical Abstract: Severe coccidiosis was found in sections of small intestine of a less than 2 day old lion (Panthera leo) born in captivity. Schizonts, merozoites, gamonts, and unsporulated oocysts were located in epithelial cells of ileum. Ultrastructural examination indicated that schizonts divided by schizogony. Merozoites were 5.1-7.0 x 1.4-1.6 um in size and contained numerous micronemes arranged in rows. The rhoptries had a long neck with long bulbous ends that were turned around in a loop. Organisms did not stain with antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. This is the first report of intestinal coccidiosis in a neonatal lion.