Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2008
Publication Date: 12/30/3008
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Wouda, W., Muskens, J. 2008. Fatal intestinal coccidiosis in a three week old buffalo calf (Bubalus bubalis). Journal of Parasitology. 94:1289-1294. 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 Netherlands report fatal intestinal coccidiosis in a buffalo calf for the first time. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.
Technical Abstract: The water buffalo (Bubalus bubalus) is important to the economy of several countries, especially in Asia and Brazil. Little is known regarding the impact of coccidiosis in buffaloes. Cattle and buffaloes are considered to have common species of Eimeria, but critical cross transmissions have not been made because it is difficult to raise these hosts coccidian free. Clinical coccidiosis was confirmed post mortem in a 22-day-old buffalo calf that died after a 3-4 day illness. Oocysts morphologically identical to Eimeria bareillyi were found in the feces and in sections of small intestine. Oocysts were often pyriform, sometimes with asymmetrical sides. The shorter end was flattened and approximately 5-6 µm wide. Unsporulated oocysts in feces were 23.2-29.5 x 16.5-22 µm in size with an average of 27.2 x 19.3 µm. Schizonts, gamonts, and oocysts were identified in sections of small intestine where they were located in enterocytes of the jejunum and ileum. No coccidian stages were seen in sections of colon. This is one of the first confirmed cases of clinical coccidiosis in water buffalo.