Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #407789

Research Project: Foodborne Parasites and their Impact on Food Safety

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Title: Coccidia and other protozoa

item Dubey, Jitender
item Santin-Duran, Monica
item LINDSAY, DAVID - Virginia Tech

Submitted to: Diseases of Swine
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2023
Publication Date: 3/29/2024
Citation: Dubey, J.P., Santin, M., Lindsay, D.S. 2024. Coccidia and other protozoa. In: Zimmerman, J.J., Karriker, L.A., Ramirez, A., Schwartz, K.J., Stevenson G.W., Zhang J., editors. Diseases of Swine. 11th edition. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. p.1015-1027.

Interpretive Summary: Pigs are important for the economy of the United States; more than 100 million pigs are slaughtered annually. Food safety remains a concern worldwide. Among parasitic infections, several protozoan infections (Toxoplasma, Sarcocystis, Cryptosporidia, Giardia) are transmissible between pigs and humans. Additionally, another protozoan, Cystoisospora suis, causes diarrhea and mortality in baby pigs. In the present chapter, two ARS scientists summarize biology of these protozoan infections, including control and prevention in the book ”Diseases of Swine”; this book is widely read and this is the 12th edition of the book. This information will be of interest to parasitologists, veterinarians, and pig farmers.

Technical Abstract: Coccidia are obligatory intracellular protozoan parasites. Neonatal coccidiosis caused by Cystoisospora suis is the most important protozoal disease of swine. Coccidial life cycles are divided into three phases: sporogony, excystation, and endogenous development. Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan parasite related to the coccidia. Sarcocystis spp. are coccidian parasites that have a twohost life cycle. Cryptosporidium species are prevalent and ubiquitous parasites of humans and animals worldwide. Giardia duodenalis is possibly the most common intestinal parasite of humans and livestock worldwide. Treatment of human patients using the anthelmintic albendazole is effective for Encephalitozoon species. Balantidium coli is a ciliate found in pigs and in humans. Cysts that are excreted in the host's feces transmit it. Amoeba in the genera Entamoeba has been reported in pigs in various parts of the world.