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The state of or the conditions associated with being infected by coccidia.



a disease of animals, less commonly of man, that results from the penetration of parasitic unicellular animals, Coccidia, into the epithelial cells of the intestine. In the USSR, isolated cases of the disease in man have been reported in Uzbekistan, the Caucasus, and the Crimea.

In man. The Coccidia Isospora belli and Isospora hominis are the causative agents of the disease in man. Ingestion of food or water contaminated by oocysts that were excreted with feces by animals with coccidiosis and that had matured for two to five days in soil spreads the disease. Each mature oocyst contains eight sporozoites. In the human intestine, the sporozoites emerge from the oocysts and penetrate and destroy the epithelium, causing an inflammation and occasionally ulcers. This is followed by fever (as high as 39°C), weakness, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Treatment calls for sulfanilamides and antiprotozoan preparations. Coccidiosis can be prevented through the observance of the rules of hygiene.

In animals. Coccidiosis strikes cattle, sheep, goats, swine, rabbits, dogs, poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese), freshwater and saltwater fish, and wild mammals and birds. Coccidiosis of domestic animals is widespread in most countries and does great damage, especially on poultry and rabbit farms, where it often occurs as an enzootic disease destroying numerous young. An outbreak among animals usually occurs in spring or fall.

The sources of infection are contaminated grasses, hay, soil on ranges and poultry yards, litter in poultry houses or cages, and drinking water. Most of the coccidial species concentrate in the mucous membrane of different portions of the intestine and interfere with its activity. The most common symptoms of coccidiosis in animals are inhibition, loss of appetite, rapid and severe emaciation, and diarrhea. Paralysis and spasms of individual muscle groups are frequent. The diseased animals are isolated. Various coccidiostatic agents are used for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes. Improved feeding and maintenance of the animals are also helpful. The prophylactic measures include destruction of oocysts in the environment, keeping adult and young animals apart, and strict observance of the rules of sanitation and zoohygiene.


Schensnovich, V. B., and A. I. Metelkin. “Koktsidioz.” In Rukovodstvo po mikrobiologii, klinike i epidemiologii infektsionnykh boleznei, vol. 9. Moscow, 1968. Pages 208–11.
Leitman, M. Z. Amebiaz, koktsidioz i balantidiaz. Tashkent, 1968.
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