Molecular Identification of Eimeria Species in Broiler Chickens in Trinidad, West Indies

Brown, J A and Blake, D P and Beard, J and Beharry, A and Serrette, L and Soleyn, A and Sookhoo, J and Blake, L and Brown, G and Oura, C (2018) Molecular Identification of Eimeria Species in Broiler Chickens in Trinidad, West Indies. Veterinary Sciences, 22 (5). p. 1.

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Abstract

Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease of chickens of major economic importance to broiler industries worldwide. Species of coccidia found in chickens include Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria brunetti, Eimeria maxima, Eimeria mitis, Eimeria necatrix, Eimeria praecox, and Eimeria tenella. In recent years, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been developed to provide accurate and rapid identification of the seven known Eimeria species of chickens. The aim of this study was to use species-specific real-time PCR (qPCR) to identify which of the seven Eimeria species are present in Trinidad poultry. Seventeen pooled fecal samples were collected from 6 broiler farms (2–5 pens per farm) across Trinidad. Feces were also collected from birds showing clinical signs of coccidiosis in two live bird markets (pluck shops). qPCR revealed the presence of five species of Eimeria (E. acervulina, E. maxima, E. mitis, E. necatrix, and E. tenella), but not E. brunetti or E. praecox. Mixed infections were detected on all broiler farms, and DNA of two highly pathogenic Eimeria species (E. tenella and E. necatrix) was detected in feces taken from clinically sick birds sampled from the two pluck shops.