Date of Award
Coccidiosis is a major economic and health risk in the poultry industry. The oocysts of the causative agent of coccidiosis are excreted in animal feces and must be ingested by a new host for a new infection to begin. These oocysts are microscopic and very similar between species. The ability to quantify and identify the oocysts that are causing the illness is important to controlling this disease. My research first compares methods of quantifying oocysts of domestic turkeys for their ease of use and accuracy. Next, I attempt to identifying novel oocysts from a different turkey species by morphological and molecular approaches. Of the four methods of oocysts isolation and quantification that I compared (Standard Sugar Flotation, Standard Dilution, Hemocytometer, and Howard-Mold counting slide) the Standard Dilution provided the most accuracy relative to the time invested. I attempted morphological identification of oocysts in from the host Meleagris ocellata and found that length and width of the oocysts overlapped with those of known coccidian species from domestic turkey. My efforts to obtain molecular descriptions of the oocysts from M. ocellata, were not successful, but I report on five means of DNA extractions that I attempted.
Abunemeh, Mariam, "Methods of Quantification and Characterization of Coccidian Oocysts" (2016). Honors Theses. 636.