Deadly Coccidiosis in Poultry

Coccidiosis is a common protozoon disease of poultry. It is characterized by enteritis and bloody diarrhoea. With the exception of geese where renal coccidiosis is seen, in other birds mainly intestinal tract is involved.

Depending upon the area of intestine affected coccidioses are divided into caecal, which is caused by Eimera tenella and small intestinal coccidiosis caused by induced by E. acervulina (Small Intestine), E. brunette (Lower small intestine, cloaca), E. maxima (S.I.), E mitis (Lower S.I), E. necatrix (Anterior and middle portion of intestine), E.praecox (Upper S.I) and E. hagani (Anterior part of S.I)

Can it spread from chicken to chicken?

The oocysts are excreted in faeces. The oocysts can remain in environment for long periods. They cause disease only after they sporulate. The wet litter and the heat in premises favour of the sporulation and therefore, the outbreak of coccidiosis. Birds kept in wiremesh and stands develop less infection.


1.Stunted growth, diseased water and feed intake with large numbers of visibly sick birds.

2.Dehydration and decreased egg production.

3.In severe cases, bloody diarrhoea with soiled vent portion of the birds.

4. Sub-clinical phase may pass within 8-10 days with mild clinical signs but in severe cases heavy mortality is observed.


Eimeria spp

Gross Lesions:

1. Typhilitis with caeca filled up with fresh and clotted blood

2.Later stages, caecal contents become thicker mixed with cheese like exudates.

3.Depending upon the Eimeria Spp., the intestines are full of haemorrages. Mostly petechial haemorrages can be observed through the intestinal wall.

4.The content is mixed with fresh or clotted blood with petechiae or large areas of haemorrages.


1.The birds maintained on wire cages and are well separate from droppings have chances of less infection.

2.Hygiene and keep the litter dry.

3.Anti-coccidial drugs/antibiotic feed additives should be fed at regular intervals.


1.History, clinical signs and leisons.

2.Demonstration of oocysts in feces or intestinal scrapings.


  1. Sulpha group of drugs in feed

2. Amprolium in water

3. Quinolones in feed

4. Lonophores in feed

Director of research, GADVASU

For more information about Agriculture and Livestock, download Apni Kheti app – Android, iPhone