Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Zellen, Bruce von

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Eimeria tenella; Protozoa; Pathogenic; Parasites--Chickens


The effect of various inoculum sizes of Eimeria tenella in the chicken, on amylopectin content in oocysts produced, was determined. This was done to ascertain if heavy infections of E. tenella, which are detrimental to the host, would produce oocysts that contained less amylopectin, and therefore could not survive as long outside the host. Clinical effects on the host such as cecal hemorrhage, anorexia, decreased weight gain, and mortality were also recorded. Groups of birds were inoculated with doses ranging from 2.3 X 10³ to 4.6 X 10⁵ oocysts per bird. Oocysts were gathered for analysis on days five through eight post-infection. The collection, concentration, and purification of oocysts was accomplished by both previously described and new procedures. Amylopectin was extracted from oocysts, hydrolyzed and assayed using quantitative glucose analysis techniques. Examinations were performed on groups of sporulated and unsporulated oocysts. Cecal hemorrhage was observed in all groups of birds by the fifth day. Anorexia was evident by day four and was most pronounced in groups of birds infected with more than 2.3 X 10⁵ oocysts. Decreased weight gain was significant for all infection groups as determined by ANOVA and SNK multiple comparison tests. Mortality rates reached 50% in groups of birds infected with 2.3 X 10⁵ oocysts. The results of glucose determination in unsporulated oocysts suggest that stored polysaccharide is used up by unsporulated oocysts over a period of time. No differences in the quantity of stored amylopectin were noted between the different inoculum groups. This suggests that infection severity and conditions in the host that are detrimental to optimal oocyst production, have no effect on the period of infectivity of oocysts produced.


Bibliography : pages 46-52.


vi, 52 pages




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