Cryptosporidiosis is the name of the disease caused by infection with protozoan parasites of the genus Cryptosporidium
. It manifests as either a respiratory or gastrointestinal disease, depending on the site of infection.
There are many species of Cryptosporidium
that infect a wide range of animal species, including humans. The following Cryptosporidium
species have been reported to infect chickens:
- Cryptosporidium baileyi: Infects the Bursa of Fabricius, conjunctiva, kidneys, respiratory tract, cloaca, or rectum. Found worldwide and in a wide range of bird species.
- Cryptosporidium meleagridis: Infects the small and large intestines. Found in Columbiformes, Galliformes, Passeriformes, and Psittaciformes worldwide.
- Cryptosporidium galli: Infects the proventriculus. Affects chickens in Asia, Europe, Oceania, and South America. Found in Bucerotiformes, Galliformes, Passeriformes, Psittaciformes, and Phoenicopteriformes.
- Cryptosporidium andersoni: Affects chickens and other Galliformes in Europe.
- Cryptosporidium parvum: Infects the small intestine or caecum. Found in Accipitriformes, Anseriformes, Charadriiformes, Galliformes, Passeriformes, and Psittaciformes in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
How Chickens get Cryptosporidiosis
Chickens become infected by ingesting Cryptosporidium
oocysts excreted in the feces and surrounding environment, from an infected host. The host doesn't need to be a chicken. Many other species of birds can be infected hosts. Oocysts are capable of surviving outside their host for long periods of time (often greater than 6 months duration) in cool, moist environments, especially water sources.
How Cryptosporidiosis is Diagnosed
is detected in the conjunctiva, sinus, trachea, lungs, kidneys, small and large intestine, cloaca, and bursa of Fabricius in chickens.