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Oxyspiruriasis is an infection with Oxyspirura mansoni, an eyeworm that is a type of nematode. It deposits its eggs in the chicken's eye, which get passed down through the tear ducts, swallowed, and ejected from the body through the feces.
Infected birds can often be seen scratching at their eyes, possibly causing themselves to scratch their eye resulting in an infection. Chickens' eyelids often stick together with white cheesy-looking material. Without treatment, the chicken will eventually loose their eyesight in the infested eye.
Chickens become infected with O. mansoni through ingestion of infected cockroaches (which act as intermediate hosts), or contaminated soil, feed, or bedding with feces from an infected chicken. Once consumed by the chicken, the larvae move about freely within their body, where they migrate up the esophagus to the mouth, nasolacrimal duct, and into their eye. O. mansoni remain in the eye until they mature where they lay their eggs and begin the cycle again. Several wild birds serve as reservoirs for O. mansoni, including black birds, pigeons, bobolinks, blue jays, and loggerhead shrikes.