H. gallinarum infection is its role in the development of histomoniasis, often referred to as H. gallinarum infection is its role in the development of histomoniasis, often referred to as H. gallinarum infection is its role in the development of histomoniasis, often referred to as H. gallinarum infection is its role in the development of histomoniasis, often referred to as PoultryDVM Pathogens A-Z | Heterakis gallinarum

Heterakis gallinarum

Heterakis gallinarum (the "cecal worm"), invades the ceca of chickens, ducks, geese, grouse, guinea fowl, partridges, pheasants, quail, turkeys, and other birds. It is a small, white worm that as mature, is between 7-17mm (0.27-0.67in) in length. The main importance of H. gallinarum infection is its role in the development of histomoniasis, often referred to as blackhead disease. H. gallinarum serves as a host for the protozoan parasite, Histomonas meleagridis, which causes histomoniasis.

Life cycle
H. gallinarum take 24 days to grow from larvae to adult. As adults, they begin laying eggs which are shed in the feces of infected birds. Eggs take 12-15 days to become infective and will hatch within 1-2 hours of ingestion by chickens.

Hosts

  • chickens
  • ducks
  • geese
  • grouse
  • guinea fowl
  • partridges
  • pheasants
  • quail
  • turkeys