Piglet coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan parasite called Isospora suis. Although Eimeria debliecki has been known to cause clinical disease in piglets, it seems that the only important pathogenic species known to cause clinical disease in piglets is Isospora suis. This disease is very hard to eradicate and is commonly found on pig farms.
The target organ of this parasite is the small intestine, where it undergoes development within the mucosal tissue.In current swine production, where supplemental heat between 32C and 35C is provided to newborn piglets,oocyst sporulation may occur within 12 to 16 hours.
Isospora suis can infect pigs of any age, but only causes clinical signs in piglets, usually those between the ages of 7 and 14 days. Older pigs act as carriers. Other Eimeria spp. can affect pigs as well, but they do not have as devastating an effect on the pigs.
Coccidia is present worldwide. Reports on the presence, prevalence and epidemiology of Isospora suis have come from virtually every country in the world. The studies conducted in most countries have shown a high prevalence of the disease on farms (45 to 85 percent), as well as a high incidence of litters affected by the disease.
The predominant sign of coccidiosis is diarrhoea, which usually persists for 4 to 6 days. The faeces may vary from white to yellow in colour and from a fluid to a pasty consistency, usually without the presence of blood.
Piglets infected with Isospora suis display a high degree of acquired immunity to subsequent reinfection. Nevertheless, this immunity develops too slowly to offer any meaningful protection against the initial clinical disease.
It is essential to establish programmes that combine good management and high-hygiene practices to reduce the oocyst burden of the parasite and minimize the effects of the disease on animals. It is important to note that anticoccidial therapies serve little purpose once the piglets show clinical signs of diarrhoea. Therefore, a high health status of piglets should be maintained during the first week of age to prevent damage caused by Isospora suis.
Orego-Stim is active against all intracellular developmental stages of coccidia, including schizonts, micro and macrogamonts. To effectively control coccidiosis, the phenolic compounds within oregano speed up the process of the normal shedding of enterocytes from the intestinal mucosae, causing a disruption in the life cycle of Isospora suis and as a result, the protozoa are not able to complete its life cycle to cause either clinical or subclinical disease.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Meriden Animal Health.