Eimeria Intestinalis

Synonyms: Eimeria agnosta, Eimeria piriformis Gwelessiany and Nadiradze, 1945; non E. piriformis Kotlan and Pospesch, 1934.

Host: Domestic rabbit.

Location: Small intestine except anterior duodenum.

Geographic Distribution: Europe (Hungary), USSR.

Prevalence: Relatively uncommon.

Morphology: The oocysts are piriform, smooth, yellowish, 21 to 36 by 15 to 21 u. A micropyle is present. An oocyst polar granule is absent. An oocyst residuum is present. The sporulation time is 1 to 2 days. Kheisin (1958) made a cytochemical study of the oocysts and endogenous stages of this species.

Life Cycle: Pellerdy (1953) described the life cycle of this species under the name E. piriformis. The endogenous stages occur above or sometimes beside the nuclei of the epithelial cells of the small intestine. There are at least 2 generations of merozoites. The prepatent period is 9 days.

Pathogenesis: According to Pellerdy (1953, 1954), experimental infections with this species cause more or less severe intestinal catarrh and diarrhea, and may kill young rabbits. At necropsy, edema and greyish-white foci which may coalesce to form a homogeneous, sticky, purulent layer may be found in the intestine.