Pathogenesis of in Bearded Dragons ()

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is a common coccidian found in captive bearded dragons (). To minimize the impact of this parasite, it is important to characterize its pathogenesis so that we can develop appropriate methods for diagnosis and treatment. Forty-five juvenile bearded dragons were used for this two-part study. In the first part, ten bearded dragons were infected with 20,000 oocysts per os, while a control group of five animals received only water. Feces were collected over 45 days and screened for oocysts. In the second part, thirty bearded dragons were used to characterize the pathogenesis of . Twenty-five bearded dragons were infected as described previously, while five animals served as controls. Five infected bearded dragons and one control were humanely euthanized on days 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 post-infection for complete necropsies. The pre-patent period for was found to be 18.6 ± 1.9 days (range 15-22 days). Histopathology confirmed that follows a homoxenous life cycle. Infections begin in the duodenum and progress to the colon over time. The findings of this study can be used to develop better quarantine and treatment protocols for captive bearded dragons.

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Animals : an open access journal from MDPI

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