Parasitology Research

, Volume 118, Issue 11, pp 3173–3183 | Cite as

Oral inoculation of ultraviolet-irradiated Eimeria species oocysts protects chickens against coccidiosis

  • Saeed A. El-AshramEmail author
  • Shawky M. AboelhadidEmail author
  • Sahar M. Gadelhaq
  • Walid M. Arafa
  • Abdel-Razik H. Abdel-Razik
  • Salama Abohamra
  • Khaled T. Abdelaziz
Treatment and Prophylaxis - Original Paper


Prevention of coccidiosis is one of the best ways of controlling disease. Therefore, the present study was carried out to evaluate the protective effect of ultraviolet (UV)-irradiated sporulated oocysts of Eimeria species against coccidiosis in layer chickens. One hundred forty-four one-day-old layer chicks were randomly divided into 4 groups (n = 36), including non-immunized/non-challenged negative control group (NC group), non-immunized/challenged control group (NIC group), non-irradiated sporulated oocyst/challenged group (CA group), and UV-irradiated sporulated oocyst/challenged (UV group). At the age of 4 days, chickens in groups UV and CA were both orally inoculated with 1.0 × 104 UV-irradiated and non-irradiated sporulated oocysts of Eimeria species, respectively. Chickens in groups NIC and NC were served as positive and negative controls, respectively. Chickens in all groups were orally challenged with 7.5 × 104 sporulated oocysts of Eimeria species except the NC group at the age of 21 days. The results revealed that chicks receiving UV-irradiated sporulated oocysts had no signs of illness with minimal or no changes in the cecal integrity and a significantly lower oocyst shedding (OPG) than in the NIC group. Additionally, the cytokine gene expression profiles were evaluated. Expression levels of IL-2, IL-12, and IFN-γ were significantly higher in the spleen of chicks in the UV and CA groups than in the NC group post-challenge. As expected, treatment with irradiated oocysts resulted in a significant reduction in oocyst shedding and maintenance of cecal mucosal integrity. Furthermore, the body weight was higher in chickens inoculated with UV-irradiated oocysts than their non-irradiated counterparts. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that inoculation with UV-irradiated sporulated oocysts of Eimeria species can produce a substantial reduction in infection symptoms.


Eimeria species Chicks UV irradiation Cytokines 



The authors appreciated the technical help of Dr. Asmaa Abdelaty.

Funding information

This research was supported by the Start-up Research Grant Program provided by Foshan University, Foshan city, Guangdong province for distinguished researchers, School of Life Science and Engineering fund (Grant No.: KLPREAD201801-02), and Guangdong Educational Department, Preventive Veterinary Medicine, key Lab Project (Grant No. 2014KTSPT 037).

Compliance with ethical standards

This research was performed in compliance with the recommendations and guidelines stated by the animal care committee of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University (BSU 2017).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life Science and EngineeringFoshan UniversityFoshanChina
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceKafrelsheikh UniversityKafr el-SheikhEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineBeni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt
  4. 4.Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineMinia UniversityEl-MiniaEgypt
  5. 5.Department of Histology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineBeni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt
  6. 6.Department of Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineBeni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt
  7. 7.Department of pathology, Ontario Veterinary CollegeUniversity of GuelphOntarioCanada
  8. 8.Department of pathology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineBeni-Suef UniversityBeni-SuefEgypt

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