Encyclopedia of Parasitology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Heinz Mehlhorn

Isospora suis

  • Heinz Mehlhorn
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-43978-4_3977


Greek: isos = identical; sporos = seed, capsule. Latin: sus = pig, boar.

Geographic Distributions/Epidemiology

Worldwide; in the case of piglets, eventually epidemics involve up to 80 % of the animals in a farm. Due to the short prepatent period of 5 days and the extremely quick sporulation of the oocysts within 15 h at high temperatures, a quick progress of the epidemic occurs in stables.

Morphology/Life Cycle

The oocysts (17–22 μm × 17–19 μm) appear colorless pale. The development (schizogony until formation of oocysts) occurs in the epithelial cells of the jejunum and ileum of pigs.

Symptoms of Disease

Catarrhalic enteritis (often with lysis of the epithelium layer) resulting in villous atrophy occurs within 9 days after infection. This all together results in a non-hemorrhagic diarrhea with subsequent reduced nutrient absorption, leading to weight loss and stunted growth. High general morbidity or even death of very young piglets may occur.


Microscopical evaluation of typical isosporan oocysts (17–22 μm × 17–19 μm) by the help of  concentration methods.


Oral uptake of fecally excreted oocysts after they had developed sporocysts.


Quick removement of feces from pig stables and cleaning floors with hot steam.

Incubation Period

3–5 days.

Prepatent Period

5–7 days.


7–16 days.


20 mg/kg bodyweight toltrazuril.

Further Reading

  1. Mundt HC et al (2007) Efficacy of various anticoccidials against experimental porcine neonatal isosporosis. Parasitol Res 100:401–411CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Stuart BP, Lindsay DS (1986) Coccidiosis in swine. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract 2:455–468CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Worlicek HL et al (2009) Porcine coccidiosis – investigations on the cellular immune response against Isospora suis. Parasitol Res 105:5151–5155Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Zoomorphologie, Zellbiologie und ParasitologieHeinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany