Coinfection of the gut with protozoal and metazoal parasites in broiler and laying chickens

Mohamed R. Mousa, Marwa M. Attia, Heba M. Salem, Nawal Al-Hoshani, Hasnaa Thabit, Marwa A. Ibrahim, Haleema H. Albohiri, Samar Ahmad Khan, Mohamed T. El-Saadony, Khaled A. El-Tarabily, Mohamed A. El-Saied

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chicken business faces substantial economic losses due to the risk of parasitic coinfection. Because the current study aimed to investigate enteric parasitic coinfections problems among the suspected examined chicken farms, samples were collected during the field investigation from suspected freshly dead birds, clinically diseased, apparently healthy, and litter samples for further laboratory parasitological, histopathological, and immunological examinations. Variable mortalities with various clinical indicators, such as ruffled feathers, weight loss, diarrhea of various colors, and a decline in egg production, occurred on the farms under investigation. In addition, the treatment protocols of each of the farms that were evaluated were documented and the m-RNA levels of some cytokines and apoptotic genes among the infected poultry have been assessed. The prevalence rate of parasitic coinfection in the current study was found to be 8/120 (6.66%). Parasitological analysis of the samples revealed that they belonged to distinct species of Eimeria, cestodes, and Ascaridia galli. When deposited, A. galli eggs were nonembryonated and ellipsoidal, but cestodes eggs possessed a thin, translucent membrane that was subspherical. Eimeria spp. oocysts in layer chickens were identified as Eimeria acervulina and Eimeria maxima in broiler chickens. Our findings proved that coinfection significantly upregulated the IL-1β, BAX, and Cas-3 genes. Conversely, the IL-10, BCL-2, and AKT mRNA levels were downregulated, indicating that nematode triggered apoptosis. The existence of parasite coinfection was verified by histological investigation of the various intestinal segments obtained from affected flocks. A. galli and cestodes obstructed the intestinal lumen, causing different histological alternations in the intestinal mucosa. Additionally, the lamina propria revealed different developmental stages of Eimeria spp. It was determined that parasite coinfection poses a significant risk to the poultry industry. It was recommended that stringent sanitary measures management methods, together with appropriate treatment and preventative procedures, be employed in order to resolve such issues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103227
JournalPoultry science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Cestode
  • coccidiosis
  • gene expression
  • histopathology
  • nematodes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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