Prevalence of rabbit hepatic coccidiosis in north west of Iran



Hepatic coccidiosis is considered as a major problem in rabbits which mortality rate may go high as a result of
unhygienic maintenance with overcrowding. This study was aimed to determine abundance and pathologic
changes of hepatic coccidiosis in rabbits of northwestern Iran. A total of 320 rabbits (110 New Zealand, 110
Angora, and 100 Native) in different sex and age groups were randomly selected from rabbitories in
northwestern Iran. The rabbits were kept either individually in cages or in groups in floor pens. They
reproduced for research and instraction. Fecal samples were collected from cages and floor pens and subjected
to flotation techniques. The collected liver tissues fixed in 10% buffered formal saline, sectioned, and stained
with Hematoxyline and Eosin (H&E). Results indicated that infection rate with E. stiedae was 26.87%
(86/320). The prevalence of E. stiedae was significantly higher in weanling rabbits (5-8 months) (9.69%,
31/320) than other age groups. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of E. stiedae between
male and female rabbits. At necropsy, numerous and scattered white nodules about 0.1 to 0.5 cm in diameter
were observed on the liver surface. Histopathological lesions included hyperplasia of the bile duct epithelium
with different developmental stages of coccidian agents. Granuloma tissues encircle the bile duct with
infiltration of inflammatory cells. It was concluded that hepatic coccidiosis was common in Iranian rabbits of
the region and with proper management and strict hygine and sanitation can effectively control the rate of
infection in the rabbitories.