The prevalence of coccidial infection in sheep and goats was examined in Heilongjiang Province, northeastern China between January 2007 and June 2009. A total of 508 faecal samples (309 from sheep and 199 from goats) were collected from eight sheep and goat rearing administrative regions. Oocysts in faecal samples were detected using a flotation technique, sporulated and identified to species based on morphological features of the sporulated oocysts. The overall prevalence of coccidial infection was 90.9% (462/508), with prevalence of 92.9% (287/309) for sheep and 87.9% (175/199) for goats. 13 species of Eimeria were identified, namely, E. bakuensis, E. faurei, E. parva, E. ahsata, E. crandallis, E. granulosa, E. intricata, E. pallida, E. christenseni, E. caprina, E. alijevi, E. apsheronica and E. arloingi. In sheep, the most common Eimeria species were E. ahsata (67.2%), E. parva (59.9%) and E. bakuensis (44.3%). In goats, the more prevalent species were E. christenseni (78.3%), E. alijevi (73.7%), E. caprina (62.3%) and E. arloingi (44.6%). Concurrent infection with two to eight species was common. However, no clinical symptoms were observed in the examined sheep and goats. The results of the present investigation have implications for the control of coccidial infections in sheep and goats in northeastern China.
- Coccidial infection
- Northeastern China