High-resolution electrophoretic procedures for the identification of five Eimeria species from chickens, and detection of population variation Academic Article uri icon


  • To overcome limitations of conventional approaches for the identification of Eimeria species of chickens, we have established high resolution electrophoretic procedures using genetic markers in ribosomal DNA. The first and second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1 and ITS-2) regions of ribosomal DNA were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from genomic DNA samples representing five species of Eimeria (E. acervulina, E. brunetti, E. maxima, E. necatrix and E. tenella), denatured and then subjected to denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (D-PAGE) or single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis. Differences in D-PAGE profiles for both the ITS-1 and ITS-2 fragments (combined with an apparent lack of variation within individual species) enabled the unequivocal identification of the five species, and SSCP allowed the detection of population variation between some isolates representing E. acervulina, which remained undetected by D-PAGE. The establishment of these approaches has important implications for controlling the purity of laboratory lines of Eimeria, for diagnosis and for studying the epidemiology of coccidiosis.


  • Woods, WG
  • Richards, G
  • Whithear, KG
  • Anderson, GR
  • Jorgensen, WK
  • Gasser, RB

publication date

  • December 18, 2000