Coccidia study results

This forum is for people to discuss the issues specifically around having to deal with infectious diseases such as Adeno virus or Coccidia.

Coccidia study results

Postby monch » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:52 am


Hi guys,

Thankyou to all who took part in my prevalence study into coccidia in beardies. I've submitted my project and my supervisor in uni reckons it will go for publication in a journal so watch this space if interested-this will take some time if it goes ahead.

The basic findings of my study were that prevalence in captive beardies in the UK is 58% (I believe this to actually be artificially low as I didn't use a stain to view the coccidia and more positives may have turned up if I had). There were no correlations between infection and age, weight or number of beardies in a viv - this throws up a number of interesting thoughts about constant reinfection and poor long term immunity.

Although I did do counts with the study they weren't included in my analysis as many loads were uncountable. The interesting thing about this is that some people with relatively low counts submitted samples saying their beardie had signs of poor weight gain, diarrhoea etc and others submitted samples with uncountable counts they were so high with their beardie showing no clinical signs whatsoever. Counts ranged from several hundred coccidial oocysts per gram up to hundreds of thousands o.p.g so there are several orders of magnitude difference from the lightest faecal loads to the heaviest.

The main message is that counts aren't the be all and end all in beardie coccidial treatments. Lots of apparently healthy beardies had very high infection rates. There hasn't been a study into what numbers of coccidia are significant disease-wise in beardies yet so make sure your vet is treating clinical signs not numbers.

Thanks again to all those that took part.

Andrew Monchar BSc (Hons) Final Year BVetMed student
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Re: Coccidia study results

Postby Drache613 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:27 am

Hello Andrew,

Thanks for letting us know how the study went! That is great. I would definitely be interested in reading your article & study findings, etc, when it gets published.
I completely agree. Treatment should not always be given just based on a number. I tend to lean on the opinion that if a dragon is eating well, not losing weight, etc, that it is usually better to just leave them alone without treatment, but monitor them of course.
Immune systems plays a huge part in coccidia infections as well, with Adeno virus causing alot of the persistent & stubborn coccidia infections that are hard to get down.


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