Cochlosoma anatis

is a flagellated protozoan parasite classified in the Trichomonadidae family and is the causative agent of cochlosomiasis, an enteric disease of turkeys, waterfowl, and other wild birds. Cochlosomiasis symptoms largely consist of watery diarrhea, lethargic birds, depressed weight gain, and widespread flock morbidity causing flock nonuniformity. The known distribution of C. anatis is centered around areas of turkey production farms in the southeast United States, e.g., North Carolina, Missouri and Arkansas, but has been reported in other states and some other countries. Diagnosis is confirmed through examination of enteric mucosal scrapings using light microscopy. Following the withdrawal of approval of effective antiprotozoal medications for use in commercial animal production, cochlosomiasis has become a greater concern for commercial turkey industry professionals. Transmission of C. anatis occurs via the fecal-oral route, but the organism is fragile outside the host, suggesting the implication of a vector in the introduction of disease to susceptible farms. Research regarding C. anatis pathogenicity, transmission, and environmental involvement has been limited, creating a gap in cochlosomiasis knowledge. Future research is needed to further explore ways to prevent and treat cochlosomiasis, with needs centered on disease pathogenesis, transmission patterns, and prophylaxis and treatment methods.

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