Abstract

During October 2013, 112 fecal samples were collected from wild blue wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania, and examined for coccidians. Coccidia were present in 46% of samples, with wildebeest shedding 60 to 18,000 oocysts per gram feces (median, 300; mean, 1,236). Five species, including 4 new species, were identified. Oocysts of Eimeria gorgonis from 18% of samples were ellipsoidal, 23 × 18.4 μm, with a length/width (L/W) ratio of 1.3, oocyst wall 1–1.5 μm thick. Micropyle, oocyst residuum, and polar granule absent. Oocysts of Eimeria donaldi n. sp. from 34% of samples were spherical to oblong, 13.4 × 12.3 μm, L/W ratio 1.1, oocyst wall 1 μm thick. Micropyle, oocyst residuum, and polar granule absent. Oocysts of Eimeria nyumbu n. sp. were ellipsoidal, 30.8 × 22.1 μm, L/W 1.4, oocyst wall 2 μm thick. Large micropyle present, oocyst residuum and polar granule absent. Oocysts of Eimeria burchelli n. sp. in 16% of samples were 34.8 × 24.4 μm, L/W 1.4, oocyst wall 2–2.5 μm thick, with a brown, lightly stippled outer layer. Micropyle present, oocyst residuum and polar granule absent. Oocysts of Eimeria sokoine n. sp. in 5% of samples were 45.8 × 29 μm, L/W 1.6, oocyst wall 3–4 μm thick with a dark brown, very rough, stippled outer layer. Micropyle present, oocyst residuum and polar granule absent. There was no apparent cross transmission of coccidia found in blue wildebeest with those generally reported to infect domestic cattle.

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