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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 35(3):1997 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1997 Sep;35(3):181-187. English.
Published online Sep 20, 1997.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1997.35.3.181
Copyright © 1997 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
Effects of Cryptosporidium baileyi infection on the bursa of Fabricius in chickens
J K Rhee,*H C Kim and B K Park
Bio-Safety Research Institute, Chonbuk National University, Chonju 561-756, Korea.
Received June 09, 1997; Accepted August 25, 1997.


In order to clarify the effect of cryptosporidiosis on immune response, histopathological changes associated with experimentally occurring bursal cryptosporidiosis in chickens were chronologically observed as the first step. A total of 150 2-day-old chickens was each inoculated orally with a single dose of 5 × 105Cryptosporidium baileyi oocysts. The chickens showed a normal profile of oocyst shedding in droppings. The bursa indices throughout the experimental period indicated negligible reactions. Numerous cryptosporidia occurred in the microvillous border of bursal epithelium between days 4 and 16 postinoculation (PI). Appearance of the most mast cells was followed by a dramatic loss of the protozoa in the bursa of Fabricius (BF). The distribution of the coccidium coincided with heterophil infiltration in the epithelium and adjacent lamina propria. The histopathological lesion was marked diffuse chronic superficial purulent bursitis with heterophil infiltration in the epithelium and adjacent lamina propria and mucosal epithelial hyperplasia. These results suggest that the bursitis may induce immunosuppressive effect.


Figs. 1-8
Fig. 1. Light photomicrograph of a section of the BF from an uninfected 12-day-old chicken. The section showing epithelium composed of follicle-associated epithelium (FAE) and interfollicular surface epithelium (IFSE), and follicles including numerous lymphocytes. Fig. 2-8. Sequence of changes in the BF of chickens inoculated with C. baileyi. 2. Large number of strongly stained mast cells are found principally in interfollicular stroma (arrow) and lymphoid follicles (arrow head) (day 4). 3. Infection is very heavy, in fact there is a virtual monolayer of cryptosporidia (arrow) in the microvillous region. Irregular and shallow erosions of the epithelium are generated by invasion of cryptosporidia (day 8). 4. The epithelium and adjacent lamina propria infiltrated diffusely and heavily with heterophils. A core (arrow) of exudate composed of predominantly heterophils in bursal lumen (day 16). 5. Mild diminution of lymphocyte, follicular atrophy and enlargement of the lamina propria are present. The lamina propria is minimally infiltrated by inflammatory cells (day 20). 6. Atrophy of follicles and depletion of lymphocytes within follicles are visible, parasites are still numerous, and more heterophils are present, a characteristic feature of parasitized epithelium in BF (day 24). 7. Cryptosporidia disappeared, and the epithelium is markedly thickened compared with control BF (day 44). 8. Hyperplastic response of bursal epithelium can be seen, and the other findings are similar to those of control BF (day 56). Figures are of sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin except for Fig. 2 (toluidine blue) and Fig. 3 (PAS), and magnifications on of all the figures are × 420 exclusive of Fig. 5 (×210).


Table 1
The numbers of mast cells in bursa of Fabricius and bursa indices on chickens inoculated with cryptosporidium baileyi

Table 2
Histopathological changes of bursa of Fabricius in chickens inoculated with cryptosporidium baileyi

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