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Open access

Rajmund Sokół and Maria Michalczyk

Abstract

The aim of this study was to identify which Nosema species infect those Apis mellifera worker bees performing different functions in the colony. Samples were taken from different places inside and outside the hive, in the honey flow season. In February 2010, winter hive debris from 30 colonies was analyzed, and based on the microsporidian species identified by multiplex PCR. The following bee colonies (none of which displayed clinical symptoms of the disease) were selected for further analyses to determine the occurrence of microsporidian parasites: 1) colony A/C infected with Nosema apis and N. ceranae (mixed infection), 2) colony A infected with N. apis, 3) colony C - infected with N. ceranae, and 4) colony K - the control, which was free of infection. Between April and August, 20 nurse bees from frames of open brood, and 20 forager bees returning to the hive from pollen-collecting trips were randomly selected from each colony at 30-day intervals. The results of the study indicate that the microsporidian species is determined not only by the type of worker bee (sampling site), but also by the period (month) of the sample collection. Our findings also suggest that regardless of the type of initial infection, bees infected by different microsporidian species and bees free from infection can coexist in colonies.

Open access

R. Sokół, M. Gesek, M. Raś-Noryńska, M. Michalczyk and S. Koziatek

Abstract

The activity of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase, total protein, albumin and cholesterol levels were determined in the blood serum of Japanese quails infected with coccidia and treated with Baycox (active ingredient: toltrazuril). Lower levels of AST and ALT activity were noted in treated birds regardless of the applied Baycox dose. The biochemical changes observed in the blood serum of Japanese quails point to coccidia-induced damage of digestive system tissues despite an absence of pronounced clinical symptoms. Significantly lower levels of AST activity and higher levels of LDH activity in treated birds indicate that coccidiosis treatment with toltrazuril contributed to the regeneration of digestive system tissues. An insignificant increase in cholesterol levels was noted, whereas the other serum biochemical parameters remained within the reference ranges.

Open access

R. Sokół, M. Gesek, M. Raś-Noryńska and M. Michalczyk

Abstract

Coccidiosis is the most predominant parasitic disease affecting Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) in commercial farms. Coccidiosis as a subclinical infection is difficult to diagnose without parasitological examinations. Oocysts of two Eimeria species, E. bateri and E. tsunodai, were determined in the analysed quail flock. Infected birds were administered Baycox 2.5% at the dose of: group I - 7 mg toltrazuril/kg BW per day provided in drinking water (1.5 ml/0.5 l H2O) that was available 24 h for 2 days, group II - 14 mg/kg BW (3 ml/0.5 l H2O), and group III - 24.5 mg/kg BW (5 ml/0.5 l H2O); in groups II and III, the solutions were available 8 h/24 h for 2 days. After the first day of the treatment, the number of excreted oocysts (OPG - oocysts per gram) increased, a steady decrease in oocyst counts began on the second day of Baycox administration and lasted until a three-day period when no oocyst were determined in faecal samples. Regardless of the dose applied, toltrazuril (Baycox) completely eliminated E. bateri coccidia and led to a highly significant reduction in the number of E. tsunodai oocysts. The results suggest that the effectiveness of toltrazuril varies depending on coccidia species and developmental stages of the parasite. From the clinical point of view, the treatment applied significantly reduces the number of coccidia oocysts in commercial flocks of Japanese quails.

Open access

Maria Michalczyk, Rajmund Sokół and Sylwia Koziatek

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed an increase in the mortality of honey bees in many regions of the world. The observed decrease in the bee population results from a combination of factors, and microsporidian parasites Nosema apis and N. ceranae are among the main contributors. Those parasites cause a microsporidian infection that shortens the lifespan of bees and reduces the productivity of bee colonies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Nozevit, Api Herb and ApiX (acetylsalicylic acid + Artemisia absinthium L. extract) in the control of infections caused by Nosema spp. in a field experiment. Two groups of worker bees were evaluated - hive bees and forager bees returning to the hive. The effect of the analyzed therapies on the number of spores and the microsporidia species were analyzed by the hemocytometric method and duplex PCR. A statistical analysis revealed that the applied treatments had reduced the number of spores by 31.15% on average. In hive bees, Nosema spp. infection was most effectively reduced by Nozevit (67.85%) and ApiX (63.36%). Coinfections (N. ceranae and N. apis) were affirmed in all bee samples before treatments. However, after the treatments, single infection of N. apis and N. ceranae were detected. The tested treatments were more effective in the control of N. apis than N. ceranae.