An examination of 2 strains of Eimeria acervulina var. mivati (since 1973 E. mivati has been regarded as a variant of E. acervulina) showed that previous confusion over the taxonomic status of E. mivati arose because the investigations were done using laboratory cultures of E. mivati which were contaminated with E. acervulina.
Electrophoretic analyses of enzymes, host specificity and cross-immunity tests have revealed that:
(1) The 1971 Houghton strain of E. acervulina var. mivati was a mixture of 2 parasites. (a) Passage of this strain in embryonating eggs resulted in a selection against that parasite previously characterized as E. acervulina. (b) The parasite which did reproduce in eggs did not immunize chickens against subsequent challenge with E. acervulina. This parasite is most likely E. mivati. (c) E. mivati recovered from eggs did, however, immunize chickens against challenge with a new field strain which was morphologically identical to E. mivati and characterized by the same electrophoretic forms of 2 enzymes.
(2) A strain of E. acervulina var. mivati from the USA was also a mixture of E. acervulina and E. mivati.