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Life cycle stages, specific organelles and invasion mechanisms of Eimeria species

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 November 2019

Alana Burrell
The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms AL9 7TA, UK Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, OxfordOX3 0BP, UK
Fiona M. Tomley
The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms AL9 7TA, UK
Sue Vaughan
Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, OxfordOX3 0BP, UK
Virginia Marugan-Hernandez
The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms AL9 7TA, UK
E-mail address:


Apicomplexans, including species of Eimeria, pose a real threat to the health and wellbeing of animals and humans. Eimeria parasites do not infect humans but cause an important economic impact on livestock, in particular on the poultry industry. Despite its high prevalence and financial costs, little is known about the cell biology of these ‘cosmopolitan’ parasites found all over the world. In this review, we discuss different aspects of the life cycle and stages of Eimeria species, focusing on cellular structures and organelles typical of the coccidian family as well as genus-specific features, complementing some ‘unknowns’ with what is described in the closely related coccidian Toxoplasma gondii.

Review Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

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