Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Eucoleus contortus Parasitism in Captive-Bred Valley Quail Callipepla californica (Shaw, 1798): Disease and Control

Eucoleus contortus-Parasitismus in Menschenobhut gezüchteter Schopfwachteln Callipepla californica (Shaw, 1798): Krankheit und Kontrolle
  • a Departamento de Patologia Veterinária, Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul - UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil
  • b Instituto Federal Catarinense de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia, Concórdia, Santa Catarina, Brasil
  • c Laboratório de Helmintoses. UFRGS, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil


After the introduction of an infected valley quail into a colony, Eucoleus contortus became a severe problem. Despite previous treatment with anthelmintics, four out of nine quails were affected and died due to disease complications. Major clinical signs were profuse oral mucous secretion, frequent swallowing movements, and whitish diarrhea. Main pathological findings included thickened and wrinkled crop walls, parasites deeply embedded in the stratified squamous epithelium, and diffuse mucosa hyperplasia. Keeping the remaining quails in a wire mesh-floored aviary under treatment with levamisole and applying management practices to the dirt floor aviaries (temporary depopulation, bedding exchange and liming) promoted the health and growth of the quail colony. Apparently, the anthelmintics given to these birds had little effect on the control of the disease. Regularly treatments decreased temporarily the egg counts, which increased again during periods (breeding season) in dirt floor aviaries, even after applying the aforementioned environmental measures. This paper highlights the importance of adopting appropriate health management practices to both prevent and control E. contortus infection in susceptible avian flocks housed in outdoor aviaries with dirt floor, often a necessary condition in bird conservation programs.


  • Bird management;
  • Aviary management;
  • Captive-bred valley quail;
  • E. contortus control;
  • Thickened crop wall
Corresponding author.