Original Scientific Article
Biochemical and pathomorphological investigations on rabbits with experimentally induced hepatic eimeriosis
Joana P. Petrova,
Petar T. Iliev*,
Andrey I. Ivanov,
Vladimir S. Petrov,
Ismet I. Kalkanov,
Nikola N. Kostadinov,
Fabrizio Ceciliani,
Tiziana Vitiello,
Alessia Giordano,
Teodora M. Georgieva

Mac Vet Rev 2022; 45 (1): 53 - 59


Received: 23 September 2021

Received in revised form: 25 January 2022

Accepted: 31 January 2022

Available Online First: 15 February 2022

Published on: 15 March 2022

Correspondence: Petar T. Iliev, petyo_todorow@abv.bg


The present study aimed to evaluate the changes in concentrations of some biochemical parameters, as well as macro and microscopic alterations during Eimeria stiedae infection in rabbits. The experiment was performed using 12 threemonth- old healthy rabbits, randomly allocated into 2 equal groups: G1 (controls, uninfected animals) and G2 (rabbits infected with E. stiedae). Blood samples were collected at time zero (prior to the infection), 6th, 24th, and 48th hours, and also 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th days after the infection. After sampling, the blood was centrifuged, plasma was separated and frozen at -20 ºC until analyzed. Thawed plasma was used for the quantitative determination of haptoglobin (Hp), total protein (TP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total cholesterol (TC), total bilirubin (TBIL), urea, and creatinine (CREA). The results in infected rabbits revealed a significant increase in Hp, AST, ALT, GGT, TBIL, and TC levels, as well as a significant decrease in ALP and urea. A weak hyperproteinemia was also observed. There were no changes in CREA concentration. At the end of the clinical investigation, all rabbits were humanely euthanized and necropsied. The post-mortem examination of the infected group revealed hepatomegaly, multifocal yellowish nodules diffusely spread over the liver surface and in the parenchyma, considerably dilated bile ducts, and biliary hyperplasia. Given the results obtained from this experiment, it can be affirmed that hepatic eimeriosis in rabbits is a severe parasitic disease leading to significant disturbances of liver histology and resulting changes in the biochemical profile of infected rabbits.

Keywords: rabbits, hepatic eimeriosis, biochemical parameters, haptoglobin


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© 2022 Petrova J.P. This is an open-access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation Information

Macedonian Veterinary Review. Volume 45, Issue 1, Pages 53-59, e-ISSN 1857-7415, p-ISSN 1409-7621, DOI: 10.2478/macvetrev-2022-0013, 2022