Haematological Profile of Naturally Infected Haemoparasite Positive and Negative Japanese Quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica)
Commercial quail farming is economically viable and feasible because quails are resistant to various diseases. But despite this reported resistance, little is known about its resistance to haemoparasites. This study evaluates the haematological changes and haemoparasitic infection of commercially raised quails. Fifty-seven adult quails raised on deep litter were randomly selected for blood sampling in this study. Two milliliters of blood was collected aseptically for complete blood count while blood smears were used for the determination of haemoparasite morphological characteristics. Haemoproteus spp. Plasmodium gallinaceum, and Leucocytozoon spp. were identified in this study. 38 (67%) of the quails were positive for single or mixed infection, 29 (51%) were positive for single infection and 9(16%) for mixed infection. There was a (P<0.05) decrease in PCV, Hb, and RBC counts, and an increase in TWBC and eosinophil count in birds with haemoparasite as compared to the uninfected birds. There was (P<0.05) increase in total white blood cell and heterophil count in the plasmodium positive birds. Also, total white blood cell, heterophil, lymphocyte and eosinophil count were (P<0.05) increased in the Leucocytozoon positive birds. This increase was also observed in birds with mixed infection. The high incidence of haemoparasitic infection in apparently healthy quail, with significant haematological indices deviated from normal, is consistent with reports of the resistance of quail to various disease diseases which thus includes haemoparasitic infection.
Keywords: Blood smears; Complete Blood Count; Haemoparasites; Quail