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Pronunciation: kok-sid'e-um, -e-a

Definition: Common name given to protozoan parasites (order Eucoccidiida) in which schizogony occurs within epithelial cells, generally in the intestine, but in some species in the bile ducts and kidney; the final product of sexual fusion and differentiation, the oocyst, which occurs within the host, generally passes to the soil in the feces, undergoes sporulation, and then acts as the infective form for another host. Coccidia are parasitic in most domestic and wild birds and mammals, occasionally in humans, and are highly host specific; most are nonpathogenic, but certain species rank among the most serious and economically important pathogens, causing coccidiosis in birds and mammals.

See: Isospora, Cryptosporidium

[Mod. L. dim. of G. kokkos, berry]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.