Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Poultry Science (MS)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


B.M. Hargis

Committee Member

Tellez-Isaiaas, Guillermo

Second Committee Member

Graham, Danielle

Third Committee Member

Cardenas, Juan David Latorre


Broiler chickens, Chlorhexidine, Eimeria maxima, Potassium dichromate


Eimeria species oocysts cause coccidiosis, one of the costliest diseases in the poultry industry. Coccidiosis infections cause significant economic losses due to reduced performance in chickens and turkeys. The objective of this thesis was to determine fecal bacterial recovery from chlorhexidine (CHX) salt suspensions containing Eimeria maxima M6 oocysts and evaluate the effect of CHX salts on oocysts during long-term cold storage. For bacterial recovery experiments, CHX digluconate and CHX gluconate were tested at different concentrations on poultry fecal slurries during oocyst shedding. Eimeria maxima M6 oocysts were evaluated in CHX salt suspensions to test the effect on oocyst degradation and sporulation. Chickens were challenged with oocysts stored in CHX salts for five months at 4°C in order to test the effect of CHX salts on Eimeria viability during storage as an alternative to potassium dichromate (PDC). PDC is a chemical commonly used to store oocysts. PDC can effectively control aerobic and facultative anaerobic microbes that compete with oocysts for oxygen in the storage suspension. PDC, however, is dangerous for personnel utilizing it and the environment. A safer alternative, therefore, should be sought. Chapter 1 consists of a brief summary of this thesis. Chapter 2 consists of a literature review about PDC, CHX salts, and Eimeria, including the physiology, life cycle, anticoccidials and vaccination methods. Chapter 3 consists of research conducted, including bacterial recovery, oocyst degradation, oocyst sporulation, and oocyst infectivity from CHX salt assays.