Quantitative characterization, classification and reconstruction of oocyst shapes of Eimeria species from cattle

C. Sommer

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    This study reports on morphological variability of Eimeria species, which may be given either by drawings or as quantitative data. The drawings may be used to facilitate identification by eye of 'unknown' Eimeria specimens, whereas quantitative data may serve as a reference set for identification by multivariate statistical techniques. The morphology of 810 Eimeria specimens was defined in binary (b/w) digital images by pixels of their oocyst outline. A Fourier transform of pixel positions yielded size and shape features. To classify coccidia, the quantitative data were employed in an agglomerative clustering by average linkage algorithm with equal weight assigned to size and shape. An inverse Fourier transform served to reconstruct oocyst outlines, i.e. outlines of average shape and size, from mean values of features in resulting clusters. Clusters were subsequently identified based on their average morphology by comparison with drawings of species in an earlier taxonomical work. Five hundred oocyst outlines were simulated for each cluster representing a species, and shape/size variability was presented in contour diagrams. Differences in species shapes, and correspondence in length and width, were seen after reconstruction by inverse Fourier transform and comparison with earlier studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-28
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


    • Eimeria
    • numerical taxonomy
    • classification
    • shape
    • image analysis
    • Fourier transform


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