Coccidiosis in chickens is a Gut Health issue: Benefits of combining vaccines & probiotics (Part I)

When we talk about coccidiosis in chickens, we should not forget to mention gut health, as whatever provokes a disruption of gut balance can also influence this disease or the other way around. In view of this strict interconnection and taking into account the fact that optimal gut health represents the basis for the ever-increasing need to reduce antibiotic & anticoccidial use, it is easy to understand that nowadays the “Silver Bullet” would be to find the perfect combination between coccidiosis vaccines & feed additives intended to maintain gut balance, such as probiotics. This combination should guarantee the best coccidiosis prevention through vaccines, together with optimal gut health and competitive productive results.

Before evaluating whether the combination of vaccines for coccidiosis in chickens plus probiotics is beneficial from the intestinal health point of view, we had to investigate the possibility of administering EVALON® and HIPRACOX® vaccines, each together with a different probiotic, using Hipraspray®.

The main aim was that for an estimated period of 2 hours, the suspension of vaccine for coccidiosis in chickens should not show either lumps or deposits in the container that could impede correct vaccination. To determine whether the products were applied correctly together with the vaccines, an oocyst count was carried out from the sprays administered through the Hipraspray® nozzles.

The suspensions in the table above were prepared for the performance of the test.

The two vaccines for coccidiosis in chickens were prepared according to the SPC with their corresponding colouring agents and immunomodulator – Hipramune® T- in the case of EVALON®, with the addition of the corresponding quantity of probiotic to the vaccine suspension.

For the collection and analysis of the samples, each sample taken during the vaccination process was collected in triplicate from the nozzles, at the start of the process, at some point in the middle and at the end of the process. Then, an oocyst count/ml of the samples was carried out in a Fuchs-Rosenthal chamber. As previously mentioned, the process of administration of the vaccine suspension was carried out using the Hipraspray® device. For this, all the steps in the device set-up procedure were followed as well as cleaning and priming the device for each of the vaccine preparations.

Results and Discussion

One of the main concerns expressed before carrying out the test was to see how the vaccine suspension would appear once it was constituted with the probiotic. As shown in the picture below, the dilution of probiotic 1 with the EVALON® vaccine suspension is completely normal and does not alter the density or colour of it in any way. In addition to which, the mixture is completely homogenous.

Sampling in triplicate allowed a statistical analysis to be carried out of the results, showing that there were no statistically significant differences during the administration of the vaccine suspension over the period of time with PROBIOTIC 1 plus EVALON®.

As with the previous suspension, the aim was to observe the correct homogenization of the vaccine suspension when PROBIOTIC 2 was added to HIPRACOX®. As with EVALON®, the dilution of PROBIOTIC 2 with the HIPRACOX® vaccine suspension was correct, with neither density nor colour being affected. Below, we show the results of the samples taken in triplicate during the application of the vaccine suspension.

As with the previous administration, there were no significant differences during the application and administration of the vaccine suspension together with PROBIOTIC 2.

With this simple study, it can be concluded that the joint administration of the EVALON® and HIPRACOX®, vaccines for coccidiosis in chickens, together with probiotics is possible and feasible with an administration system such as Hipraspray®, the continuous administration of oocysts not being compromised throughout the vaccination process and there being no negative interference with the proper functioning of the device, as the nozzles do not become clogged or obstructed.