What does Hipraspray® give us that other devices already on the market do not (Part 1)?

HIPRA, the reference in Animal Health and prevention, positions itself as the only company able to develop a system of vaccine administration against the main Eimeria species with its own traceability, with the development and production of its own machines and software developed internally and entirely to create traceability and services for our customers.

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So Hipraspray® is the first device specially developed for the administration of the coccidia vaccines EVALON®, developed especially for long life-cycle birds, and HIPRACOX®, a vaccine developed mainly for short life-cycle birds, the formulation of which contains E. praecox, an Eimeria strain that sets it apart from its competitors.

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Hipraspray®: the development of an Eimeria vaccination device for poultry

HIPRA has overcome structural and strategic changes to develop its own vaccine administration medical devices to ensure the maximum efficacy and correct administration of its vaccines. Not only that, HIPRA’s innovation in vaccination also provides valuable information to support the decision-making process.

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Market situation and acceptance of new Eimeria vaccine administration devices for poultry.

In light of the desperate need for parameter optimisation in the livestock farming industry, HIPRA has emerged as leader in the traceability of vaccination processes.

In terms of prevention against diseases caused by Eimeria in chickens, Hipraspray® represents a turning point and a major leap forward in the use of vaccination devices. With this system, HIPRA offers a high performance vaccination device specifically designed to ensure maximum efficacy of its EVALON® and HIPRACOX® products. In short, HIPRA brings some added value to both the hatchery and the final producer.

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Antibiotic-free: what does it mean and what to deal with coccidiosis in Poultry? (Part II)

Depending on the type of production or government rules relating to antibiotic-free product labelling and trade, there will be restrictions on the use of certain products, especially for the treatment of infections or coccidiosis control. Sick flocks should be treated or sacrificed, in order to comply with welfare regulations.

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The OIE list contains the classification for antimicrobial agents of veterinary importance. Drugs for human consumption only are not in this list.

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Antibiotic free: what does it mean and what to deal with coccidiosis in Poultry? (Part I)

The meaning of antibiotic free products can cause some confusion, mainly because there is no official or international accepted description of what it is and how to classify different types of “antibiotic-free” products or production. Further complications come with anticoccidials for prevention of coccidiosis in poultry. In fact, in some countries they are classified as antimicrobials and as such they have to be withdrawn from “antibiotic-free” productions.

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Key points in the diagnosis of coccidiosis (Part 2: Lesion Scoring)

When decisions concerning the prevention or control of coccidiosis in poultry are based on the subjective scoring of macroscopic lesions, observed in the gut of a number of birds in a flock, several factors affecting the method should be considered. Proper selection of birds, a careful sampling procedure and sample handling along with an accurate judgment of lesions, are some of the most important methodological indicators for success in lesion scoring during a flock inspection.

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1. Selection of the right birds in the right number:

Before necropsy, it is essential to check the history of vaccinations, treatments (anticoccidials in particular) and previous diagnoses of the flock to be sampled. It has been shown that the existence of gut lesions is not necessarily accompanied by clinical signs of coccidiosis in poultry (Williams et al., 2000).

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Key points in the diagnosis of coccidiosis (Part 1: Identifying and counting oocysts)

The prerequisite for the control and treatment of coccidiosis in poultry is to correctly identify the presence of disease. Two of the most widely used methods for this purpose are the identification and enumeration of oocysts, and the identification of lesions in the intestine. Although egg identification and counting was described for decades, and has been used since then, it is important to consider some key aspects of the method to obtain valid results.

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1) Be familiar with the morphology of the parasite:

Have skills to identify the Eimeria species is the main element to be considered for the success of the morphometric study of field samples. For this, it is convenient to train yourself using pure parasite suspensions obtained in the laboratory.

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Is it possible to rear broilers without antibiotics? First step to achieve the goal: vaccination against coccidiosis in chickens

Prevention of coccidiosis in chickens with live vaccines means suspending the use of anticoccidials, but a reduction in other antibiotics has also been observed. Reduction in antibiotic use in animal production is currently one of the aims of the poultry industry. Antimicrobial resistance has become a global public health problem in humans and livestock and plans to reduce the use of antibiotics are being implemented by the authorities in most countries.

Obviously, chemicals and ionophores used to control coccidiosis should be considered as antibiotics because the parasites that are intended to be controlled with these products can develop resistance with prolonged use of these substances.

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Can Eimeria vaccines replace anticoccidials for the prevention of coccidiosis in poultry farming?

Coccidiosis – due to parasites of the genus Eimeria – is one of the most devastating diseases in poultry: a disease which has always being present in every poultry flock since the first chick appeared on the earth; in fact, Eimeria is an ever-present parasite that it is impossible to eradicate. For this reason, a coccidiosis prevention strategy needs to be put in place for each batch of chickens that arrives on a farm. Worldwide losses due to coccidiosis in poultry are estimated to be around US$1.5 billion/year.

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From the 1950s the use of some chemical molecules has been implemented to prevent the effects of the several Eimeria species that cause the disease. Whereas the use of vaccines is quite commune in breeders, only between 5 and 6% of broilers in the world are actually vaccinated instead of being treated with anticoccidials.

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Coccidiosis in chickens: the role of subclinical species of Eimeria

The fight against coccidiosis in chickens means the adoption of different strategies depending of the type of bird. If we are managing long life cycle birds, we have to pay special attention to clinical Eimeria species that are able to generate a real coccidiosis process with macroscopic lesions and symptoms that will reduce the healthy status of the birds and will compromise the development of immunity against other diseases or cause the death of the birds.

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However, when we are rearing standard, certified or even free-range broilers, the focus needs to be a different one. In these cases it will be difficult to find real clinical coccidiosis. Otherwise, the “silent” species – such as Eimeria praecox among others – will affect the intestinal mucosa and will reduce the capacity of a broiler for nutrient absorption. Dealing with subclinical species is essential in coccidiosis in chickens with a high growth rate.

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The Eimeria species responsible for coccidiosis in broiler chickens

The Eimeria species responsible for coccidiosis in the species Gallus gallus are: E. acervulina, E. maxima, E. mitis, E. praecox and E. tenella, which are responsible for the disease in short life-cycle poultry (broilers), and E. necatrix and E. brunetti, which, together with the above 5 species, are responsible for the occurrence of outbreaks in long life-cycle poultry (breeders and layers). They are all ubiquitous in their behaviour and vary in their pathogenicity.

There are seven Eimeria species that are responsible for avian coccidiosis, 5 of which cause the disease in broilers: E. acervulina, E. mitis, E. tenella, E. maxima and E. praecox.

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