In most Asian countries, anticoccidial drugs are still widely used against coccidiosis in chickens, both in broilers but surprisingly also in long life birds such as native/colour chickens, layers and on some breeder farms. In this post, we will describe the use of a live attenuated vaccine against coccidiosis in chickens on an open-house breeder farm during the dry season in the Philippines.
With the increasing problems of drug-resistance and pressure from consumers to ban drugs from animal feeds, there is a pressing need to move away from chemotherapeutic control towards vaccination against coccidiosis in chickens.
Furthermore, vaccines are the only products that are able to generate a good level of specific immunity from the very beginning.
Nowadays coccidiostats are still widely used in broilers for the prevention of coccidiosis in chickens. On the other hand, 100% coccidiosis vaccination is not questioned in the case of breeders. But, why should we reject it in the case of broilers?And more importantly, is 100% coccidiosis control possible in broilers by means of a vaccine?
Without any doubt, the industry does question 100% coccidiosis vaccination in broilers.
So far, this 100% vaccination has been limited to some niche productions, such as free-range, organic and native/coloured chickens in the case of Asian countries. These productions have adopted vaccination against coccidiosis in a natural way, without any problems or any changes in the way of production.
In the first part of this post, we saw that the joint administration of two vaccines for coccidiosis in chickens -EVALON® and HIPRACOX®- together with probiotics is feasible with a vaccination spray device that ensures accuracy and precision -Hipraspray® device-. In this second part, we assess the added protective effect of the synbiotic PoultryStar® in broilers vaccinated against coccidiosis with HIPRACOX® and challenged with a coccidia species mixture at day 15.
456 day-old male broilers of the ROSS 308 breed were housed for a 35-day grow-out in floor pens covered with wood shavings.
Ventilation and heating were regulated automatically. Pelleted feed and water were provided ad libitum.
The commercial feed contained neither antimicrobials nor anticoccidial additives. The animals were divided into 3 treatment groups of 152 animals with 8 replicates per group (see Table 1).
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®.
Some time ago, HIPRA took an important strategic decision: to develop and manufacture its own medical devices for the most correct administration of its vaccines. Coccidiosis in chickens is one of HIPRA’s strategic areas where it has recently launched a new and innovative coccidiosis vaccine, EVALON®. For this reason, the development of Hipraspray® was a natural consequence and is now a reality.
With this system, HIPRA offers a high performance vaccination device specifically designed to ensure maximum efficacy of its EVALON® and Hipracox® products. In addition, HIPRA brings benefit to both the hatchery and the final producer.
Big data is already being used to improve operational efficiency, and the ability to make informed decisions based on the very latest up-to-the-moment information is rapidly becoming the mainstream norm. Companies that fail to adapt do so at their own competitive and market risk, and this is also true for farm and hatchery management. But, what about its use for controlling coccidiosis in poultry by vaccination?
In the next post we present 2 different practical-use cases in which companies have successfully used analytics to deliver extraordinary results. In poultry farming we are at the beginning of the big data revolution. But much more needs to be done and taken into account for the future.
Nowadays there is an increasing demand for products that come from animals raised without antibiotics. The concerning thing about antibiotic resistance and the alarming situation with the superbug is that it increases the demand for these distinctive products. Problems such as coccidiosis in broilers and maintaining productive efficiency have to be taken into account.
In broiler production, coccidiosis can be controlled through the use of inonophores. Ionophores are antimicrobials and yet they are used in many countries with antibiotic reduction policies. The reason for this is that there are no public health concerns regarding this type of product. Despite this, it can (and it will) induce resistance in microbials, such as Eimeria, and will have an impact on animal health and production results as consequence.
The most significant use of antibiotics for broiler production is for the prevention of coccidiosis in poultry (ionophore coccidiostats are one type of antibiotic), and for the treatment or prevention of necrotic enteritis.
The world is connected and this connection generates millions and millions of data. We currently generate data every time we are online whether it’s by using our smartphones, GPS, social networks, when we buy things, when we go to work or when we communicate with each other, among other things.
It could be said that we leave tracks in the form of digital data due to almost every activity we carry out in our daily lives. It is predicted that by 2020, there will be 50 trillion devices connected to the Internet. So what about the poultry sector? The sector is also connected and it is becoming increasingly so. In industry, and particularly in the poultry farming industry, this digital transformation is also taking place.
For example, there are increasingly more devices being used in farms and hatcheries that have humidity sensors, sensors to regulate food, air quality control sensors, sensors for biosecurity, etc. Many of these devices are connected to the Internet and generate digital data on a daily basis. A clear example of this is with Hipraspray®, the vaccination device for COCCIDIOSIS AND RESPIRATORY DISEASES IN POULTRY which is connected to the Internet and provides 100% traceability through its HIPRAlink® software.
A series of press releases by prominent food chains and wholesalers demanding poultry that has been raised ‘without antibiotics’ has caused a quick paradigm shift in broiler production towards the reduction or elimination of antibiotics and the control of pathologies such as coccidiosis in poultry.
Poultry labelled ‘raised without antibiotics’ are distinctive products that more and more often are found in restaurants and supermarkets. However, making this type of product is a challenge for companies. One of the obstacles to raising chickens without antibiotics is coccidiosis in poultry.
A vaccine dose does not depend on body weight: the mechanism of action of vaccines is different to that of antibiotics and, as a result, the dose does not depend on the body weight of the target animal. When considering vaccines against coccidiosis in poultry, the dose is made up of a suspension of sporulated oocysts of different species of Eimeria.
In this suspension, the oocysts are not evenly distributed unless it is mixed thoroughly. If, in addition to this, the dose is reduced, the chance that the chicks will receive all the oocysts of every species decreases exponentially.
A vaccine does not have to be distributed throughout the body and the vaccine components (antigen and adjuvant) do not act directly on the pathogen. In general, the activity of vaccines starts with a rapid and local innate response depending on the route of administration.