Coccidiosis in poultry: challenges for the industry

Coccidiosis in poultry is one of the diseases that probably cause most damage in the broiler rearing industry. It is not a case of producing high mortality within flocks but a subclinical process affecting economic performance, greater use of antibiotics and a loss of environmental farm conditions that will probably affect animal welfare.

Eimeria-praecox-in-the-duodenum

E. praecox in the duodenum: A type of coccidiosis that is not clinical but causes a decrease in growth and feed conversion.

Coccidiosis in poultry has become a truly complex disease that is not only an intestinal disease but also involves other issues that affect global production. In the past, coccidiosis was diagnosed as a clinical disease –even by the farmers- with coccidiosis caused by Eimeria tenella being the most simple example of this disease.

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Coccidiosis in chickens: It’s time for vaccination

Coccidiosis in chickens is one of the more common and widespread diseases. Since the beginning of the industrial production of broilers, veterinarians and farmers have been trying to control this costly parasite.

 

The annual cost is believed to be around $1.5 billion/year. The cost of coccidiosis in chickens is based on direct production losses and indirect costs through the application of control measures.

In the past, the fight against the different Eimeria species was through the use of several molecules in the food. The first chemicals used against coccidiosis in chickens were introduced in the 1950’s. It soon became clear that there were some efficacy problems with these molecules, in the sense that the Eimeria spp. present on the farms could develop resistance against them after they were used consecutively a couple of times on the same farm.

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