SUMMARY
  • Coccidiosis is an infection of the intestinal tract which is caused by Eimeria parasites.
  • It is a major issue for producers globally and has a serious impact on broiler health and performance resulting in a significant economic impact.
  • In this study (Eraky et al., 2018) Orego-Stim Liquid helped to support broiler health and performance during coccidial challenge.

 

BACKGROUND
  • Coccidiosis can have a severe impact on broiler health and is commonly associated with intestinal lesions, caecal haemorrhages and impaired liver and kidney function. This in turn can have a detrimental effect on performance, causing poor growth rates, inefficient feed utilisation and increased mortality.
  • Natural oregano essential oil (OEO) has many properties including antimicrobial, antioxidant and immunomodulatory functions. It also possesses anti-protozoal properties, with OEO active ingredients having been shown to have a direct impact on oocyst shedding (Southern Poultry Research Inc., 2018) and on increasing gut cell turnover (Tzora et al., 2016) to support healing and repair of the gut lining.
  • Orego-Stim Liquid is a high quality eubiotic composed of 100% natural OEO. It has been extensively researched and trialled and has been shown to successfully support coccidiosis management programmes.

 

TRIAL DESIGN

An independent study was conducted at the Agricultural Research Centre (Egypt) to assess the effect of Orego-Stim Liquid (OSL) on biological parameters of broiler chickens during coccidiosis challenge. 100 day-old male and female Cobb chicks of apparent good health were allocated to groups as per Table 1. Those infected with coccidiosis were inoculated intra-crop with 1×105 infective oocysts of field strain Eimeria acervulina at 8 days of age. Chicks were housed in cages and each group was allocated to a separate unit.

Table 1. Treatment groups and experimental design

 

No Eimeria Infection (n=50) Eimeria Infection (n=50)
Group 1 (n=25) Group 2 (n=25) Group 3 (n=25) Group 4 (n=25)
No coccidiosis infection and no additives in the drinking water. No coccidiosis infection and OSL supplemented in drinking water at 0.3 ml/L. (Twice the recommendation for general use in poultry). Coccidiosis infection and no additives in the drinking water. Coccidiosis infection and OSL supplemented in drinking water at 0.3 ml/L. (Twice the recommendation for general use in poultry).

 

RESULTS

Immune and inflammatory responses:

  • OSL supplementation in drinking water was shown to have significant beneficial effects on a number of immune and inflammatory markers in broilers challenged with Eimeria (not all data shown for brevity).
  • OSL supplementation significantly increased levels of interleukin-10 (IL-10) in both non-infected and infected groups (Fig. 1). Increased levels of IL-10 indicate better control of inflammation during Eimeria infection. This helps support growth and performance by reducing energy partitioning towards inflammatory responses.
  • OSL supplementation significantly increased interferon gamma (IFN-γ) levels in broilers infected with Eimeria (Fig. 2). Increased levels of IFN- γ may contribute towards better clearance of infection, the development of immunity against reinfection and assist in the development of resistance to Eimeria.

 

Figure 1. Relative gene expression of Interleukin-10 (IL-10) in the intestine of broilers. Different letters (a-d) indicate significant differences (p<0.05). Figure 2. Relative gene expression of Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in the intestine of broilers. Different letters (a-c) indicate significant differences (p<0.05).

Liver function:

  • Eimeria infected broilers supplemented with OSL had a significantly lower ALT (Fig. 3) and AST (Fig. 4) activity compared to infected control broilers.
  • This is indicative of reduced damage to hepatocytes in the liver (the cells within the liver), which are important for metabolic and immune function.

 

Figure 3. Average ALT levels in serum samples from broilers at 42 days of age. Different letters (a-b) indicate significant differences (p<0.05). Figure 4. Average AST levels in serum samples from broilers at 42 days of age. Different letters (a-c) indicate significant differences (p<0.05).

Kidney function:

  • Eimeria infected broilers supplemented with OSL had significantly lower levels of creatinine (Fig. 5) and uric acid (Fig. 6) compared to infected control broilers.
  • This is indicative of better kidney function which may reduce issues with wet droppings; a common clinical sign associated with coccidiosis and dehydration.

Figure 5. Average Creatinine levels in serum samples from broilers at 42 days of age. Different letters (a-c) indicate significant differences (p<0.05). Figure 6. Average Uric Acid levels in serum sample from broilers at 42 days of age. Different letters (a-c) indicate significant differences (p<0.05).

 

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