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Coccidiosis Control Programs: their integration with vaccination for the control of the disease in chickens

Published: September 15, 2022
By: H. David Chapman / Emeritus University Professor, University of Arkansas

A survey of coccidiosis control programs currently undertaken in the USA indicates a decline in the use of ionophore antibiotics and an increase in the employment of certain older synthetic drugs and live coccidiosis vaccines. In this presentation, I consider the important role that drug combinations have played in the control of this disease and whether the sensitivity of Eimeria parasites to these drugs can be restored by vaccination.

Advantages that accrue from the use of drug combinations include a reduction in potential toxicity, a broadening of their spectrum of activity against different species of Eimeria, activity against different stages of the life cycle, non-interference with immunity development, and improved efficacy due to synergism between component drugs. Integration of management procedures involving rotation of drug combinations with vaccines that comprise drug-sensitive strains is desirable because this has been shown to result in a restoration of drug sensitivity. This could contribute to the sustainable control of coccidiosis.

Threats to the future use of the most widely used combinations, those that include ionophores, stem from the recent desire to eliminate antibiotics from poultry feeds.


Presented at the 7th International Conference on Poultry Intestinal Health, Cartagena, Colombia, 2022. For information on the next edition, click here.

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H. David Chapman
University of Arkansas (USA)
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