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Avian Pathol. 2013;42(5):482-90. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2013.823476. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

Efficacy of early treatment with toltrazuril in prevention of coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis in chickens.

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a Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Centre for Infectious Diseases, Institute of Parasitology , University of Leipzig , Leipzig , Germany.

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In the present study, efficacy of the toltrazuril treatment for prevention of coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis was tested. Ninety-six 14-day-old commercial broiler chickens were caged and divided into eight groups (n=12), designated groups 1 to 8. Chickens of groups 1 to 6 were inoculated orally at 18 days of age with 25,000 oocysts of Eimeria tenella and 75,000 oocysts of Eimeria brunetti. At 22 days of age, chickens of groups 1 to 6 were infected with 10(9) colony-forming unit Clostridium perfringens. Chickens of group 1 were treated with 75 parts/10(6) toltrazuril in drinking water for 8 h on two consecutive days up to 12 h before Eimeria infection, while chickens of groups 2 to 5 were treated with the same dose of toltrazuril at 12 h, 36 h, 60 h and 84 h after Eimeria infection, respectively. The non-treated group 6 served as a positive control. Chickens in group 7 were treated with toltrazuril at 17 and 18 days of age, and those of group 8 remained uninfected and non-treated as a negative control. The feed conversion ratio was higher in the positive control compared with other groups. The mortality rates were 16.8% and 41.7% in the late toltrazuril-treated (at 84 h) and infected non-treated chickens, respectively. Lesions scores of necrotic enteritis or coccidiosis in infected, non-treated chickens were significantly more severe compared with negative controls (P<0.01) and late toltrazuril-treated (at 84 h) chickens (P<0.05). In conclusion, application of toltrazuril before Eimeria challenge protected chickens from coccidiosis and indirectly from successive necrotic enteritis caused by C. perfringens infection.

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