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Poult Sci. 1997 Jun;76(6):802-9.

Effect of betaine on the growth performance of chicks inoculated with mixed cultures of avian Eimeria species and on invasion and development of Eimeria tenella and Eimeria acervulina in vitro and in vivo.

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USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, Maryland 20705-2350, USA.

Erratum in

  • Poult Sci 1997 Nov;76(11):1623.


At 7 d postinoculation (DPI) with a mixed culture of avian Eimeria species, 21-d-old chicks maintained in batteries and floor pens on a diet containing 0.15% (3 lb/ton) betaine plus 66 ppm (60 g/ton) salinomycin were significantly heavier and had significantly lower feed conversion ratios and mortality than chicks fed diets containing 0.15% betaine or 66 ppm salinomycin alone, or the control diet. At 31 DPI, when the chicks were 45 d old, the differences between the diet groups were not as great as at 7 DPI. In vitro, except at high concentrations, betaine was nontoxic to sporozoites of Eimeria tenella or Eimeria acervulina and had little effect on their invasion and development in cultured cells. In vivo, invasion by E. tenella and E. acervulina sporozoites was significantly reduced in all chicks fed diets containing betaine or salinomycin compared with that in control chicks. There was a significant interaction between betaine and salinomycin that impacted on invasion by both species. Overall development of E. tenella did not appear to be adversely affected by addition of betaine to diets containing salinomycin. Conversely, development of E. acervulina was reduced in chicks fed diets containing 0.075% (1.5 lb/ton) betaine plus 66 ppm salinomycin as compared with that in chicks fed salinomycin alone.

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