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Controlled Study to Determine the Efficacy of Loxostylis alata in the Treatment of Aspergillus in a Chicken Model

12 November 2012

Researchers in South Africa report that a crude extract of the leaves of Loxostylis alata (known as tarwood, wild pepper tree or teerhout) has potential as an antifungal agent to protect poultry against avian aspergillosis.

Due to intensive methods of farming, the poultry industry is burdened with losses from numerous infectious agents, according to Mohammed M. Suleiman of the University of Pretoria in South Africa and co-authors there and at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. Among these agents is the fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus, they report in their paper in BMC Veterinary Research.

In a preliminary study, the extracts of Loxostylis alata A. Spreng, ex Rchb. showed good activity in vitro against A. fumigatus with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 0.07mg per ml. For this study, a crude acetone extract of L. alata leaves was evaluated for its acute toxicity in a healthy chicken model and for efficacy in an infectious model of aspergillosis (A. fumigatus).

At a dose of 300mg per kg, the extract induced some toxicity characterised by decreased feed intake and weight loss. Consequently, 100 and 200mg per kg were used to ascertain efficacy in the infectious model.

The plant extract significantly reduced clinical disease in comparison to the control in a dose-dependent manner. The extract was as effective as the positive control, ketoconazole dosed at 60mg per kg.

The results indicate that a crude extract of L. alata leaves has potential as an antifungal agent to protect poultry against avian aspergillosis, concluded Suleiman and co-authors.


Suleiman M.M., N. Duncan, J.N. Eloff and V. Naidoo. 2012. A controlled study to determine the efficacy of Loxostylis alata (anacardiaceae) in the treatment of aspergillus in a chicken (Gallus domesticus) model in comparison to ketoconazole. BMC Veterinary Research. 8:210. doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-210

Further Reading

You can view the full report (as a provisional PDF) by clicking here.

Find out more information on aspergillosis in poultry by clicking here.

November 2012

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