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Use of Live Oocyst Vaccine in the Control of Turkey Coccidiosis

23 June 2014

Live oocyst vaccination can be used effectively as a preventive against avian coccidiosis in commercially reared turkeys, concluded the scientists from their results of this experiment in Brazil.

An experiment was conducted by E. L. Milbradt of Universidade Estadual Paulista 'Júlio de Mesquita Filhoto' and co-authors there and at Universidade Federal da Grande Dourados to determine the effects of different coccidiosis prevention programmes on the performance and intestinal morphology of commercial turkeys.

In their paper in the current issue of Journal of Applied Poultry Research, they explain that they distributed 315 day-old female commercial cross turkey poults (British United Turkeys, BUT Big 9) into three treatments with five replicates of 21 birds each.

Three programmes were evaluated from one ot 70 days of age:

  • Programme 1 had no anticoccidial drug and no vaccination against coccidiosis
  • Programme 2 had an anticoccidial drug (maduramycin 1%, 5ppm) and
  • Programme 3 had a vaccination (commercial vaccine, four species of Eimeria).

All the groups were challenged with a dose of oocysts sporulated (20,000 per bird) of two species of Eimeria at 21 days of age.

In the growing phase (days 0 to 28), bodyweight, bodyweight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) were significantly greater in treated groups than in the control group.

In the fattening phase, performance was not affected by treatment.

Treatments and coccidiosis challenge had no significant effects on intestinal villus height.

Milbradt and co-authors concluded that their observations support other reports that confirm live oocyst vaccination can be used effectively as a preventive against avian coccidiosis in commercially reared turkeys.


Milbradt E.L., A.A. Mendes, J.G. Ferreira, I. Almeida Paz, M.B. Martins, C. Sanfelice, B.C. Fernandes and A.S. Okamoto. 2104. Use of live oocyst vaccine in the control of turkey coccidiosis: Effect on performance and intestinal morphology. J Appl Poult Res. 23:204-211. doi: 10.3382/japr.2013-00877

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.
Find out more about coccidiosis in turkeys by clicking here.

June 2014

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