Putting Ideas to the Test

Charles Broussad, Schering-Plough Animal Health

These days, as we head into another US presidential election year, it seems everyone "politicians, talk-show hosts, newspaper columnists and even the kid at the video store "has an opinion or theory about how to fix the problems of the world. It's good to see people thinking and sharing their views. But as we all know from experience, it's one thing to present an idea. Making it work is entirely another.>

Now I'm smart enough to realize that managing coccidiosis in poultry is a long way from balancing the budget, creating more jobs or bringing us lasting peace and security. Nevertheless, a recent experience I had evaluating long-term options for coccidiosis control underscored the value of presenting new ideas, putting them to the test and making them work in the real world.

Two years ago, Schering-Plough Animal Health launched Clinacox (diclazuril), a new-generation synthetic anticoccidial that was shown to be highly effective against the many wild and resistant strains of Eimeria in the field. Birds medicated with Clinacox also showed significant improvements in feed conversion "often a 5- point1 boost "while also yielding significant gains in energy efficiency.

Knowing that all in-feed anticoccidials can lose some punch with continuous usage, we strongly urged the poultry industry to use Clinacox judiciously "either for one cycle annually or in a shuttle program (starter or grower ration, but not both) in two sequential cycles.

Because Clinacox cleaned up the resistant Eimeria populations, we then recommended rotating to the liveoocyst vaccine, Coccivac-B, and using it two to three cycles. The theory was that Coccivac could start from a clean slate while also seeding houses with older, highly susceptible strains of Eimeria. This practice had already been proven with ionophores, but the jury was still out when it came to using Coccivac in a program with Clinacox. As Dr. Rick Phillips puts it in the trial report on page 4: "Despite the research and all the field reports in hand, we felt it was important to test our hypothesis in the field where the proverbial 'rubber meets the road'."

So that's just what we did. We took a theory or a good idea, put it to the test in real-world conditions and showed how these two important tools "Clinacox and Coccivac "could be used to develop a long-term, integrated approach to coccidiosis management. It's gratifying to read that one of the independent cooperators in the study, Greg Mathis, PhD, of Southern Poultry Research in Athens, Georgia, called the landmark trial "one of the most coccidiosis-significant studies" he's worked on in more than 20 years.

This latest field trial is, of course, another good example of the commitment that Schering-Plough Animal Health has made to the worldwide poultry industry. We'll continue to bring this expertise and sound science to the field through articles in CocciForum, as well as through presentations at industry meetings and our new series of Technical Service Bulletins. We can't do it alone, however. As I said before, it seems everyone has an opinion about how to fix the problems of the world, including coccidiosis in poultry. We hope that you'll continue sharing yours with us.

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