Vaccination more effective than anticoccidial drugs for coccidiosis
Vaccination is a more effective way to control coccidiosis than drugs and may become less expensive in the future by making use of cross-protection between some Eimeria species, Herman Peek, of the University of Utrecht, says in his doctoral thesis.

Peek demonstrated that on Dutch, German and Spanish poultry farms, the Eimeria parasites that cause coccidiosis are often resistant to anticoccidial drugs.

In contrast, vaccination has proved to be a very effective strategy against coccidiosis; in addition, there is an association between vaccinating with parasites sensitive to anticoccidials and a reduction in the number of resistant parasites on farms, Peek says in his thesis, entitled “Resistance to anticoccidial drugs: alternative strategies to control coccidiosis in broilers.”

Investigation of ibuprofen, protease and a prebiotic as coccidiosis-control methods indicated they have limited anticoccidial effects and cannot be considered effective alternatives to current treatments, Peek says in his thesis, according to a report on

He believes that it may eventually be possible to produce coccidiosis vaccines that are less expensive and more effective if further research can demonstrate cross-protection among Eimeria species, enabling fewer species to be included in coccidiosis vaccines or the dosage to be reduced. Broilers vaccinated at 1 day of age with an E. acervulina vaccine line had complete protection against a challenge with E. acervulina but also partial crossprotection against E. tenella; there was no protection against E. maxima, however, he says.

Peek points out that coccdiosis remains common, resulting in significant economic losses due to reduced feed-conversion efficiency, slower growth, increased mortality and expenditures for prevention and treatment.

‘Bio-antibiotic’ growth promoters developed by Italian researchers

Using green algae, Italian scientists say they’ve developed a new strain of antibiotics that can be used as a growth promoter without the detrimental effects of products that are currently banned in some countries.

"We have discovered a green algae type that only grows in certain bays along the Italian coast that form the basis for a micro bio-chemical factory," says Philippa so Molto, of the Italian Istituto di Ricerche Scioccheze, Milan.

The investigator and his colleague, Dr. Antonio di Sapientone, inserted genes for production of several different therapeutic proteins that are currently made in yeast, bacteria and mammalian cells.

The resulting “bio-antibiotics” considerably improved feed conversion in broilers, and they do not induce resistance or end up in manure and the environment because they are completely broken down during digestion, according to a report on

In addition, the production system for the bio-antibiotics does not require expensive laboratory and fermentation equipment, since algae grow abundantly in the saline waters of the Mediterranean Sea and subsist on sunlight and carbon dioxide in the air, the investigators say.

The researchers don’t elaborate on the active ingredients or their manufacturing procedures because they have filed for registration and a patent.

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