Coccidiosis in Malaysia and the Philippines
Coccidiosis is the most common intestinal parasitosis of commercial poultry worldwide. Coccidia multiplication in the gut mucosa hinders feed digestion and nutrient absorption and, in turn, impairs the feed conversion efficacy and growth rate.
Broiler industry is one of the most important industries that contribute to Malaysian and Philippine GDP. Broiler meat is one of the main sources of protein for the diets of these countries due to its affordability, lower fat content and the absence of cultural and religious hindrances.
Broiler meat production in 2020 in Malaysia and the Philippines was of 1,790 and 1,252 thousand MT, respectively. Average annual poultry meat consumption was of 49.3 kg in Malaysia and of 13.7 kg in the Philippines.
Broiler meat production in Southeast Asia is expected to rise, following the increasing demand and consumption, and the industry of these countries has capability to fulfill the demand. However, there are some challenges that broiler producers are facing that can affect the farm performance, like coccidiosis.
Coccidiosis is the most common intestinal parasitosis of commercial poultry worldwide. Coccidia multiplication in the gut mucosa hinders feed digestion and nutrient absorption and, in turn, impairs the feed conversion efficacy and growth rate. It can cause the death, cull, or delayed slaughter time of the bird, and may predispose them to other enteric diseases, like necrotic enteritis.
Thus, the economic cost of coccidiosis, either clinical or subclinical, due to the reduced market value of birds, the mortality, and the inversion in the preventive and therapeutic control, is a serious concern for the poultry industry in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Seven species of Eimeria have been reported in domestic fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus), each one with a specific site of development and lesions: E. acervulina, E. mitis, E, maxima, E. praecox, E. brunetti, E. necatrix, and E. tenella. Different studies conducted in the region revealed a high prevalence of E. tenella and E. maxima and their concomitant infestation. E. necatrix was the most frequent species in mixed infections.
Image 1. Coccidia cycle
Southeast Asia has a tropical climate (15ºC-35ºC) with high rainfall presence. High temperatures and humidity are two predisposing factors that exacerbate coccidiosis’ pathogenicity. In addition, there is a high prevalence of vectors in the region, such as Alphitobius. These are key points for coccidia survival and development and favor a high infective pressure in the farms located in that area.
Coccidiosis is a ubiquitous parasitosis which is almost impossible to eradicate due to its multiple strains and fast reproduction. Several are steps have been taken in Malaysia and the Philippines to control this disease, including improved housing and husbandry conditions, greater investment on technology, mechanization, and biosecurity. However, it is necessary to combine them with additional resources to control coccidiosis prevalence, particularly with the use of feed additives and vaccination. Anticoccidial drugs and vaccination used for this purpose have all pros and cons.
There are several approved anticoccidial drugs available and they remain a major tool for coccidiosis prevention and treatment. Salinomycin is the most used coccidiostat in Southeast Asia. Prolonged use of these drugs may cause the emergence of resistant strains, while there is no guarantee of new anticoccidial drugs will be developed.
Live and attenuated vaccines have been widely used in Southeast Asia, especially in adult animals, despite they may have some disadvantages, including the species-specific immunity, or the risk of vaccine failure, and some others linked to the type of vaccine. In the case of live vaccines: the problems with uniform application and handling requirements, vaccine reactions and the derived emergence of necrotic enteritis. In the case of attenuated vaccines, the slower development of immunity.
The pressure of consumers for drug-free birds, as well as the cons of traditional control methods, has promoted the interest in effective natural alternatives with minimal consequences to birds in Malaysia and the Philippines.
A natural tool: Pronutrients
There is a benchmark product, with a patented technology and experienced use in Southeast Asia, named Alquernat Zycox, which is a natural dietary supplement effective against all Eimeria strains, being a natural replacement of coccidiostats used in poultry production worldwide.
Alquernat Zycox is based on intestinal optimizer pronutrients, which are active molecules of plant origin with a metagenetic mechanism of action. It has been extensively researched and tested, and it is demonstrated to stimulate the immune development against coccidiosis, promoting the activation of cell-mediated immunity in the gut, key in the response of birds for coccidia elimination.
The safe nature of Alquernat Zycox, without residual accumulation nor development of resistances, allows it to be used in all phases of the poultry production: the product acts in the bird, not directly in the parasite. Alquernat Zycox improves the animals’ gut immune response against coccidia invasion. It does not require a withdrawal period and can be safely used right until the slaughter period.
In this way, Alquernat Zycox prevents the damage of the digestive mucosa. A better protection and status of the intestine will have a positive impact on performance: improved feed utilization and homogeneity of the flock and reduced incidence of diarrhea and cocci-related mortality. The control of coccidia and the better animal health and the optimized productivity spells better profit and higher return of the investment for poultry producers.
This solution is designed to be the sole protection against coccidiosis, although it is very versatile and can replace coccidiostats in shuttle or rotation programs and be a complement of vaccination.
Coccidiosis prevention in Malaysia and the Philippines has traditionally been based on coccidiostats, which are products that act directly on the parasite and are becoming obsolete because its loss of efficacy due to the development of resistances. Together with the growing concern on resistances, the change in regulations and consumer trends has increased the interest of poultry producers in natural solutions.
Biovet S.A. brings to the Malaysian and Philippine market a wide range of natural solutions intended to solve the main problems in poultry farms, among which Alquernat Zycox stands out in the field of coccidiosis prevention.
Alquernat Zycox can improve the five key parameters in coccidiosis control: enhance zootechnical results, reduce the diarrhea prevalence and the oocyst shedding and prevent macroscopic and microscopic gut lesions.
The safe nature of Alquernat Zycox, without residual accumulation nor development of resistances, and its benefits on performance and economic yield has made it a solution of interest, promoted over other traditional methods.
The great versatility of this unique natural solution allows it to be included easily in the anticoccidial program of the farm, and it can be used in different production systems (conventional, antibiotic-free, organic).
Alquernat Zycox has been developed by Biovet S.A. and it is available in powder and liquid presentations.