Coccidiosis situation in Nigeria
Coccidiosis is one of the most devastating diseases, with a substantial economic impact on the poultry industry. Several reports on the prevalence of avian coccidiosis have been documented in various states of Nigeria...
What is coccidiosis?
Coccidia infection or coccidiosis is a preponderant avian disease caused by a protozoan of the genus Eimeria in the gastrointestinal tract of birds. Although coccidiosis is a disease of animals in general, it is predominant in chickens, which are susceptible to about 11 species of this intestinal parasite.
As effects, it can cause poor performance, dehydration and diarrhea and in severe cases, even the death of the birds.
Poultry production in Nigeria
The poultry sector in Nigeria has expanded in recent years, although local production meets only 30% of the demand for chicken meat and eggs and there is a great potential for expansion.
A 2020 report reveals that Nigeria has the second largest chicken population in all of Africa, of approximately 180 million birds. Of these, 80 million are raised in extensive systems, 60 million in semi-intensive and 40 in intensive systems. Broilers account for 70% of the chicken population in Nigeria, while layers only 30%.
Annual production is estimated at 300 Mt of meat and 650 Mt of eggs per year and employs approximately 85 million Nigerians.
While agriculture in Nigeria accounts for 20% of GDP, poultry production is only 6-8% of annual GDP.
Coccidiosis in Nigeria
In Nigeria, the disease is caused by species such as Eimeria tenella, E. necatrix, E. bruneti, E. acervulina, E. mitis, and E. praecox. Although the two most pathogenic species in the country are E. tenella and E. necatrix, mixed infections are generally found, with two or three types of Eimeria.
The disease is spread from bird to bird by eating or drinking feed or water contaminated by faeces containing coccidia oocysts. Similarly, recent studies have highlighted the role of the common housefly in the mechanical spread of coccidia.
Coccidiosis in poultry is divided into cecal and intestinal. Cecal coccidiosis can cause bloody stools and anemia that is often followed by death. Intestinal coccidiosis is more of chronic nature.
Coccidia can also damage the immune system and make birds more vulnerable to other pathogens such as Clostridium, Salmonella and E. coli.
Economic impact of coccidiosis
Coccidiosis is one of the most devastating diseases, with a substantial economic impact on the poultry industry. Several reports on the prevalence of avian coccidiosis have been documented in various states of Nigeria.
A report produced in 2015 listed the prevalence of coccidiosis in 6 geographical areas in Nigeria and its economic consequences, recording an overall prevalence of coccidiosis of 52.9%.
Observing other data reported for 4 years in the same country, between 2015 and 2019, a significantly higher prevalence of coccidiosis was recorded during the wet season than in the dry season (55% and 35.5%). In general, in both seasons, layer farms had a significantly higher prevalence of coccidiosis than broiler farms.
The proliferation of parasites and the subsequent transmission of the disease is favored by the high humidity and warm temperatures characteristic of the Nigerian climate.
Losses associated with coccidiosis, both direct and indirect components, include: cost of control measures, production losses, and potential poultry health consequences due to resistance to chemoprophylaxis.
The global prevalence of birds infected with Eimeria has been estimated at more than 50% in countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America.
Measures to control and prevent coccidiosis
An outbreak of coccidiosis has a very high negative and economic impact on a poultry farm, as treatment alone cannot prevent economic losses.
In Nigeria, because poultry farming is less developed, the disease is more serious and can cause huge economic losses.
The most efficient measures to control coccidiosis are vaccination, prevention with anticoccidials and proper management.
Intestinal optimizer pronutrients are a natural tool that stimulates the local immune response of the intestine against coccidiosis. This natural solution does not generate resistance and is highly versatile, since it can be applied replacing coccidiostats in continuous and/or dual programs and as a support for vaccination. Furthermore, these products do not leave residues in meat or eggs, so they can be used in organic production.
Alquernat Zycox, is the natural additive developed by Biovet S.A. for the prevention and control of coccidiosis with a patented technology. Its mechanism of action and positive effect on immunity and productivity have been demonstrated in multiple in vivo and in vitro assays.
Alquernat Zycox contains intestinal optimizer pronutrients that stimulate the local immunity of the intestine, favoring the ability of the animal’s immune system to break the cycle of coccidia and prevent their multiplication. Zycox L (liquid) is recommended in rainy seasons and Zycox P (Premix) in dry seasons.
- Veterinary Research International | July-September, 2015 | Vol 3 | Issue 3 | Pages 35-45