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Functional Additives
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 5:02:34 PM
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Kemin: COZANTE for coccidiosis management in broiler production - a university trial

Tan Boon Fei, Kemin Animal Nutrition & Health, Asia Pacific

Coccidiosis – an avian disease afflicting poultry production worldwide
Coccidiosis is a major disease challenge in poultry production worldwide. It causes damage to the intestinal wall leading to intestinal lesions, resulting in impaired nutrient absorption and exposure to secondary infections. Coccidiosis is a principle predisposing factor for necrotic enteritis caused by pathogenic Clostridium perfringens (5-6). In subclinical coccidiosis it often causes weight loss of the infected birds whereas in severe clinical cases of coccidiosis, infected animals can exhibit hemorrhagic diarrhea and potentially sudden death. Both clinical and subclinical cases are a matter of importance to broiler growers as the outcome of coccidiosis infection can lead to considerable financial losses. Reports on the infection rate of coccidiosis in poultry in the Asia Pacific region is limited however prevention and management of this disease becomes a prime necessity.


Treatment and prevention of coccidiosis: what are the options?

Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan belonging to the Eimeria genera. At least seven different species of Eimeria have been found to cause disease in birds, with E. tenella and E. necatrix being the most pathogenic species in poultry. Each Eimeria species infects different segments of the intestinal tract. For example, Eimeria tenella infections are typically found in the ceca, whereas Eimeria necatrix infections are typically found in the proximal and middle portions of the small intestine. Each species causes characteristic lesions that can be easily diagnosed by a poultry veterinarian. Oocysts of Eimeria spp. can survive for a prolonged period outside of the host and can be easily spread horizontally through droppings and contaminated bedding, feed, water and farm equipment. Once ingested, Eimeria oocyst sporulates and undergo an excision stage whereby highly infectious sporozoites are released to infect epithelial cells of the intestine. Subsequent reproduction within the epithelial cells eventually leads to the rupture of the epithelial cells, releasing a new generation of Eimeria for the next cycle of infection.


Current control measures for coccidiosis include the use of anticoccidial drugs (e.g., ionophores and chemicals) and vaccination. Several anticoccidial drugs are currently available in the market for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes. However, the continuous use of these medications can lead to drug resistance of certain Eimeria species, hence rendering these anticoccidials ineffective for use as treatment and prevention. Plant-based anticoccidials are a solution to this problem. Research at Kemin involved screening of herbs yielding a plant extract that is potent at killing Eimeria spp. under both in vitro and in vivo conditions (1-3). The active compound was subsequently identified and purified. The identified bioactive compound contained in COZANTETM is at a concentration that is potent for maximal Eimeria killing when used within the recommended dose range of the product. COZANTETM is manufactured using a proprietary encapsulation technology, ensuring a progressive release of the bioactive compound along the gastrointestinal tract. Each species of Eimeria spp. infects specific sites of the intestine, and therefore the progressive release technology used in COZANTETM helps to ensure that the bioactive compounds are delivered to the targeted sites, thus achieving maximal killing of Eimeria spp. in vivo.


Animal trial
A trial was conducted by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Kasetsart University in Thailand to compare COZANTETM and four other anticoccidials on their effectiveness in controlling the detrimental effects of Eimeria infection in broiler chickens. The trial was conducted using 160 one-day-old broiler chicks fed a common basal diet containing the different treatments (Table 1). Each treatment group of 20 birds was housed in a single pen (no statistical analysis could be performed on these data). On day 8, all the birds in Groups 2 to 7 were infected orally with 104 sporulated oocysts. The oocysts were prepared using E. acervuline, E. maxima and E. tenella isolated from sick birds, and then propagated in vivo. Six days after the infection (day 14), all birds were euthanized for coccidial lesion examination. The number of live birds, feed consumption and live weight of each group was recorded before infection and at the end of the experiment.

Table 1  Experimental groups


Eight-day post inoculation of mixed Eimeria spp., all birds were necropsied to assess lesion scores, as indicators of Eimeria infection (Table 2). Non-challenged birds (positive control) had normal intestines with no sign of lesions, whereas challenged and non-treated birds (negative control) had the worst lesion scores (Table 2). Birds in all other treatment groups also developed coccidiosis post-infection and showed comparable lesion scores. CozanteTM at 150 ppm protects and in turn lessens the combined lesion score index at a level comparable to synthetic anticoccidial salinomycin, nicarbazin + narasin and diclazuril.


Table 2:  Effect of treatments on OPG and ACI



The comparative weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) for each treatment are graphed in Figure 1. The infected but un-treated birds exhibited compromised body weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared to the infected but treated groups of birds. Birds treated with COZANTETM showed better comparative weight gain and FCR compared with the challenged, un-treated birds, and also challenged birds but treated with Diclazuril and another competitor's plant-based product. These results indicate that COZANTETM at 150 ppm can be used to improve animal performance under challenged conditions and is numerically comparable or better at controlling the growth of Eimeria spp. compared to other synthetic ionophores and a plant-based anticoccidial.


Figure 1.  Comparative weight gain (expressed as a % relative the unchallenged, untreated control group) vs. FCR for each treatment group

Comparative weight gain (%) 


Managing coccidiosis on the farm can be challenging as the onset and aggravation of this disease can be influenced by multiple factors including farm environment, nutrition, as well as animal genetics (4-6). The use of a combination of different feed additive categories and farm management strategies is useful in the control and prevention of this disease. There is increasing interest in the use of “natural” alternatives to ionophores and chemical coccidiostats. COZANTETM offers an alternative for broiler growers seeking an effective replacement for currently available anticoccidials. COZANTETM is derived from plant material, thereby providing a “natural” option without the risk of chemical residues in chicken meat products. Consumers are increasingly demanding animal produce derived from “natural”, plant-based ingredients. The bioactive compound in COZANTETM is effective in killing sporozoites in the animal model, and the proprietary encapsulation technology used in the manufacture of COZANTETM facilitates the slow release of the bioactive molecule in vivo. Slow release technology helps to ensure the bioactive molecule is delivered to targeted sites where it acts on Eimeria spp.



    1.  WP-15-00046

    2.  WP-15-00042

    3.  WP-15-00040

    4.  Chapman, H. D. Milestones in avian coccidiosis research: A review. Poult. Sci. 93, 501–511 (2014).

    5.  Ola-Fadunsin, S. D. Investigations on the Occurrence and Associated Risk Factors of Avian Coccidiosis in Osun State, Southwestern Nigeria. J. Parasitol. Res. 2017, 1–6 (2017).

    6.  Shirzad, M. R. et al. Prevalence and risk factors for subclinical coccidiosis in broiler chicken farms in Mazandaran province, Iran. Trop. Anim. Health Prod. 43, 1601–1604 (2011).


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Article made possible through the contribution of Tan Boon Fei and Kemin Animal Nutrition & Health, Asia Pacific

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