‘Let’s keep it up’: Maintaining the efficacy of Zoamix®
An interview with Jon Schaeffer, DVM, PhD, Senior Director, Technical Services, US Poultry, Zoetis
Q: Zoamix® (zoalene) Type A Medicated Article returned to the US market in 2014 after a 9-year hiatus due to an ingredient shortage. Today it’s among the top anticoccidials used in broiler production. What’s driving its comeback?
JS: Zoamix, which is indicated for the prevention and control of coccidiosis in broilers and turkeys, is eﬀective. In addition, its return to the market has corresponded with the increase in “no antibiotics ever” (NAE) systems, which can’t use ionophores.
Q: There are other in-feed anticoccidials that aren’t ionophores. Why Zoamix?
JS: Zoamix gives NAE producers another dependable tool for managing coccidiosis. Some theorize that Zoamix acts similarly to an ionophore by allowing some cycling of coccidia, which in turn stimulates immunity.1 Perhaps more important is that 9-year hiatus. Zoamix wasn’t overused. Overuse is what leads to reduced anticoccidial performance.
Q: Gangrenous dermatitis (GD) in conventional ﬂocks has been linked to ionophore use. Could this be driving the demand for Zoamix, which is not indicated for GD?
JS: It’s correct that some poultry companies have reported a greater incidence of GD in ﬂocks where ionophores have been used.2 Zoamix simply provides a way to manage coccidiosis without ionophores.
Q: Should Zoamix be used at a speciﬁc time of year?
JS: No, you can use Zoamix any time of year. However, feed programs vary across the industry. Producers who are more highly dependent on non-ionophore anticoccidials tend to use Zoamix during the warmer months whereas producers who use coccidiosis vaccines tend to use Zoamix more during the colder months.
Q: Should Zoamix be rotated to ensure good eﬃcacy?
JS: Rotation is a good idea with any medicated feed additive. Based on what we’ve seen in the ﬁeld, we recommend using Zoamix for no more than three consecutive production cycles to help preserve the eﬃcacy of this valuable anticoccidial.
Q: Are there any situations where you would not recommend Zoamix?
JS: We’ve seen Zoamix perform well in a variety of production systems. It performs best when used after a rotation that has reasonably controlled coccidiosis. It may not perform quite as well immediately in operations where a heavy coccidial challenge exists but, in my experience, as the rotation progresses and the coccidial challenge is brought under control, performance tends to improve.
Q: Do you have any other tips for successful use of Zoamix?
JS: I’d say be sure to rotate Zoamix after three cycles to keep the product fresh. We don’t have a lot of options for coccidiosis control. Right now, the poultry industry has a good thing going with Zoamix. Let’s keep it up.
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1 Reid W, et al. Coccidiosis susceptibility in layer ﬂock replacement programs. Poult Sci. 1968;47(3):892-899.
2 Shivaprasad HL. Gangrenous Dermatitis in Poultry. [Internet] Veterian Key. [cited August 7, 2019] Available from: https://veteriankey.com/gangrenous-dermatitis-in-poultry/.
TOOLBOX, Issue 15
Toolbox is a series of interviews with veterinarians and other technical specialists about their experiences managing antimicrobials, vaccines and other tools for poultry health. It is produced by the editors of Poultry Health Today on behalf of the US Poultry Business of Zoetis.
Posted on September 25, 2019