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‘Turkeys are suffering’ without good control of coccidiosis

Turkeys are suffering from coccidiosis due to a lack of available medications, according to Greg Mathis, PhD, Southern Poultry Research, Athens, Georgia.

Currently there are only five FDA-approved anticoccidials, and two of these are ionophores that can’t be used in flocks raised without antibiotics, he told Poultry Health Today.

He said, while feed medications were “still effective” the turkey industry “has never really had good coccidiosis control” and that vaccine performance remains inconsistent. The cycling of turkey coccidia is hard to determine because it doesn’t produce discernible lesions.

Leading causes of coccidiosis in turkeys are Eimeria adenoeides, E. gallopavonis and E. meleagrimitis. However, the vaccines leave out E. gallopavonis, which needs to be included since there is no cross-protection between species, Mathis explained.

Probiotics may be useful for managing turkey gut health in the absence of traditional medications. Almost every US broiler company has used probiotics, and although broilers and turkeys are not the same species, what’s been learned in broiler production is usually applicable to turkey production, he added.

In addition to probiotics, the turkey industry has explored the use of alternative therapies such as essential oils and saponins, Mathis said.

While he’s confident that the turkey industry will develop a better understanding about coccidiosis vaccination and alternative therapies over time, Mathis said there was little doubt that turkeys were suffering without dependable control measures and the increasing pressure to reduce antibiotic usage.




tags: , ,
  • Lack of medications, veterinarians hamper turkey industry

    The US turkey industry continues to be hampered by a lack of approved efficacious drugs, according to a 2017 survey. Since 2005, four medications have been withdrawn, leaving the industry without any recourse to treat colibacillosis, blackhead and other diseases.

  • Clostridial dermatitis: Why is it so prevalent in turkeys?

    Skin lesions in turkeys open the door to Clostridium infections and clostridial dermatitis, the most important disease in the turkey industry, according to a study by Kakambi Nagaraja, PhD, microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at the University of...

  • Planning anticoccidial rotation strategies: Consider the consequences

    Anticoccidial rotation strategies help reduce the health and economic impact of coccidiosis, while preserving the efficacy of the limited range of tools available for managing it.

  • Closing in on coccidiosis: How metagenomics can help

    Identifying coccidial species by metagenomics can help producers fine-tune their coccidiosis-control programs, said Ryan Snyder, a graduate student in the pathobiology department at the University of Guelph.

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