Researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Research Institute of Life Science in Jinju, Republic of Korea studied the protective effects of Aloe vera-based diets in Eimeria maxima-infected broiler chickens.
Aloes have been widely used for a broad range of pharmacological activities, including parasitic problems. Avian coccidiosis is the most costly and wide-spread parasitic disease in the poultry industry, and has been mainly controlled by the use of chemotherapeutic agents. Due to the emergence of drug-resistant strains, alternative control strategies are needed.
Trial set up
In this study, the protective effects of Aloe vera-based diets were assessed in broiler chickens following oral infection with Eimeria maxima. Chickens were fed a regular diet supplemented with ground Aloe vera throughout the duration of the experiment beginning 2 days prior to infection with 1×10(4) sporulated oocysts of E. maxima.
Less oocyst shedding
No significant differences were found in body weight gain or loss between the Aloe vera-supplemented and unsupplemented groups with or without E. maxima infections. Fecal oocyst shedding decreased significantly (p<0.05) in all of the treatment groups that were supplemented with Aloe vera as compared to the unsupplemented group.
Fewer intestinal lesions
Furthermore, the Aloe vera-supplemented group showed significantly fewer intestinal lesions (p<0.05) than the unsupplemented group following infection. The findings of this study suggest that Aloe vera could be used an alternative treatment for controlling avian coccidiosis.
[Source: Experimental Parasitology]