Assessment of the synergistic effects of Hibiscus sabdariffa calyx extract and anticoccidial drugs against Eimeria infections in broiler chicks.

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Microbiology, Kwara State University, Malete, Kwara State, Nigeria

2 Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria


Background: Coccidiosis, caused by Eimeria species, is a major disease affecting poultry industry causing economical loses. Anticoccidial drugs are commonly used to control coccidiosis; however, drug resistance and residual effects in poultry products necessitate alternative strategies. This study investigates the potential synergy of aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa calyces (AEHS) with selected anticoccidial drugs in the treatment of Eimeria-infected broiler chicks. Methods: Forty broiler chicks were obtained, raised for three weeks and divided into eight groups. Faecal samples were collected, and the birds were inoculated with Eimeria oocysts. Treatment regimens were administered for five days. Clinical signs were monitored, and faecal samples were analyzed for oocysts, and bacteria counts. Results: AEHS exhibited significant synergistic effects with all tested anticoccidial agents, with the most notable impact observed with diclazuril, resulting in the complete clearance of the initially high oocyst per gram (OPG) (2058.5±1314.51). Body condition improved in all medicated groups post-treatment, with a significant reduction in symptoms (p< 0.05). In terms of weight gain, significant differences (p< 0.05) were observed between treated groups and the untreated control. The highest weight gain was in the diclazuril with AEHS group, while the lowest was in the amprolium-only group. AEHS alone demonstrated moderate weight gain, suggesting its potential as a standalone anticoccidial treatment. Bacterial counts were also reduced effectively by AEHS in combination with anticoccidial drugs. Conclusion: This study demonstrated the potential synergistic effects of AEHS in mitigating Eimeria infections in broiler chicks. Further research is needed to explore underlying mechanisms and optimize the treatment regimens.


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