SUMMARY.

A series of studies was carried out to determine the anticoccidial effects of a product derived from plant material sourced from Quillaja saponaria and Yucca schidigera. These plants are known to contain high concentrations of triterpenoid and steroidal saponins, substances that are known to display an array of biological effects. Battery tests involving individual Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria maxima, and Eimeria tenella infections and graded levels of a quillaja/yucca combination (QY) (0, 200, 250, and 300 ppm) were conducted. Body weight gain, coccidial lesion scores, and total oocysts per gram of feces (OPG) were used to evaluate anticoccidial effects. In addition, three floor pen trials evaluated the effects of 250 ppm QY in the control coccidial infections. The first pen trial measured the effects of 250 ppm QY, both alone and in combination with 66 ppm salinomycin (Sal), in a 2 3 2 factorial treatment arrangement. Two additional 42-day pen studies assessed the effects 250 ppm QY in birds vaccinated for coccidiosis. Data from the three battery trials indicated that at doses of 250 ppm QY or more, weight gain was improved, E. acervulina and E. tenella lesion scores were reduced, and OPG was lowered. In general, OPG was reduced by about 50% across all species by 250 and 300 ppm QY. Results of the pen study indicated that 250 ppm QY and Sal, when fed individually, reduced OPG and lesion scores and improved final performance. However, when QY and Sal were administered concurrently, further significant reductions in OPG occurred. The final performance of broilers vaccinated for coccidiosis was also improved at 250 ppm QY, as was OPG at both 21 and 28 days. Thus, at QY doses of 250 ppm or more, anticoccidial activity was evident but lacked the potency exhibited by many standard anticoccidials. When combined with either Sal or a live coccidiosis vaccine, QY improved the anticoccidial effects and performance of these anticoccidial methods.

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