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 which are known to display an array of biological effects. Battery tests involving individual Eimeria acervulina, E. maxima and E. tenella infections and graded levels of a quillaja/yucca (QY) combination (0, 200, 250 and 300 ppm) were conducted. These tests used randomized block designs where treatments were replicated 8 times using 8 birds/pen. Body weight gain, coccidial lesion scores and total oocyst production (OPG) were used to evaluate anticoccidial effects. In addition, three floor pen trials evaluated the effects of QY 250 ppm in the control coccidial infections. The first pen trial measured the effects of QY 250 ppm, both alone and in combination with salinomycin 66 ppm (Sal), in a 2 x 2 factorial treatment arrangement. Two additional 42-day pen studies assessed the effects QY 250 ppm in birds vaccinated for coccidiosis. All floor pen tests were conducted as randomized complete block designs, where treatments were replicated in 8 blocks involving 52 birds/pen. Data from the 3 battery trials indicated that at doses of QY 250 ppm or more, weight gain was improved, E. acervulina and E. tenella lesion scores were reduced, and OPG were lowered. In general, OPGs were reduced by about 50% across all species by QY 250 and 300 ppm. Results of the pen study indicated that QY 250 ppm and salinomycin, when fed individually, reduced OPGs and lesion scores and improved final performance. However, when QY and Sal were administered concurrently, further significant reductions in OPG occurred. Vaccine performance at 42 days was also improved by QY 250 ppm, as were OPGs 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 salinomycin or a live coccidiosis vaccine, QY improved the anticoccidial effects and performance of these anticoccidial methods.

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