Alternative to Antibiotic Created to Combat a Major Poultry Disease

Thanks to Autumn Canaday of the Agricultural Research Service for this article. Researchers at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and US Biologic, Inc., have developed an oral solution to an antibiotic alternative that fights against poultry coccidiosis, a disease that costs the poultry industry $3.5B in annual losses worldwide. Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease that develops in an animal’s intestinal tract and can spread between animals via the ingestion of infected feces or tissue. According to a study published in the June issue of Frontiers in Veterinary Science, infected chickens  fed a probiotic that included cNK-2 did not experience the same weight loss as non-treated birds. The treated chickens also experienced improved gut health, less infectious bacteria in their feces, and a great reduction in the spread of disease. “This oral method will help greatly reduce the clinical impact of coccidiosis, lessen spread of the disease, and improve gut health in poultry,” said USDA-ARS Research Molecular Biologist Hyun Lillehoj. “This means that birds fed with cNK-2 will have an overall healthier gut and less disease.” The newly developed oral product is delivered in a probiot

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