In vivo anti-coccidial efficacy of sainfoin against Eimeria spp in lambs

Abstract (oral presentation), 22nd international conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP), Calgary, Canada, August 8-13 (2009), Abstract book pp. 106:

1NAGREF-VRI, NAGREF Campus, Thermi, 57001, PO Box 60272 Thessaloniki, Greece2Institut fuer Parasitologie & Zoologie, Department fuer Pathobiologie, Veterinaermedizinische Universitaet Wien, Veterinaerplatz 1A, 1210 Wien, Austria3NAGREF- Asomati Agricultural Research Station, Amari, Crete, Greece

The prospect of exploiting the antiparasitic effects of plants that contain plant secondary metabolites in order to provide an alternative to chemical treatments in grazing livestock has stimulated research in this area. Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia) is a legume that contains a variety of such compounds as phenolic glucosides, flavonols, flavonol glycosides and condensed tannins. Several studies have investigated the effect of sainfoin against nematodes but information on coccidia remains scarce. The aim of this study was to screen the in vivo anticoccidial effect of sainfoin when fed as hay to naturally infected lambs. The trial took place on a farm where the presence of Eimeria among lambs was previously confirmed. Three groups of 12 lambs each were included assigned to either: group A (receiving sainfoin hay); group B (receiving lucerne hay and no further treatment) and group C (receiving lucerne hay and treated twice during the trial (week 1 and 5) with diclazuril at the recommended dose rate). The trial started at weaning of the animals and lasted for 2 months. During this period, at weekly intervals, faecal consistency scores and oocyst excretion (opg) were recorded. The results showed reductions in the mean opg number in group A compared to group B (i.e – 50.2%, - 47.7% and -60.3% 6, 7 and 8 weeks post weaning respectively). In contrast, oocyst excretion in group C increased significantly after both treatments being much higher at the end of the trial compared to group B (66.1%) possibly indicating that treatment obstructed host resistance