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Garlic and hepatic coccidiosis: prophylaxis or treatment?

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A study was conducted to investigate the protective and therapeutic effects of crude garlic (Allium sativum) against experimental infection with Eimeria stiedae in rabbits. Forty rabbits were divided into four groups of ten rabbits each: a healthy control group (HC); a challenged-garlic-protected group (CGP) which received a daily dose of 0.5 g/kg body weight (bwt) crude garlic for five successive days before challenge with E. stiedae; a challenged-garlic-treated group (CGT) which was treated with a daily dose of 0.5 g/kg bwt crude garlic for five successive days post-challenge; and an infected control group (IC). The challenge dose was 5 × 104 sporulated E. stiedae oocysts per rabbit. Mortality rate, body weight gain, feed conversion ratio and faecal oocyst count were evaluated throughout the experiment. At the end of the experiment, all rabbits were killed and histopathological examination was performed. No mortalities were recorded in the HC and CGP groups, whilst mortality was found to be 20% and 40% in the CGT and IC groups, respectively. CGP rabbits had better body weight gain and lower numbers of oocysts than those in the CGT and IC groups. Hepatic lesions were less severe in the CGP group than in the CGT and IC groups. These results showed that oral administration of crude garlic ameliorated the adverse impacts of hepatic coccidiosis on rabbits when used as a prophylactic, but garlic was less effective as a therapeutic.

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The authors would like to thank Dr. Mahmoud M. A. Elmaghraby, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Alexandria University for performing the statistical analysis.

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Correspondence to Somaia S. Abu-Akkada.

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Abu-Akkada, S.S., Oda, S.S. & Ashmawy, K.I. Garlic and hepatic coccidiosis: prophylaxis or treatment?. Trop Anim Health Prod 42, 1337–1343 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-010-9590-6

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  • Eimeria stiedae
  • Hepatic coccidiosis
  • Garlic
  • Allium sativum
  • Rabbits