Coccidiosis is probably the main parasitic disease affecting goat kids around the weaning period, leading to high economic losses in goat production due to deaths and delayed growth rates of infected animals. A total of 101 kids of 2–4 weeks of age, naturally infected with Eimeria spp., were divided into five groups and studies were conducted to analyse the effects of metaphylactic administration of diclazuril (Vecoxan®) on parasitological and productive parameters. Two different doses of diclazuril (1 and 2 mg/kg BW, p.o.) were given either at 3 weeks (single treatment) or at 3 and 5 weeks of life (double treatment). The faecal oocyst shedding and the body weights of the animals were monitored at 2-weeks intervals for 6 consecutive weeks. Treatments of goat kids with diclazuril were effective against the three most predominant Eimeria species recorded in this study (E. arloingi, E. ninakohlyakimovae and E. christenseni) and also against other minor species found in faecal examinations, including E. alijevi, E. caprina, E. jolchijevi, E. caprovina, E. hirci and E. aspheronica). In consequence, OPG values lower than 1 × 103 were detected in 90 to 100% of the animals up to 15–20 days post-treatment depending on the treatment regimen. Even a single dose of 1 mg/kg BW p.o. resulted in an increase of growth rates in treated animals and therefore should be considered as a control strategy in farms precluding coccidian infections, whilst double and multiple dose treatments could be the recommendation for environments heavily contaminated with Eimeria oocysts. In relation to the OPG reduction and increased growth rates, the severity of the clinical signs (i.e., diarrhoea) was ameliorated in treated animals during the course of infection compared to that of non-treated or control kids. The precise timing of treatment appears crucial in order to prevent severe clinical coccidiosis and thereby enabling the adequate development of protective immune response against Eimeria challenge infections.
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This study has been supported by Steve Laboratories and funding derived from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICIN) and the ACIISI (Agencia Canaria de Investigación, Innovación y Socidad de la Información). We also thank the goat farmers and Mr. Andrés Guedes González for his veterinary assistance during this reference field study. All experiments included in the present study comply with the current laws of the Spanish government.
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Ruiz, A., Guedes, A.C., Muñoz, M.C. et al. Control strategies using diclazuril against coccidiosis in goat kids. Parasitol Res 110, 2131–2136 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-011-2746-0
- Sampling Time Point
- Eimeria Species
- Coccidian Infection