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Anticoccidial effects of Artemisia annua ethanolic extract: prevention, simultaneous challenge-medication, and treatment

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The effect of Artemisia annua ethanolic extract (AE) as a potential source of herbal anticoccidial activity was investigated on experimental coccidiosis in chicken. One hundred ninety-two one-day-old chicks were divided in to 8 groups (n = 24) including AE prevention group, AE-treated group, simultaneously challenged AE-medicated group, challenged-untreated group (positive control), unchallenged-untreated group (negative control), salinomycine prevention group, salinomycine-treated group, and simultaneously challenged salinomycine-medicated group, in a completely randomized design. Oral challenge carried out by a suspension containing a mixture of 200,000 oocysts Eimeria acervulina, 30,000 oocysts Eimeria necatrix, and 20,000 oocysts Eimeria tenella on day 21 of age. Weight gain in AE prevention group significantly increased compared to positive control group (p < 0.05). Unlike salinomycine prevention group, the food conversion ratio (FCR) of AE prevention group was not significantly higher than negative control. Oocyst per gram (OPG) in simultaneously challenged AE-medicated group had no significant difference, while for 38% of the days, in simultaneously challenged salinomycine-medicated group significantly decreased (p < 0.05). The food intake of AE-treated group had no significant difference with salinomycine-treated group (p > 0.05). In half of the days of OPGs sampling, AE-treated group was reduced significantly compared to positive control group (p < 0.05). Collectively, the in vivo study of anticoccidial effects of AE in the prevention section was more effective than the treatment section, while the treatment section was more effective than the simultaneous section. We concluded that AE has a potential value to use as an herbal medicine for preventive measure in chicken coccidiosis.

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The authors wish to express their gratitude to Ghodratollah Rezaei and Hosein Darvishian for their technical assistance, Sobhan Firouzi for providing oocysts, Medicinal Plant Research Center of Barij, Kashan, Iran, especially Dr. Alireza Hatami, for helping in the collection and extraction of A. annua., and Agriculture and Natural Resources Research Center of Qom, Qom, Iran, especially Dr. Majid Torabi Goudarzi, for his consultation in herbal medicine.

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Correspondence to Ahmadreza Fatemi.

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Fatemi, A., Asasi, K. & Razavi, S.M. Anticoccidial effects of Artemisia annua ethanolic extract: prevention, simultaneous challenge-medication, and treatment. Parasitol Res 116, 2581–2589 (2017).

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  • Artemisia annua
  • Ethanolic extract
  • Anticoccidial
  • Prevention