Technical Consultations Report 2022 week 40

Review period: 03/10/2022 to 07/10/2022


  • Coccidiosis in broilers. Outbreaks disease: clinical signs and mortality. West Africa.

The wet season brings a higher incidence of coccidia. Coccidiosis is a disease caused by different species of Eimeria. These are intracellular parasites that affect the intestinal epithelium where they reproduce inside the enterocytes, causing severe bloody diarrhea, dehydration, anemia, prostration, and death. Transmission occurs when birds, animal feed, or litter are contaminated with Eimeria´s oocysts. Once the oocysts mature in the environment, a process that requires oxygen and humidity for 2 to 4 days, they are ingested by the birds, and reach different sections of the small and large intestines and cecum, depending on the Eimeria´s species present. There, they cause lesions that are visualized as petechiae, exudates, thickened intestines, or cecum with blood. Coccidiosis predisposes the appearance of Necrotic Enteritis, a disease caused by Clostridium perfringens, a common bacteria in the bird’s intestine. Its proliferation is easier as the chicken doesn´t have an intact epithelial barrier with local immune system conserved. The presentation of these two diseases hinders the diagnosis and considerably reduces the productive parameters. The use of coccidiostats is a common practice on farms, but controversial since they generate resistance and do not eliminate the pathogens. The use of intestinal optimizers, such as Alquernat Zycox, are an excellent option, since it contains natural pronutrients that stimulates the local immune system. It stops the reproductive cycle of coccidia and they can´t infect other cells and damage the mucosa. Alquernat Zycox can replace or complement the use of coccidiostats. It can be administered in the feed as powder or liquid. It doesn´t leave residues, so it doesn´t require a withdrawal period and doesn´t generate resistance.

  • Differences in the mechanism of action between Alquernat Zycox and coccidiostats in broilers.

Coccidiostats are substances that are used to control the coccidia infestation such as the one produced by Eimeria spp. Coccidiosis can manifest clinically signs like bloody diarrhea, anemia and dehydration, or subclinically, with a decrease in production parameters such as daily birds weight gain and birds’ final weight, which brings large economic losses.

The use of coccidiostats is being debated, and in several countries their use has been prohibited, since they generate resistance of Eimeria spp. and requires a withdrawal period before the products reach human consumption.

There are two groups of coccidiostats: Synthetic, such as nicarbazin, and ionophores, like monensin or maduramicin, obtained from the fermentation of different strains of bacteria such as Streptomyces spp. or Actinomadura spp. Both act by disturbing the cations passage across membranes cell, in favor of an electrical gradient and against a normal homeostatic gradient. Each of these compounds has a great affinity for one cation or another, and in the case of monensin it is for sodium. Nicarbizine acts by changing the parasite energy metabolism of the inhibiting the synthesis of folic acid. A combination of coccidiostats is generally used to broaden its spectrum of action.

A natural alternative, which doesn´t generate resistance and doesn´t need a withdrawal period, is Alquernat Zycox. Alquernat Zycox are pronutrients, coming from shikimic acid. Shikimic acid is a molecule from algae and plants. It is a precursor of the phenylalanine and tryptophan synthesis pathway. It can stimulate or regulate animal physiology without causing a pharmacological effect. Through gene stimulation, ribosome functionality is induced which increases protein synthesis. This increased synthesis of functional proteins causes more cellular activity, such as, the activation of antigen presenting cells which stimulate the intestinal local immunity. Therefore, the elimination of coccidia from the enterocytes is increased, stopping the pathogenic cycle. In this way, the productive parameters and the animal physiology are improved, enabling to reach the expected productivity standards.


  • Neonatal coccidiosis.

Porcine coccidiosis is a disease caused by coccidia, such as Cystoisospora suis (= Isospora suis), Eimeria spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. Worldwide distribution, it is the most frequent cause of diarrhea in 2-week-old piglets. Produces, at first, yellowish and pasty diarrhea followed by liquid diarrhea. Usually, pregnant sows are subclinically infested with coccidia, which then at the time of delivery, triggers a massive oocysts excretion into the environment and the piglets become infected by ingestion of them. The existence of concomitant disease, such as E. coli, can increase morbidity and mortality rate. The disease can be treated with good resolution, although production parameters such as piglet daily weight gain may be affected. The use of Alquernat Zycox promotes the activity of the intestine local immune system and when the coccidia access the digestive system, they are eliminated before they infect the enterocytes and damage the epithelial mucosa. Alquernat Zycox are natural pronutrients that act as intestinal optimizers and can replace or complete the use of coccidiostats.

  • Feed contaminated with Ustilaginal fungi.

The Ustilaginal fungi group are known as smuts because of the black, powdery appearance of their spore masses. They are important crops´ pathogens, like corn and rescue grass. There are about 1,100 species of smuts that attack more than 75 families of plants. It has a worldwide distribution with some endemic areas. The main fungus is Claviceps purpurea, known as Ergot. This fungus usually affects rye, wheat, oats, and others crops, cultivation. It produces three types of alkaloids, tetracyclic chemical structure derived from indole. One of the alkaloids, the mycotoxin ergotamine, affects animals who consume the contaminated feed. Consumed in small quantities over a period of time, it produces arterioles vasoconstriction and capillary endothelium damage. These effects produce dry gangrene. It mainly affects the extremities of the tail, ear, limbs, and especially the hind limbs. There is a slight increase in temperature, and alopecia. Limps are the first signs to appear. In the beginning there is inflammation with redness and swelling of the affected parts, then it continuous with coldness, dryness, numbness, and a bluish colour appears in the area where necrosis occurs due to dry gangrene. The symptoms disappear 48 hours after withdrawing the consumption of contaminated food. Animals that already have gangrenous areas usually have secondary infections with bacteria that complicate the diagnosis and treatment.

  • Serious diarrhea, fattening dysentery, maternity and gestation abortions, ulcers in suckling piglets. South America. Photos

Diarrhea in pork farms act as a warning of the health status of the herd. Depending on the phase of the production cycle, it can be diagnosed with clinical signs and necropsies, and sometimes with laboratory tests.

Swine Dysentery is caused by the bacterium Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. It causes a diarrheal process with mucus, blood, and necrotic material. It mainly affects pigs in the fattening stage. The contagion is faecal-oral, and subclinically ill pigs can be contagious. The animals present anorexia, weakness and lethargy. When outbreaks occur, there may be high mortality. Concomitant diseases can appear, as Lawsonia intracellularis, B. pilosicoli and Salmonella enteritidis. The treatment is carried out through antibiotics and the implementation of sanitary measures.

Abortions in the maternity stage can be due to infectious causes such as Porcine Parvovirus, Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome, Aujeszky’s Disease, Swine Circovirosis, Swine Fever (African and classical), Brucellosis, leptospirosis, mycotoxins, and various bacteria. Other causes could be carbon monoxide poisoning, environmental pollutants, heat stress and feed-borne stress due to nutritional imbalances and the presence of toxins.

The feed granulometry is a parameter which measure the feed size. In the case of lactating piglets, it should not be too thin, since they generate ulcers in the non-glandular part of the stomach. Particles of 500 to 600 microns are recommended for lactating piglets and sows.

  • Edema Disease in piglets

Edema disease is caused by Shiga-like toxin 2e or verotoxin, EAST1 and AINDA of toxigenic strains of Escherichia coli. E. Coli is a bacteria found as part of the porcine intestinal microbiota. Factors such as stress, animal diet changes, health management, can favor the overgrowth of the bacteria. Piglets are more susceptible as they do not have developed immunity yet from previous exposures. The bacteria adhere to the enterocytes and produce and release toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream where they are disseminated to all the animal organs. Systemic vascular damage is the first lesion and ataxia is the first visible sign. Other clinical manifestations are decreased liveliness and appetite, due to facial, eyelids and forehead edema, ears reddening and cyanotic flanks, one or more piglets may appear dead without obvious signs, and others may present nervous disorders with motor incoordination. Signs of blindness and uncertain gait may appear. Necropsy of dead piglets shows good nutritional status, with congestion areas on the skin, feed in stomach, generalized edema, and fluid-filled body cavities. Affected animals rarely recover.


  • Powdered milk substitute components for calves

The beginning in calves feeding modifies their productivity parameters evolution, the earlier they start on solid feeding, the more final weight gain they will have. But the introduction to solid feeds must be balanced by their nutritional requirements and supervised so that there are no imbalances that alter the digestive system and that end in metabolic diseases such as diarrhea. The use of milk substitutes or milk replacers are options that reduce the amount of milk that the calf consumes, which is the highest cost in calves feeding. A good milk substitute should be 53% carbohydrates, 25% protein, 15% fat, and 7% ash. The formulas have in their constitution 50 – 70% skim milk. Milk substitutes must be soluble in water, have a 90-95%, digestibility and an adequate content of essential amino acids. No adverse effect on growth and conversion rate must have. The most important nutrients are protein and energy sources, which are obtained from good quality raw materials and at adequate levels.

The main protein sources used come from milk industry by-product, soybeans by-products and fish by-product. Proteins can be classified as excellent, acceptable, and inferior, depending on the results obtained with their use, in terms of weight gain, incidence of diarrhea and other alterations.

The energy source available to the calf is lactose, which is found in concentrations close to 40% of total milk solids. Since fat is the component with the highest cost in the formulation of dairy substitutes, different sources of energy from carbohydrates have been tried without good results, because the calf is unable to efficiently metabolize starch, maltose, sucrose or dextrins due to lack of digestive enzymes. As it is not possible to include another source of carbohydrates in the substitutes, lactose is incorporated in very high concentrations, more than 46% of dry matter, which can lead to dietary origin diarrhea.

A dairy substitute will have a higher nutritional value while a higher fat proportion is included in its formulation. The ideal concentration is 18 – 22%. The formula most used in dairy substitutes preparation corresponds to a mix of animal origin fat: bovine tallow and lard, and vegetable oils: coconut, palm or soybean oil, usually in a 3 to 1 ratio. Generally, lactose provide in a dairy substitute are skim milk, whey and, to a lesser extent, the dry buttermilk. The energy of a milk substitute is determined by the lactose and fat percentage. These sources must be emulsified to achieve stabilization.


  • “Histopatología de ustilaginales (carbones) en poaceas de los géneros sorghum, bromus y glyceria”: Ing. Agr. (Esp.) Marta Mónica Astiz Gassó. Facultad de ciencias agrarias y forestales, Universidad nacional de la Plata.