Anticoccidial vaccine and an anticoccidial drug rotation program were compared to determine which program was more effective in producing coccidia populations sensitive of 1 ppm diclazuril. The study used an anticoccidial drug-sensitivity battery test (AST) to determine the baseline level of diclazuril sensitivity to field isolates of Eimeria spp. from seven broiler complexes that had used diclazuril. Based on percentage reduction in weight gain and lesion scores, 25% or fewer of the isolates were effectively controlled by diclazuril. Following the baseline sampling, four of the complexes switched to a nondiclazuril in-feed anticoccidial drug program and three of the complexes switched to a vaccination program for two broiler grow-out cycles as the sole coccidiosis-control program. This study demonstrated that the vaccine used (Coccivac-B®) contained anticoccidial drug-sensitive strains. Eimeria isolates were subsequently collected from the identical houses and diclazuril AST results were compared with the baseline AST results. Following the two grow-out cycles, sensitivity of the isolates to diclazuril from the four complexes that continued to use in-feed anticoccidial drugs remained essentially unchanged. The isolates from the three complexes that switched to the vaccination program demonstrated a marked increase in diclazuril sensitivity, with 60%–100% of the isolates from each complex effectively controlled by diclazuril. Vaccination with the anticoccidial drug-sensitive strains produced a measurable increase in the level of sensitivity to diclazuril.
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Vol. 50 • No. 3