The effects of essential oils in Cryptotop on coccidia
30 July 2021
Calf coccidiosis is a common health issue in calves from around 3 weeks old until 1 year of age. The disease is caused by protozoan parasites of the Eimeria genus. The disease is transmitted through oocysts that are found in the feces of the animals. If you want to know more about calf coccidiosis you can read our blog by clicking here. Resco created a complementary feed against coccidia in newborn calves in the form of 2 small boluses. With a growing demand for natural alternatives to traditional solutions, Resco created the boluses filled with essential oils. We will outline the effects of some of these oils in what follows.
Natural feed supplements such as essential oils are becoming more popular as alternatives in animal production. In the first place because the general public is demanding a greener supply chain, but also because of the limitations of traditional solutions such as bacterial resistance. Essential oils are very complex structures (in comparison to the usual single synthetic compounds) and it is this complexity that makes resistance to be less likely to occur. More and more research is showing the positive effect of essential oils on blood circulation, bacteria counts, digestion, stress, and other conditions in animal production.
The natural ingredients in Cryptotop
In line with the growing attention for safe and efficient alternatives, Resco is creating a range of phytotherapeutic boluses. Cryptotop contains (amongst others) essential oils from clove, cinnamon, and eucalyptus and extracts from garlic. In recent years more in vivo research is done on the effect of essential oils and plant extracts on coccidiosis in animals ranging from mice to cattle. Because of ethical reasons, however, very few studies are done on cattle.
Essential oil/plant extract
Garlic – Allicin
Garlic is known to have many benefits, including its antimicrobial activity. Moreover, garlic has been also reported effective against diverse parasites like Eimeria. A study on mice showed that the number of oocysts found in feces decreased by more than 40%, that garlic has an anti-inflammatory effect and that it has protective effects on the animal. Similar results were found in studies on broiler chickens and rabbits.
Clove – Eugenol
A 2021 Ukrainian (in vitro) study looked at the effect of 14 different essential oils on coccidiosis and found that Eugenol caused mortality of more than half of the partially sporulated oocyst after 72 hours of being exposed to the essential oil. A similar study in Morocco also concluded that clove oil is one of the most efficacious essential oils to decrease the number of oocysts, even at very low concentrations. Furthermore, three hours of contact with the oil was enough to reduce the number of oocysts by 70%. Lastly, they concluded that the most powerful essential oils reduced the number of oocysts more than two anticoccidial agents. Research on adult sheep confirmed this conclusion.
Cinnamon – Cinnamaldehyde
The Ukrainian study we mentioned under the paragraph of eugenol found an even better result of cinnamaldehyde on coccidiosis. The essential oils of cinnamon caused death to 100% of the oocysts of Eimeria Magna after 72 hours of exposure. A study with 84 Holstein dairy heifers showed that coccidia count per 150 g of feces reduced from 373 on week 4 to 12 on week 10.
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptol
Eucalyptol is another essential oil that supports the growing interest in natural alternatives. Eucalyptol reduces the number of oocysts in the intestines and helps improve production. A study of the effect of a mixture of essential oils including eucalyptol on 10 calves concludes that these herbs almost entirely prevented coccidial infection.
A study was done on 18 calves to check the effect of Cryptotop on the amounts of oocysts in feces, in comparison to the effect of two known coccidiostats. 9 calves received Cryptotop and 9 calves received the two coccidiostats. Results show that the calves that received the boluses control the disease as well as the calves that received the traditional coccidiostats. Furthermore, the group of calves that received Cryptotop gained on average 30 grams per day more than the control group.
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