Sensitivity of Eimeria field isolates in the United States: responses of nicarbazin-containing anticoccidials

Poult Sci. 2008 Sep;87(9):1760-7. doi: 10.3382/ps.2008-00129.


A series of studies were conducted to assess the drug sensitivity of 26 coccidial field isolates to the anticoccidial effects of nicarbazin (NIC) and narasin + NIC (NAR + NIC). Isolates were collected from typical broiler farms in the United States from 2003 to 2006, propagated once in the absence of anticoccidial medication, and then used to inoculate broilers that were fed nonmedicated rations or those containing NIC 125 ppm or NAR + NIC 80 ppm. Results of these sensitivity trials indicated that 81% of these coccidial isolates were sensitive to the effects of NIC, but only 22% of these coccidia were controlled by NAR + NIC. Studies conducted to evaluate performance responses to these drugs demonstrated that birds fed NIC gained more weight and utilized feed more efficiently than those receiving NAR + NIC. The results of 2 floor pen tests, conducted to confirm the results of the above sensitivity trials, demonstrated that NIC provided a greater level of protection from coccidiosis than NAR + NIC. Lower lesion scores and improved performance were recorded for birds receiving NIC compared with NAR + NIC. Results of these studies revealed that changes in the susceptibility of Eimeria spp. to the activity of NAR + NIC are evident. These changes appear to be associated with the reduction in ionophore sensitivity that has been documented in most areas of the world.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Coccidiosis / epidemiology
  • Coccidiosis / parasitology
  • Coccidiosis / veterinary*
  • Coccidiostats / administration & dosage
  • Coccidiostats / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Eimeria / drug effects*
  • Nicarbazin / administration & dosage
  • Nicarbazin / pharmacology*
  • Pyrans / administration & dosage
  • Pyrans / pharmacology
  • Time
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Coccidiostats
  • Pyrans
  • Nicarbazin
  • narasin