Thymol efficacy against coccidiosis in pigeon (Columba livia domestica)

Prev Vet Med. 2020 Mar:176:104914. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.104914. Epub 2020 Feb 5.


Investigation of thymol efficacy to control pigeon coccidiosis was performed using in-vitro and in-vivo studies. The in-vitro experiment was conducted by treatment of unsporulated oocysts of Eimeria species of pigeon by five concentrations (0.625-10%) from either thymol, eucalyptus essential oil or amprolium anticoccidial drug and incubation for 72 h. The in-vitro study revealed that thymol concentrations ≥1.25 % caused significant deformity on sporulated and unsporulated oocysts compared to the other two products. Eucalyptus oil was active at both 5 and 10 % concentrations on unsporulated oocysts but showed non-significant changes on sporulated ones at all tested concentration. Meanwhile, in-vivo testing of thymol was conducted using 45 squabs which were equally divided into three groups; untreated uninfected (UU) negative control, untreated infected (UI) positive control and thymol treated (TT). TT group received 40 mg/kg BWt thymol in feed for 15 days. At day five post thymol supplementation, the UI and TT groups were orally infected by 25 × 103sporulated oocysts of pigeon Eimeria labbeana. The in-vivo study showed that thymol minimized the adverse effect of Eimeria infection in pigeon as observed by less severity of clinical signs, low oocysts count and improvement of body weight when compared with untreated infected birds. In addition, the biochemical parameters including liver and kidney functions tests proved thymol safety in pigeon. Moreover, thymol showed excellent antioxidant activity that was estimated by significantly lower value of malondialdehyde in TT than UI groups. The histopathological findings of TT group showed intact intestinal villi with mild sloughed epithelium, degenerated coccidian developmental stages and massive infiltrations of mononuclear cells in lamina propria. In conclusion, thymol can be safely used to control pigeon coccidiosis as a natural effective compound.

Keywords: Antioxidant activity; Biochemical parameters; Eimeria; Pigeons; Thymol.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Antiparasitic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiparasitic Agents / metabolism*
  • Coccidiosis / prevention & control
  • Coccidiosis / veterinary*
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Egypt
  • Eimeria / drug effects*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Poultry Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Thymol / administration & dosage
  • Thymol / metabolism*


  • Antiparasitic Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Thymol