American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Exposure of Broiler Chickens to a Weak Electromagnetic Field Reduces the Impact of a Simulated, Commercial Eimeria Infection

M.A. Elmusharaf, J.J. Cuppen, H.N.A. Grooten, H.E. Mohamed, A. Alhaidary and A.C. Beynen

DOI : 10.3844/ajavsp.2010.65.70

American Journal of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 1

Pages 65-70

Abstract

Problem statement: In a previous study, the exposure of broiler chickens to a weak Electromagnetic Field (EMF) reduced the severity of a coccidiosis infection. The birds were infected by gavage into the crop which was not representative for the field situation. Approach: The possible anticoccidial activity of EMF was investigated in broiler chickens with a simulated, commercial coccidiosis infection. There was an uninfected and infected group not receiving further treatment. Another uninfected and infected group were subjected to EMF treatment. The infection was induced by adding to the litter a mixture of E. acervulina, E. maxima and E. tenella. EMF treatment lasted for 30 min day-1; the field strength within the cages was set to 5 μTesla rms. Results: Infection with Eimeria resulted in a transient reduction of growth performance in the control chickens. Exposure to EMF counteracted the effect of infection on growth performance. EMF treatment had no effect on oocyst shedding. In the infected birds exposed to EMF, the lesion scores related to the three Eimeria species were generally lower than in the infected controls. Due to cross-contamination, the uninfected birds also showed intestinal lesions, the severity being less than in the infected chickens. In the uninfected birds, EMF treatment also had reduced the severity of the lesions. Conclusion: In this study EMF exposure protected against coccidiosis in broiler chickens. Consequently, EMF was considered as a possible alternative to anticoccidial drugs.

Copyright

© 2010 M.A. Elmusharaf, J.J. Cuppen, H.N.A. Grooten, H.E. Mohamed, A. Alhaidary and A.C. Beynen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.