Addition of yucca extract and glutamine in the diet of chicks had a protective effect against coccidiosis

Gabriela M. Galli, Aleksandro S. Da Silva, Nathieli B. Bottari, Angelisa H. Biazus, Tiago Petrolli, João H. Reis, Vera M. Morsch, Maria Rosa C. Schetinger, Manoela M. Piva, Rafael A. Baggio, Ricardo E. Mendes, Marcel M. Boiago, Lenita M. Stefani, Gustavo Machado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Some challenge has been faced by farmers and among them are the decline of animal performance and mortality rate in the growth phase. One of the main causes of low performance is gastrointestinal problems, most of them caused by parasitic infections. Among the protozoa of major importance that affect the poultry in the first weeks of life, stands out the genus Eimeria, a parasite that causes intestinal malabsorption. The current study used 40 chicks, 1-day old, separated into four groups that received the same diet with different levels of yucca extract and glutamine supplementation. The animals were weighed at 10 and 15 days of age, where five chicks per group were used to evaluate the presence of oocysts, intestinal lesions, and biochemical variables. The addition of glutamine and yucca extract caused positive effect controlling coccidiosis, decreasing the presence of oocysts in both periods (Friedman = 37; p = 0.001); in addition, both served to protect the gut against the injury caused by the infection. Increased total protein values on day 15 (Friedman = 12; p < 0.001) in the control group due to increased levels of globulin (Friedman = 31; p = 0.02), exacerbating an inflammatory response against infection. At the same time, triglyceride levels (Friedman = 28.64; p < 0.001) and uric acid (Friedman = 28.64; p < 0.001) were lower in the control group compared to treated groups, which might be a consequence of malabsorption syndrome seen in cases of coccidiosis. In relation to the antioxidant enzymes, it was observed a reduction on SOD levels (Friedman = 13.51, p = 0.03) and CAT (Friedman = 13.65; p = 0.05) in the supplemented groups in relation to the control group at 15 days, due to lower parasitism and intestinal lesions. Based on the preliminary results, we conclude that the supplementation of glutamine and yucca extract had positive effects on the health and growth of broilers, with coccidiostatic action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Clinical Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Coccidiosis
  • Malabsorption
  • Poultry industry
  • Seric biochemistry
  • Supplementation


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