1Department of Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2Department of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicines and Animal Resources, King Faisal University, Hofuf, Saudi Arabia
This study was designed to compare the efficacy of a phytobiotic containing a mixture of essential oils of Oreganum aetheroleum and an antibiotic containing ciprofloxacin as an active principle for the treatment of experimental Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection in broiler chickens. Two-hundred-day-old broiler chickens were divided into 5 equal groups. The 1st group was neither challenged nor treated, but groups 2, 3, 4 and 5 were challenged with E. coli. The 2nd group was challenged with E. coli only, while the 3rd, 4th and 5th group were treated with phytobiotic, ciprofloxacin and phytobiotic and ciprofloxacin combinations, respectively. Results confirmed significant (P<0.05) improvement of productive performance parameters, reduction in signs, mortalities, post mortem lesions and bacterial re-isolation, enhancement in cell mediated and humoral immune responses, reduction in levels of liver and kidney function tests and increase in the total protein and globulin levels in challenged chickens treated with either essential oils or ciprofloxacin compared to challenged non treated chickens. Moreover, best significant (P<0.05) results in all measured parameters were detected in the group treated with the combination in comparison with those exposed to single treatments. In conclusion, a mixture of essential oils of Oreganum aetheroleum is more effective compared with ciprofloxacin in the treatment of E. coli in broiler chickens. However, a combined treatment of both could be a superior treatment.