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Aim: The main thrust of this research work was to assess the potentials of the extract from the stem bark of Combretum molle (identified through ethno-botanical survey) using an appropriate solvent(s) In vivo against coccidial protozoa in experimental animals.
Methodology: The stem bark of the plant (Combretum molle) was collected, washed and dried at room temperature. It was then chopped into smaller fragments and pulverized using a grinder. Cold extraction was performed using 70% methanol which was filtered after 24hrs and then dried using a rotary evaporator. Thirty-five (35), day-old broiler chicks were used. They were kept for acclimatisation period of 2 weeks in the research pen and fed with broilers starter and had unrestricted access to clean water ad-libitum. After the period of acclimatization, the birds were grouped into seven (7) with each group consisting of 5 birds. High standard of hygiene conditions was maintained throughout the course of the research work. Fresh faecal samples from the infected animals were collected. The infective dose of the culture (i.e 74,000 sporulated oocyst/ml) was administered orally using 1ml syringe. The treatment was carried out on three days interval in each group for 21 days (3 weeks). Birds on group 1, 2, 3 and 4 were administered 50 mg/kg bw, 100 mg/kg Bw, 150 mg/kg bw and 200 mg/kg bw C. molle extract respectively.
Results: C. molle stem bark extract at a dosage of 50 mg/kg bw, 100 mg/kg bw, 150 mg/kg bw and 200 mg/kg bw in the treatment of broiler chicks infected with Eimeria spp parasites shows reduction in the numbers of oocyst count in each group but the treatment of coccidiosis at a dose of 150 mg/kg bw and 200 mg/kg bw in broiler chicks prove to be more efficient. The assessment of haematological and serum biochemical parameters revealed that C. molle stem bark extract has no pathological effect on the experimental animals.
Conclusion: Stembark exract of C. molle could be employed/packaged as phytomedicine against Avian coccidiosis considering its efficacy against the infective oocyst and its potency as a prophylactic agent against the protozoa. Its non-toxicity to the experimental animals is also an added advantage that will further encourage its utilisation.