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Egerton discovers herbal remedy preventing coccidiosis in 80% of poultry

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Egerton University researchers have developed a herbal remedy preventing Coccidiosis parasites in 80 per cent of free-range chickens helping control the rise in artificial drug resistance in poultry.

Coccidiosis is one of the most costly poultry diseases in Kenya causing over 50 per cent in losses for farmers. The use of prophylactic antibiotics– drugs given to prevent, rather than treat diseases– has led to the development of Coccidiosis drug resistance.

The drug which is made from aloe vera powder extract offers poultry farmers natural prevention against Coccidiosis without the risk of transmission of drug-resistant bacteria to humans.

According to the FAO antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals threatens the livelihoods of millions of subsistence livestock keepers. In just ten years 24 million people will be forced into extreme poverty as a result of AMR.

In Kenyan poultry keeping, up to 40 per cent of diseases have shown resistance to one or more artificial drugs. With over one-quarter of poultry in the country being affected by Coccidiosis, a herbal remedy for this disease will save the country’s poultry sector millions.

“We’ve seen increasing cases of drug-resistant parasites affecting poultry, which causes substantial economic losses for farmers. Our goal was to develop a solution that is both effective and safe for consumption,” said the program lead researcher Professor Charles Inyagwa to Agnes Murugi Mwangi the university’s communications & marketing manager.

The drug which can also be used to treat Roundworms will be given to chickens through water and has shown to reduce infection rates by 80.8%.

To make the Aloe Secundiflora Herbal Extract (ASHE), aloe is harvested by Baringo farmers, and the leaves are chopped to extract the gel.

This gel undergoes a freezing and drying process for 24 hours at -80°C and an additional 18-hour freeze in a vacuum chamber at Egerton’s Safe Food Reference Laboratory. This makes a fine powder, which is packaged into 30-gram containers for use.

Having demonstrated its effectiveness in combating Coccidiosis and Ascaris Professor Inyagwa and his team are now seeking the Kenya Bureau of Standards’ approval for sale to farmers. 

“We’ve worked hard to develop a product that meets the needs of our farmers. Our trials have shown that ASHE is effective, and we are confident it will be a game-changer once it hits the market,” he told the University’s press team.

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