Anticoccidial effects of Artemisia annua ethanolic extract:
prevention, simultaneous challenge-medication, and treatment
Seyed Mostafa Razavi
Received: 6 May 2017 /Accepted: 21 July 2017 /Published online: 1 August 2017
Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017
Abstract The effect of Artemisia annua ethanolic extract
(AE) as a potential source of herbal anticoccidial activity
was investigated on experimental coccidiosis in chicken.
One hundred ninety-two one-day-old chicks were divided in
to 8 groups (n = 24) including AE prevention group, AE-
treated group, simultaneously challenged AE-medicated
group, challenged-untreated group (positive control),
unchallenged-untreated group (negative control),
salinomycine prevention group, salinomycine-treated group,
and simultaneously challenged salinomycine-medicated
group, in a completely randomized design. Oral challenge
carried out by a suspension containing a mixture of 200,000
oocysts Eimeria acervulina,30,000oocystsEimeria necatrix,
and 20,000 oocysts Eimeria tenella on day 21 of age. Weight
gain in AE prevention group significantly increased compared
to positive control group (p < 0.05). Unlike salinomycine pre-
vention group, the food conversion ratio (FCR) of AE preven-
tion group was not significantly higher than negative control.
Oocyst per gram (OPG) in simultaneously challenged AE-
medicated group had no significant difference, while for
38% of the days, in simultaneously challenged
salinomycine-medicated group significantly decreased
(p < 0.05). The food intake of AE-treated group had no sig-
nificant difference with salinomycine-treated group (p >0.05).
In half of the days of OPGs sampling, AE-treated group was
reduced significantly compared to positive control group
(p < 0.05). Collectively, the in vivo study of anticoccidial
effects of AE in the prevention section was more effective
than the treatment section, while the treatment section was
more effective than the simultaneous section. We concluded
that AE has a potential value to use as an herbal medicine for
preventive measure in chicken coccidiosis.
Keywords Artemisia annua
Coccidiosis is the most important parasitic disease in poultry
industry (McDougald 2013; Conway and McKenzie 2007;
Molan et al. 2009). It is caused by Eimeria spp., which be-
longs to the Phylum Apicomplexa, Class Conoidasida, Order
Eucoccidiorida, and Family Eimeriidae (Jang et al. 2007).
Coccidia infection causes the extensive destruction of the in-
testinal epithelium which results in reduced body weight gain,
decreased feed efficiency, and a temporary reduction in egg
production (Jang et al. 2007).
However, control of coccidiosis relied mainly on the use of
chemical medicine in the last decades; nowadays, the use of
prebiotics, probiotics, and natural products has been preferred
to improve immune system, overcome drug resistances, and to
reduce unwanted side effect of synthetic medicine in food
chain (Abbas 2012; Brisibe et al. 2008;Drăgan et al. 2014;
Gholamrezaie Sani et al. 2013; Kostadinovic et al. 2012).
Artemisia annua belongs to Asteraceae family, which is
widely distributed in the temperate, cool temperate, and sub-
tropical zones (mainly in Asia) of the world (WHO 2006).
Bioactive compounds of A. annua (annual wormwood) in-
clude flavonoids, coumarins, steroids, phenolics, purines,
lipids, aliphatic compounds, monoterpenoids, triterpenoids,
* Ahmadreza Fatemi
Department of Clinical Sciences, Veterinary School, Shiraz
University, P.O. Box 1731, Shiraz 71345, Iran
Department of Pathobiology, Veterinary School, Shiraz University,
Parasitol Res (2017) 116:2581–2589