The role of penicillin G potassium in managing Clostridium perfringens in broiler chickens

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  • The efficacy of penicillin G potassium (Pot-Pen) administered via drinking water to manage necrotic enteritis (NE) was investigated in a Clostridium perfringens (CP) challenge study using 1600 broiler chickens assigned to one of four treatment groups: nonchallenged, nonmedicated; challenged, nonmedicated; challenged, Pot-Pen 0.2 g/L; challenged, Pot-Pen 0.4 g/L. Overall mortality due to NE was significantly reduced among Pot-Pen–treated pens; mortality due to other causes did not differ among the treatment groups. Among all birds, growth performance parameters were significantly improved among Pot-Pen–treated pens. When considering birds randomly sacrificed 4 days post-Pot-Pen initiation, mean NE lesion scores were greatest among the challenged, nonmedicated pens; only one of 80 randomly sacrificed birds treated with Pot-Pen had NE lesions. Among the nonmedicated control pens, body weight (BW) was significantly greater among birds that did not have NE-associated lesions. When sacrificed birds were stratified by NE lesion score, there were no significant differences in BW among the treatment groups. Results of this study suggest that CP-associated subclinical disease can significantly reduce broiler performance. Furthermore, the positive effects of treatment with Pot-Pen appeared to be associated with the prevention and/or treatment of NE-specific lesions.

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    © 2008 Pierre Gadbois et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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    • Gadbois, P., Brennan, J., Bruce, H., Wilson, J., & Aramini, J. (2008). The role of penicillin G potassium in managing Clostridium perfringens in broiler chickens. Avian Diseases, 52(3), 407-411.
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