Introducing Monimax® - A New Anticoccidial

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Article | 28.09.2020

Coccidiosis remains a major concern for the poultry industry and efficient control is paramount to safeguarding good performance. Sub-optimal control of coccidiosis will decrease performance and at the same time, will drive an increased use of antimicrobials for the treatment of intestinal problems for which coccidiosis is a trigger (dysbacteriosis, necrotic enteritis). 

It has been many years since a new product was added to the list of registered anticoccidial products for poultry in Europe. Now, Huvepharma has recently obtained a registration in Europe for Monimax®, a combination product of monensin and nicarbazin, for use in broiler chickens, turkeys and chickens reared for laying. 

Combining nicarbazin and monensin

Nicarbazin is a strong synthetic product used for the control of coccidiosis but in high concentrations, it makes the birds more vulnerable to heat stress conditions. Monensin is a strong ionophore that can be used in both chickens and turkeys and has a well-documented positive effect on litter quality. The advantage of combining the products means that they can be used in lower concentrations, making Monimax® a reliable and effective option for the market. 

A trial conducted under experimental conditions has demonstrated the synergistic effect between nicarbazin and monensin: the combination of both products performed better than the products individually (Table 1). 

Table 1. Lesion scoring results per species (Johnson and Reid, 1970) in an anticoccidial sensitivity trial demonstrates the synergistic effect between nicarbazin and monensin. Different letters indicate significant differences between treatments with p < 0.05

Monensin at 40 ppm (registered dosage range in Europe is 100-125 ppm) did not reduce lesions for any of the Eimeria species. Nicarbazin at 40 ppm (registered dose in Europe is 125 ppm) significantly reduced the lesions for E. tenella but the other Eimeria species were not significantly affected. The combination of nicarbazin and monensin (both at 40 ppm) significantly reduced the lesions for all Eimeria species.

Increased performance

Better coccidiosis control also results in improved performance (Figures 1 and 2). 

Birds supplemented with Monimax® showed a significantly higher body weight at the end of the trial compared to the infected untreated control (IUC) group and the groups treated with individual products (Figure 1). 

Figure 1. The synergistic effect between nicarbazin and monensin on average body weight 6 days after coccidiosis challenge is demonstrated in an anticoccidial sensitivity trial. Different letters indicate a significant difference between treatments with < 0.05

The birds treated with Monimax® had a significantly lower feed conversion ratio (FCR) in comparison to the IUC group. Although not statistically significant, the FCR for the birds treated with Monimax® was numerically lower compared to the individual components (Figure 2). 

Figure 2. The synergistic effect between nicarbazin and monensin on FCR after coccdiosis challenge is demonstrated in an anticoccidial sensitivity trial. Different letters indicate a significant difference between treatments with < 0.05.

The target species for Monimax® are broilers, turkeys, and chickens reared for laying. This wide range of target species is beneficial, especially when a feed mill produces feed both for broilers and turkeys. Other combinations can be toxic for turkeys (combinations with narasin) and, when used, special attention is needed to prevent carry-over to avoid toxicity problems.

Furthermore, Monimax® is a microgranulated product, meaning that the active ingredients (nicarbazin and monensin) are mixed together with the carrier and form one granule. This technique ensures correct dosing of the product in the feed. Too low a dose will not guarantee good coccidiosis control and too high a dose can induce intoxication symptoms.

Combining two products with a different mode of action will contribute to slower resistance development in comparison to the products individually. An earlier study (Chapman, 1994) demonstrated that development of resistance also differs between combinations of actives. Resistance to a mixture of 50 ppm nicarbazin and 50 ppm narasin ws developed after 11 serial passages of E. tenella in medicated birds while as many as 60 generations of selection were required for resistance to a mixture of nicarbazin and monensin (Monimax®). This means that, based on the results of this study, resistance will develop five times slower against the combination of nicarbazin and monensin compared to the combination of nicarbazin and narasin.


This article originally appeared in the Poultry Health Supplement of Poultry Business, September 2020. 
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