Sacox: Why Salinomycin Is The Gold Standard For Coccidiosis Control

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Article | 24.07.2023
Ben Dehaeck, Global Product Manager Poultry Coccidiostats

Coccidiosis, caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Eimeria, is perhaps the most widespread and difficult to manage poultry disease, resulting in considerable economic losses especially in the broiler sector.

Coccidiosis is ubiquitous and it is generally accepted that, under the current production systems, coccidiosis control remains necessary. Coccidiosis is also one of the main triggers for other gastrointestinal disorders like necrotic enteritis and dysbacteriosis. 

Prevention of coccidiosis

Prevention and control of coccidiosis is managed by optimising disinfection protocols and procedures and applying the most suitable coccidiostat to prevent damage to the intestinal tract. 

Rotation between different coccidiostats over time is good practice to avoid loss of efficacy of a certain coccidiostat. Thorough disinfection is always an important step in the prevention of any disease, but it is accepted that the omnipresence and extreme resistance of sporulated oocysts (infective stage of Eimeria parasites) make a sterilisation-eradication approach extremely difficult in practice.

Some molecules, like chlorocresols (Prophyl S, Huvepharma) have proven efficacy against Eimeria oocysts and are therefore the preferred products to be used for the disinfection of poultry houses. Even when using efficient disinfection products, it is very difficult to eradicate the disease. Eradication might not be achieveable, but the benefit of a significant reduction in the number of oocysts at the start of the new flock will result in lower infection pressure throughout the grow-out stage of production. 

Preventive chemotherapy or using synthetic and/or ionophore coccidiostats continuously in the feed is the most common practice to control coccidiosis worldwide. Ionophores have a different mode of action from synthetic drugs since they are able to kill Eimeria early in their life cycle (motile stages or sporozoites and merozoites). 

To be effective, the ionophore must be present in the intestinal lumen at the time that these motile stages are present. It is therefore important to avoid interrupted administration of coccidiostats since birds kept on litter ingest oocysts continuously. 

Since the introduction of the different ionophores, Sacox is considered by many poultry producers as an indispensable tool for coccidiosis control in current production systems.

Coccidial control

Currently, Huvepharma is the only company marketing salinomycin in Europe (Sacox) and the US (Bio-Cox). Coccidiosis control is our core business and we are the only company able to offer the full toolbox for coccidial control in the poultry sector:

  • Coccidiostats (ionophores, chemicals and combination products)
  • Coccidiosis vaccines
  • Treatment products
  • Cleaning and disinfection options

This portfolio, and our associated expertise, makes us a unique partner for coccidiosis control. As part of our service, we regularly perform sensitivity testing of different coccidiostats. This post-marketing monitoring gives us insights into the sensitivities of recent field strains and the efficacy of coccidiostats. 

In addition to sensitivity testing, a monitoring tool (Aviapp) is offered to our customers for following, linking and interpreting health and perforamnce parameters and supporting management decisions.


Results from both sensitivity testing and field monitoring confirm that Sacox is still the gold standard in coccidiosis control. Its use keeps coccidiosis pressure low and ensures that birds can perform according to (or above) genetic guidelines. 

Controlling coccidiosis is a key factor to ensure the best possible performance in broiler production. Sacox is the world's most widely used ionophore and is still considered to be the gold standard for coccidiosis control.


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