Natural remedies for viral infection in poultry and farm animals
The use of plants as traditional medicine against viral diseases in the production of animals have been described and practiced worldwide. Common herbal extracts are used as antiviral agents in treating or preventing virus diseases of farm animals such as poultry, swine, and ruminants. Some of the common viral infections and natural remedies for their treatment are discussed below.
Disease causing microorganisms in the poultry industry includes various virus, bacteria and protozoa. The most destructive avian viral diseases are Newcastle disease virus (NDV), avian influenza virus (AIV), infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), egg drop syndrome avian adenovirus, and fowl pox virus. Some of the natural remedies to treat viral diseases in poultry are as follows
The aloe is a potential candidate on the management of NDV. It has been reported that the flowers and leaves of aloe has showed relatively higher antiviral activity than other parts of the plant
- Azadirachta indica (neem)
Neem, scientifically known as Azadirachta indica, has been shown to demonstrate a wide variety of therapeutic effects including antimicrobial activities. Neem leaf extract significantly reduced the NDV-stimulated splenocyte proliferation in mice to the level comparable to the uninfected control. This suggested that the extract has anti-NDV activity.
Commiphora swynnertonii (Burtt) has been found to reduce clinical symptoms or severity as well as in antibody titers in the chicken resulting to lower mortality rate. These findings indicate that the resinous extract has strong antiviral activity against NDV in chicken.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) are most common viral infections in cattle and buffalo. Some of the natural treatments for viral diseases in farm animals are as follows
- Finger millet
For FMD, honey, finger millet, and 97% sodium on topical application has shown improvement in ulcers and blister within three days.
Basil, or Ocimum basilicum has been demonstrated in many studies to have antivirus, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. The effects of basil and its essential oils, known as monoterpenes have been tested against BVD virus at different time points of infection. It has shown to reduce the virus titre effectively.
- Finger millet