The poultry industry is currently facing a serious problem of controlling coccidiosis, owing to the development of drug resistance against commonly available anticoccidials. Furthermore, an increasing demand in the consumers for drug residue free poultry and poultry products has led to the development of alternative strategies for the treatment and control of avian coccidiosis. In response to the invasion of Eimeria species in coccidiosis, oxidative stress is created by host cellular response which imparts pathology to the host tissue besides damaging the parasite. Hence, in order to alleviate the damage caused by oxidative stress during coccidiosis, the use of essential oils (EOs) rich in antioxidant compounds is being considered as an appealing approach. However, results are very divergent and often not as satisfactory as expected. Essential oils, as natural products, obtained from aromatic plants have the potential to serve as an alternate to anticoccidials. The present work aims to review the current state of knowledge, informative collection of results obtained over the years and to attain a critical decision in aspects of the use of EOs as anticoccidials.
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