Shahid Ahmad1 , Farwa Humak2 , Maqsood Ahmad3,4 , Hira Altaf5 , Warda Qamar5* , Altaf Hussain6 , Usman Ashraf1 , Rao Zahid Abbas5 , Amna Siddique7 , Tayyaba Ashraf5 and Muhammad Adnan Sabir Mughal5

1Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan 2Institute of Microbiology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan 3Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan 4Department of Livestock and Dairy Development, Punjab, Pakistan 5Department of Parasitology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan 6Faculty of Veterinary Science, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Sakrand, Sindh, Pakistan 7Department of Pharmacy, The University of Faisalabad, Pakistan

*Corresponding author:

To Cite this Article :

Ahmad S, Humak F, Ahmad M, Altaf H, Qamar W, Hussain A, Ashraf U, Abbas RZ, Siddique A, Ashraf T and Mughal MAS, 2023. Phytochemicals as alternative anthelmintics against poultry parasites: A review. Agrobiological Records 12: 34-45.


Parasitic diseases causing considerable losses are one of the most common infections in humans, animals, and birds. This review emphasizes the devastation of the poultry industry by parasites and the use of bioactive components of plants as an alternative to control the damage. Synthetic medicines that are used in poultry as anthelmintic lead to the emergence of resistance in helminths as well as adversely affect birds and reduce their production. Different compounds are extracted from plants that show effective anthelmintic activity. Steroidal saponin alters the membrane permeability and inhibits mitochondrial activity resulting in worm death. Condensed tannins cause the death or paralysis of helminths. Flavonoids’ mode of action involves the inhibition of several enzymes like phosphodiesterase and Ca-ATPase. Both flavonoids and tannins act synergistically and have the same function as praziquantel. Isoflavones inhibit energy generation and calcium utilization causing the death of worms. Isoquinoline alkaloids are neurotoxic to the different helminths. Phytochemicals have an important role in improving growth, enhancing immunity, increasing nutrient absorption, and maintaining gut integrity. Phytochemicals are added to poultry feed as an additive, antibiotic, growth promoter, and anthelmintic. Plant products are cheap, easily available, and have the least tendency for resistance to be developed. Therefore, they could be proved beneficial against helminths. But there are some limitations such as the lack of proper research on phytochemicals, their efficacy, toxicity, dosage, and mechanism of action of phytochemicals. As an alternative strategy, phytochemicals have shown good results against the resistant species of helminths, but the reason behind the effectiveness of phytochemicals against anthelmintic-resistant parasites needs further studies. In developing countries, the use of plant-based anthelmintics is limited. So, there is a need for proper studies and research on different plant sources having anthelmintic activity. This could save the poultry industry from huge economic losses due to parasitic infections.

Article Overview

  • Volume : 12 (Apr-Jun 2023)
  • Pages : 34-45