a, Bird performance. Higher doses (4×, 16×) of AgThG11 grain improved both BWG (box and whisker plots) and adjusted FCRs (filled circles) as well as or better than salinomycin relative to untreated, challenged birds, as determined by single-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA; F = 5.52, P = 0.0008). The total pen weight was adjusted to a per-bird basis, where n = 8 replicates pens per treatment. Here and in b and c, differences between individual treatments were distinguished by the least significant difference all-pairwise comparisons test and are indicated by the labels A, B and C, wherein values that share no common letters are statistically different (P ≤ 0.05). The box and whisker plots show the second quartile (filled boxes), the third quartile (open boxes) and the range of the data (whiskers). The error bars in the FCR plots indicate standard deviations. b, The effect of treatments on oocyst counts in faeces. Single-factor ANOVA revealed that all treatments reduced oocyst counts for E. acervulina (F = 2.43, P = 0.05) and E. tenella (F = 6.56, P = 0.0002), while oocyst counts for E. maxima did not show substantial improvement with any treatment. Oocyst counts were determined from each pen, where n = 8 replicates pens per treatment; oocyst counts for each species were considered independently for statistical evaluation. The boxes and whiskers are defined as in a. c, The effect of treatments on lesion formation in the intestinal linings and caeca of treated birds. Average LSs are plotted (heavy horizontal bars) with error bars to indicate standard deviations. Single-factor ANOVA showed that all treatments reduced the incidence and severity of lesions from E. acervulina (F = 84.66, P = 0.0000), E. maxima (F = 24.46, P = 0.0000) and E. tenella (F = 11.05, P = 0.0000) in the intestines or caeca of challenged birds relative to the untreated, challenged controls. Each of the n = 40 birds per treatment was evaluated for lesions attributed to each species on the basis of their location within the intestinal tract or caeca. The number of birds that displayed lesions of a given severity (0 = no lesion, 4 = severe lesions) is reflected by the diameter of the circle shown above each treatment; for example, regarding A. cervulina lesions among birds given treatment 2, only 1 bird had an LS of 1 (mild), while 32 had LSs of 3 (more severe). The effect of salinomycin on E. tenella lesions and the effects of the 4× dose of AgThG11 on E. acervulina and E. maxima lesions were not statistically different from the untreated, challenged controls. LSs for each species were considered independently for statistical evaluation.