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Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2005 Aug;112(8):310-2.

[Specified pathogen-free poultry flocks: the current situation].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Klinik für Geflügel, Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover.


Before the implementation of strategies to establish specified pathogen-free commercial poultry flocks, the ultimate goals need to be identified: 1) consumer protection by minimizing the risk for zoonotic diseases and food-borne pathogens, and/or 2) animal health protection against primary and secondary pathogens. The success for the establishment of specific pathogen-free poultry flocks depends on the biological characteristics, the epidemiological distribution and the transmission route of each pathogen. For zoonotic pathogens such as Salmonella Typhimurium, Salmonella Enteritidis, Campylobacter jejuni or the high pathogenic avian influenza virus, eradication has to be ultimate goal. Despite tremendous control efforts in field, only partial control of these pathogens has been achieved so far. In the future it will be necessary to continue these eradication efforts by combining optimized hygiene programs at all production levels with intensive monitoring and immunoprophylaxis. For primary pathogens affecting the health condition of poultry without known zoonotic potential, such as Salmonella Gallinarum, avian Mycoplasma or leucosis virus, specified pathogen free flocks have been established on the parent and grandparent level. In order to achieve a status free of these pathogens, rigid hygiene control, especially on the hatchery level and monitoring programs combined with elimination of pathogen- and antibody-positive birds were implemented. Nevertheless, the economically most important diseases of modern poultry production are of multifactorial origin. Ubiquitous secondary pathogens in combination with insufficient management or immunosuppressive agents induce great economic losses for the poultry producers. These secondary pathogens can not be eliminated due to their ubiquitous distribution. In the future only a reduction of these factorial diseases will be possible combining hygiene management and optimization of poultry husbandry. For the establishment of specified pathogen free poultry flocks in the field, risk analysis is necessary and the structure of poultry production has to be considered before and eradication program can be carried out successfully.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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