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Infect Immun. 2001 Oct;69(10):6318-22.

Pulmonary hypertension syndrome in broilers caused by Enterococcus faecalis.

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Department of Poultry Science, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762, USA.


A field strain of Enterococcus faecalis was administered to broiler chicks at doses of 0, 3 x 10(6), 1.5 x 10(7), and 2 x 10(7) bacteria/bird either intra-abdominally or intravenously. In trials 1 to 3, birds were reared communally in a broiler house on pine shaving litter. In trial 4, challenged and control birds were maintained in separate isolation rooms in metal cages with raised wire floors. Challenged birds exhibited a characteristic cavity or depression in the external wall of the right ventricle. A subjective scoring system was devised to quantify challenge effects by assigning each heart a score of 1 to 4. The average number of birds, over all trials and over all dose levels, exhibiting the ventricular cavity was 93%. This value in controls was 5%. The average heart score for challenged birds was 3.1, and that for controls was 0.20. Heart scores of challenged and control chicks were not different in birds reared communally or in separate isolation rooms. Additionally, both routes of administration were equally effective. Results suggest that challenge with E. faecalis caused pulmonary hypertension.

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