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Avian Pathol. 2003 Oct;32(5):503-10.

Prevalence and transmission of haemolytic Gallibacterium species in chicken production systems with different biosecurity levels.

Author information

1
Department of Veterinary Microbiology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Stigbøjlen 4, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark. miki@kvl.dk

Abstract

A stratified cross-sectional study consisting of four strata of biosecurity based on production system type, including organic/free-range layer, battery-cage layer, layer parent, broiler parent and broiler grandparent flocks, was performed to estimate the prevalence of haemolytic Gallibacterium spp. Thirty birds were sampled by tracheal and cloacal swabs in each flock. A flock was considered infected when just one bird tested positive. A total of 27 flocks was included in the study. All chickens from the broiler grandparent flocks sampled negative, whereas 28% of the broiler parents, 40% of the layer parents, 67% of the battery-cage layers and 96% of the organic/free-range chickens sampled positive. A total of 95.9% (standard deviation +/- 7.6%) of birds from infected flocks was colonized by haemolytic Gallibacterium species. A significantly higher number of tracheal swabs was positive compared with cloacal swabs. The probability of vertical transfer was investigated by sampling offspring from an infected as well as a non-infected parent flock. None of the samples were found positive. In conclusion, we showed that haemolytic Gallibacterium spp. were widely distributed within the Danish commercial chicken production systems. However, prevalence proportions were highly influenced by the production system and found to be significantly associated with the biosecurity level observed in the flocks. In general, flock infections resembled an 'all or none' type of colonization as practically all of the chickens in infected flocks sampled positive. There was no evidence of vertical transmission of Gallibacterium.

PMID:
14522706
DOI:
10.1080/0307945031000154107
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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