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Avian Pathol. 2005 Aug;34(4):355-61.

An experimental model to quantify horizontal transmission of Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

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Animal Health Service, P.O. Box 9, 7400 AA, Deventer, The Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • Avian Pathol. 2006 Oct;35(5):413.


Before interventions to control horizontal transmission of Mycoplasma gallisepticum can be tested, a suitable experimental model should be available. Transmission dynamics in a flock can be quantified by two parameters: the average number of secondary cases infected by one typical infectious case (R0) and the number of new infections that occur due to one infectious animal per unit of time (beta). The transmission dynamics of M. gallisepticum have not been studied experimentally, so the aim of this study was to examine the horizontal transmission of M. gallisepticum. The study was carried out using a pairwise design with three different inoculation doses. Every pair consisted of an inoculated chicken and a susceptible in-contact chicken. Five susceptible individually housed chickens were placed in between pairs in order to measure airborne transmission. Infection was detected by serology, quantitative polymerase chain reaction and culture. The inoculated and in-contact chickens were equally infectious and the pairs could be regarded as independent. The R0 was estimated to be greater than 1 (infinity; 95% confidence interval, 4.5 to infinity), the estimated beta was 0.22 per day and there was no significant difference between the different inoculation doses. It was concluded that the animal model as described in this study meets the conditions for the establishment of transmission dynamics of M. gallisepticum and therefore can be used to establish the quantitative effect of intervention measures on horizontal transmission.

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