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Vet Microbiol. 2007 Mar 31;121(1-2):94-104. Epub 2006 Nov 25.

Efficacy of enrofloxacin, florfenicol and amoxicillin against Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale and Escherichia coli O2:K1 dual infection in turkeys following APV priming.

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Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.


Experimental groups of 15 susceptible 3-week-old turkeys were inoculated oculonasally with avian metapneumovirus (APV) subtype A and susceptible Escherichia coli O2:K1 and Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale (ORT) bacteria, with a 3 days interval between viral and bacterial inoculation and approximately 8h between the two bacterial inoculations. The aims of the present study were to assess the efficacy of drinking-water administration of enrofloxacin for 3 and 5 days, amoxicillin for 5 days and florfenicol for 5 days for the treatment of the resulting respiratory disease, based on clinical and bacteriological examinations. Antimicrobial treatment started 1 day after dual bacterial inoculation. After infection, the birds were examined and scored for clinical signs daily, weighed at different times, and their tracheae swabbed daily. Five birds were euthanised and examined for macroscopic lesions at necropsy at 5 days post-bacterial inoculation (dpbi) and the remainder at 15dpbi. Samples of the turbinates, trachea, lungs, sinuses, air sacs, heart, pericardium and liver were collected for bacteriological examination. Recovery from respiratory disease caused by an APV/E. coli/ORT triple infection in 3-week-old turkey poults was overall most successful after enrofloxacin treatment, irrespective of treatment duration, followed by florfenicol treatment. Compared with the untreated group, clinical signs as well as ORT and E. coli multiplication in the respiratory tract were significantly reduced by both enrofloxacin treatments and the florfenicol treatment, with the enrofloxacin treatments showing significantly better reductions than the florfenicol treatment. Five-day treatment with amoxicillin, compared with the untreated group, did not cause a significant reduction in any of the aforementioned parameters.

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