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Avian Pathol. 1982;11(2):281-300.

The world of poultry disease.

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Houghton Poultry Research Station, Houghton, Huntingdon, England.


The production of poultry meat and eggs is presented for the top 40 countries producing these products. Seventy per cent of poultry meat and eggs are produced by 10 countries. Production per capita is between five and six times lower in developing than in developed countries. Poultry meat and eggs form as great a proportion of the animal protein diet of members of developing as of developed countries. The nutritional efficiency of both poultry meat and egg production with respect to energy is similar to the production of milk and only second to pig meat; in respect of protein production both poultry meat and eggs are only second to milk. It is concluded that the developments that have occurred in the husbandry and management of poultry in the developed countries are likely to occur in developing countries. Data for the incidence of disease in developing and developed countries is presented and discussed. Although the relative importance of diseases may differ between countries and geographical areas there are few important diseases which are unique to particular parts of the world. Figures for the U.S.A. indicate that total economic loss from disease is about 20% of the value of poultry production and is about three times the loss from mortality. The principal methods of disease control are discussed and include: preventive treatment, vaccination, eradication and breeding for resistance. It is considered that infectious disease will continue to be the major cause of economic loss from disease. It is suggested that future developments in disease control will use the techniques of genetic engineering from the production of vaccines and developing stocks resistant to disease.

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