An outbreak of erysipelas in 2-day-old poults

J. L. Hollifield, G. L. Cooper, B. R. Charlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Systemic erysipelas infection was seen in 2-to-4-day-old poults from three separate ranches owned by the same company. The affected poults were all from the same breeder source; poults from other breeder sources were seemingly unaffected. Mortality increased on days 2 and 3, ranging from 2% to 8.5%. Birds submitted were dehydrated and very weak, with one half of the poults submitted having died during transport to the lab. Gross lesions included swollen, congested livers and spleens, as well as hemorrhagic breast muscle in one case. Toes were swollen and reddish-purple in color. The poults had been toetrimmed during hatchery processing using a commercial microwave. Histologically, periportal inflammation with heterophilic infiltration in the liver was noted. Spleens showed hyalinization of arteries, lymphoid depletion, and necrosis. Toe joints showed purulent synovitis and cellulitis. Gram stains done on impression smears of liver and spleen showed rare to moderate numbers of small grain-positive rods. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae was isolated from 18 of 22 livers cultured, five of six toe joints cultured, and from the yolk sac in two birds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-724
Number of pages4
JournalAvian Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cellulitis
  • Erysipelas
  • Erysipelothrix rhusiop athiae
  • Poult
  • Purulent synovitis
  • Toe trimming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cancer Research
  • veterinary(all)


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