Esophagitis and Pharyngitis Associated with Avian Infectious Laryngotracheitis in Backyard Chickens: Two Cases

Kathleen Sary, Sonia Chénier, Carl A. Gagnon, H L Shivaprasad, Doris Sylvestre, Martine Boulianne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) is a contagious viral respiratory disease of great economic importance for the global poultry industry caused by Gallid herpesvirus 1 (GaHV-1). Lesions of the upper digestive tract caused by this virus have not been reported before. Two small flocks of backyard chickens experienced an outbreak of ILT, one in 2006 and the other in 2014. These birds had typical ILT lesions, characterized by a necrohemorrhagic laryngitis and tracheitis but were also affected by a severe erosive and necrotic esophagitis and pharyngitis. On microscopic examination of the esophagus and pharynx, numerous individual epithelial cells were degenerated or necrotic. Syncytial cells were present in the mucosa or sloughed in the overlying inflammatory crust, and some of these cells contained an amphophilic intranuclear viral inclusion. GaHV-1 was detected in tissues, from respiratory and digestive tracts, either by PCR, immunohistochemistry, or both diagnostic assays. This case stresses the importance for veterinarians, owners, and technicians to pay attention to different or atypical clinical manifestations of ILT given its highly contagious nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalAvian Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • avian infectious laryngotracheitis
  • esophagitis
  • Gallid herpesvirus 1
  • pharyngitis
  • poultry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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