Infectious coryza, caused by Avibacterium paragallinarum, is an acute respiratory disease of poultry that can result in substantial morbidity, mortality, and economic losses. In March 2017, the Turlock branch of the California Animal Health and Food Safety laboratory system encountered an unusual clinical and pathologic presentation of infectious coryza in 6 live, 29-d-old, commercial broiler chickens that were submitted for diagnostic investigation. Antemortem evaluation revealed severe neurologic signs, including disorientation, torticollis, and opisthotonos. Swollen head–like syndrome and sinusitis were also present. Histologically, severe sinusitis, cranial osteomyelitis, otitis media and interna, and meningoencephalitis were noted, explaining the clinical signs described. A. paragallinarum was readily isolated from the upper and lower respiratory tract, brain, and cranial bones. Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) was also detected by PCR, and IBV was isolated in embryonated chicken eggs. Based on sequencing analysis, the IBV appeared 99% homologous to strain CA1737. A synergistic effect between A. paragallinarum and IBV, resulting in exacerbation of clinical signs and increased mortality, may have occurred in this case. A. paragallinarum should be considered among the possible causes of neurologic signs in chickens. Appropriate media should be used for bacterial isolation, and the role of additional contributing factors and/or complicating agents should be investigated in cases of infectious coryza.
- Avibacterium paragallinarum
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