Surveillance for Avibacterium paragallinarum in autopsy cases of birds from small chicken flocks using a real-time PCR assay

Kristin A Clothier, Andrea Torain, Steve Reinl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Infectious coryza is a severe respiratory disease of chickens associated with large economic losses in affected commercial flocks. The fastidious causative pathogen, Avibacterium paragallinarum, is difficult to recover and identify, resulting in delayed diagnosis and enhanced spread of the agent. Small poultry flocks are increasingly common in rural and suburban environments. We assessed the frequency of A. paragallinarum using real-time PCR and clinical conditions present in samples from such flocks submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (Davis, CA) in 2018. From the 294 samples collected for our study, 86 (30%) were PCR-positive for A. paragallinarum. Juvenile birds (≤1 y) were significantly more likely to be PCR-positive (p = 0.017), and birds diagnosed with respiratory disease had lower Ct values (p = 0.001) than those without. Concurrent infections were also identified, including with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (18.6%), M. synoviae (18.6%), infectious bronchitis virus (12.8%), and infectious laryngotracheitis virus (7.0%). Only 46.5% of PCR-positive chickens had antemortem respiratory signs, making endemic infections in these flocks highly likely. Our study demonstrates that A. paragallinarum is present in small-flock operations including those without respiratory disease and may present a risk for airborne pathogen transmission to commercial poultry operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Avibacterium paragallinarum
Birds
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Autopsy
Chickens
necropsy
flocks
quantitative polymerase chain reaction
Poultry
chickens
Polymerase Chain Reaction
monitoring
birds
respiratory tract diseases
assays
Mycoplasma gallisepticum
Infectious bronchitis virus
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
Infectious Disease Transmission
Delayed Diagnosis

Keywords

  • Avibacterium paragallinarum
  • chickens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

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title = "Surveillance for Avibacterium paragallinarum in autopsy cases of birds from small chicken flocks using a real-time PCR assay",
abstract = "Infectious coryza is a severe respiratory disease of chickens associated with large economic losses in affected commercial flocks. The fastidious causative pathogen, Avibacterium paragallinarum, is difficult to recover and identify, resulting in delayed diagnosis and enhanced spread of the agent. Small poultry flocks are increasingly common in rural and suburban environments. We assessed the frequency of A. paragallinarum using real-time PCR and clinical conditions present in samples from such flocks submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (Davis, CA) in 2018. From the 294 samples collected for our study, 86 (30{\%}) were PCR-positive for A. paragallinarum. Juvenile birds (≤1 y) were significantly more likely to be PCR-positive (p = 0.017), and birds diagnosed with respiratory disease had lower Ct values (p = 0.001) than those without. Concurrent infections were also identified, including with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (18.6{\%}), M. synoviae (18.6{\%}), infectious bronchitis virus (12.8{\%}), and infectious laryngotracheitis virus (7.0{\%}). Only 46.5{\%} of PCR-positive chickens had antemortem respiratory signs, making endemic infections in these flocks highly likely. Our study demonstrates that A. paragallinarum is present in small-flock operations including those without respiratory disease and may present a risk for airborne pathogen transmission to commercial poultry operations.",
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