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Enteric Diseases of Poultry with Special Attention to Clostridium perfringens



The enteric health of growing poultry is imperative to success of the production. The basic role of poultry production is turning feed stuffs into meat. Any changes in this turning process, due to mechanical, chemical or biological disturbance of digestive system (enteric disorders) is mostly accompanied with high economic losses due to poor performance, increased mortality rates and increased medication costs. The severity of clinical signs and course of the disorders are influenced by several factors such as management, nutrition and the involved agent(s). Several pathogens (viruses, bacteria and parasites) are incriminated as possible cause of enteric disorders either alone (mono-causal), in synergy with other micro-organisms (multi-causal), or with non-infectious causes such as feed and /or management related factors. In addition, excessive levels of mycotoxins and biogenic amines in feed lead to enteric disorders. Also factors such as high stocking density, poor litter conditions, poor hygiene and high ammonia level and other stressful situation may reduce the resistance of the birds and increases their susceptibility to infections. Under field conditions, however, it is difficult to determine whether the true cause of enteric disorders, is of infectious or non-infectious origin. In recent years and since the ban of use of antimicrobial growth promoters in several countries the incidence of intestinal disorders especially those caused by clostridial infection was drastically increased. The present review described in general the several factors involved in enteric disorders and summarized the available literatures about Clostridium perfringens infection in poultry.
Pakistan Veterinary Journal
ISSN: 0253-8318 (PRINT), 2074-7764 (ONLINE)
Accessible at:
Enteric Diseases of Poultry with Special Attention to Clostridium perfringens
Hafez Mohamed Hafez*
Institute of Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Free University Berlin, Königsweg, 14163 Berlin, Germany
*Corresponding author:
October 10, 2010
April 18, 2011
April 21, 2011
Key words:
Clostridium perfringens
Enteric diseases
Necrotic enteritis
The enteric health of growing poultry is imperative to success of the production.
The basic role of poultry production is turning feed stuffs into meat. Any changes in
this turning process, due to mechanical, chemical or biological disturbance of
digestive system (enteric disorders) is mostly accompanied with high economic
losses due to poor performance, increased mortality rates and increased medication
costs. The severity of clinical signs and course of the disorders are influenced by
several factors such as management, nutrition and the involved agent(s). Several
pathogens (viruses, bacteria and parasites) are incriminated as possible cause of
enteric disorders either alone (mono-causal), in synergy with other micro-organisms
(multi-causal), or with non-infectious causes such as feed and /or management
related factors. In addition, excessive levels of mycotoxins and biogenic amines in
feed lead to enteric disorders. Also factors such as high stocking density, poor litter
conditions, poor hygiene and high ammonia level and other stressful situation may
reduce the resistance of the birds and increases their susceptibility to infections.
Under field conditions, however, it is difficult to determine whether the true cause
of enteric disorders, is of infectious or non-infectious origin. In recent years and
since the ban of use of antimicrobial growth promoters in several countries the
incidence of intestinal disorders especially those caused by clostridial infection was
drastically increased. The present review described in general the several factors
involved in enteric disorders and summarized the available literatures about
Clostridium perfringens infection in poultry.
©2011 PVJ. All rights reserved
To Cite This Article: Hafez HM, 2011. Enteric diseases of poultry with special attention to Clostridium perfringens.
Pak Vet J, 31(3): 175-184.
The basic role of poultry production is turning feed
stuffs into meat. Broilers and meat turkeys are very
efficient at both growth and feed conversion rate. Any
slight alteration from the optimal condition is mostly
accompanied by disruption of the growth process and all
over performance. To reach the maximal potential of
development, considerable demands should be placed on
good intestinal health.
Enteric disorders are one of the most important
groups of diseases they affect poultry and are continuing
to cause high economic losses in the many areas world-
wide due to increased mortality rates, decreased weight
gain, increased medication costs, and increased feed
conversion rates. Several pathogens (viruses, bacteria and
parasites) are incriminated as possible causes of enteric
disorders either alone (mono-causal), in synergy with
different other microorganisms (multi-causal) or with
non-infectious causes such as feed and /or management
related factors (Table 1). Under field conditions, however,
it is difficult to determine weather the true cause of enteric
disorders in poultry is of infectious or non-infectious
origin (Hafez, 2001).
Since the first report of Moore et al. (1946), it is
generally known, that supplementation of poultry feed
with antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) improves
performance of livestock. The effect of AGP on gut flora
results in improvement of digestion, better absorption of
nutrients, and a more stable balance in the microbial
population. As consequence this is accompanied with
reduced intestinal disorders. However, AGP can also
increase the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria.
Based on “Precautionary Principle” and experiences
made in Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the
Netherlands, the EU has decided to ban the use of growth-
promoting antibiotics in feed of food producing animals
completely by January 2006. The first step was taken in
Pak Vet J, 2011, 31(3): 175-184.
1997 by the ban of avoparcin, followed by spiramycin,
tylosin phosphate, zinc bacitracin and virginiamycin in
1998 and carbadox and olaquindox in 1999. Field
observations in several countries in Europe showed that
poultry industry faced several problems after the ban of
AGPs. The impact of the ban has been seen on the
performances (body weight and feed conversion rate) as
well as on the rearing husbandry (wet litter and ammonia
level), animal welfare problem (foot pad dermatitis) and
general health issues on the birds (enteric disorders due to
dysbacteriosis and clostridial infections) (Hafez, 2008).
The present paper reviews the currently most
important causes of enteric disorders of poultry and their
economic impacts with special attention to clostridial
Table 1: Some possible causes of enteric disorders in poultry
Non - Infectious Infectious
Feed Viral agents
Structure Reo, Astro, Entero, Rota,
Palatability Coronavirus enteritis, HE
Energy content ND, Influenza A
Pellet quality Bacterial agents
Management Salmonellas, E. coli,
Available feed space Clostridia
Available water space Mycotic agents
Distribution of feeders Candida
Distribution of waterers Parasites
Air quality Coccidia, Histomonas,
Temperature Hexamitia, Ascaridia
Stocking density
Non-infectious factors involved in intestinal disorders
Enteric health and nutrition are closely related. Poor
enteric health can adversely affect food digestion, gut
motility and nutrient absorption by several means.
Likewise, poor nutrition and feed quality can either
increase the bird’s susceptibility to enteric disorders or
directly cause them (Ferket, 1996; Hafez, 1998).
Nutritional factors that influence gut health include feed
intake, palatability, feed ingredient quality, feed
formulation and pellet quality. In addition, mistakes in
feeding technique, the amount of fibre in the feed, the
content and quality of the raw materials as well as sudden
feed changes or restriction, can result in changes in the
intestinal flora and/or in the enzymatic activity which lead
to digestive disorders (Nixey, 1989; Kaldhusdal and
Skjerve, 1996; D’Mello, 1997; Corless and Sell, 1999;
Annett et al., 2002; Batal and Parsons, 2002; Kocher,
2003; McReynolds et al., 2004). Also, excessive levels of
mycotoxins and biogenic amines in feed lead to enteric
disorders (Smith and Hamilton, 1970; Burditt et al., 1983;
Brown et al., 1992; Dwivedi and Burns, 1986; Hoerr,
Feed contains a little dust; however, excess dust can
adversely affect the palatability and lead to reduction of
feed intake. Badly stored feed can contain fungal spores,
and fat may go rancid which results in reduction of the
feed intake and may negatively affect the content of some
vitamins in the feed (Dhand et al., 1998; FAO, 2004).
Inadequate feeder space and false distribution can result in
competition and stronger birds dominating the feeder with
a consequent variation in feed intake within the flock.
Feed can contain undesirable substances such as
mycotoxins, which adversely affect the immune system,
increase the susceptibility of the birds to infectious
diseases and cause poor response to vaccine (Uraguchi
and Myamazaki, 1978; Campbell et al., 1981; Burns and
Dwivedi, 1986; El-Karim et al., 1991; D’Mello et al.,
1993, D’Mello and MacDonald, 1998; Devegowda et al.,
1998). Proper adjustment of feeder is a factor that should
receive constant attention (Hafez, 1998).
Management and environmental factors
Good rearing management is the starting point for
healthy, productive and profitable poultry production in
agreement with animal welfare. Rearing management
mean all factors which influence the birds health include
several factors such as house structure, climatic conditions
(ventilation, temperature, litter condition), stocking
density, feed and water supply, hygienic condition as well
as the knowledge’s and qualification of the stockman.
These factors affect each other and can promote or inhibit
the health condition of the flock. In aim to achieve desired
performance results, managers of turkey flocks should
integrate good environment, husbandry, nutrition and
disease control programmes (Sundrum, 1995; Hafez,
1996; 1998). The rearing management must be directed to
satisfy the bird’s requirements, to promote the production
and to prevent diseases condition (Morgen and Avens,
1985). Any disturbance will cause stress, which will
reduce the resistance of the birds, increase their
susceptibility to infections and reduce their immune-
response to vaccines (Sainsbury, 1992; Hafez, 1998).
Infectious diseases
Several infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria,
fungus and parasites are involved in intestinal disorders
(Fig. 1). These infectious agents can introduce and spread
in poultry farms by different routes. It occurs by vertical
and/or horizontal route. At early days of age the main
disease problems are related to vertically transmitted
infections such as salmonella, E. coli and improper
hatchery management (Hafez, 1999; Hafez, 2005;
Bermudez and Stewart-Brown, 2008). Those and other
infectious agents can also be transmitted horizontally
(laterally) by direct contact between infected and non-
infected susceptible birds, and through indirect contact
with contaminated feed, water, equipment, environment
and dust through ingestion or inhalation (Hafez, 1996;
Bermudez and Stewart-Brown, 2008).
Infections with Clostridium perfringens
Infections with Clostridium perfringens in poultry
can cause several clinical manifestations and lesions
include necrotic enteritis, necrotic dermatitis,
cholangiohepatitis as well as gizzard erosion. However,
subclinical infection can take place too. In addition, C.
perfringens type A has been showed to cause food
poisoning in humans (Løvland and Kaldhusdal, 2001;
McClane et al., 2006; Novoa-Garrido et al., 2006).
Clostridium perfringens is a Gram-positive, non-
motile, spore-forming anaerobic bacterium which is
widespread in soils, feed, litter and the intestinal tract of
Pak Vet J, 2011, 31(3): 175-184.
diseased and healthy birds (Char et al., 1986; Frame and
Bickford, 1986; Gazdzinski and Julian, 1992; Branton et
al., 1997). The optimum growth occurs within
temperature range of 12-50°C and pH between 6.0 and 7.0
(Adams and Moss, 1995). Under optimal conditions,
4347°C, C. perfringens grows extremely rapidly, with a
generation time of 8-10 min, and growth is accompanied
by abundant gas production (Bryant and Stevens, 1997).
The bacterial spores are very resistant to heat, desiccation,
acids and many chemical disinfectants (Willis, 1977).
C. perfringens is divided into 5 biotypes A, B, C, D,
and E based on the synthesis of four major lethal toxins:
alpha, beta, epsilon, and iota. Along with these four major
toxins, enterotoxin (CPE) and beta2 (CPB2) toxins
produced by C. perfringens are considered as important
toxins for enteric diseases (McDonel, 1986; Songer, 1996;
Waters et al., 2003, Smedley et al., 2004, McClane et al.,
2006). However, it is not clear whether CPE and CPB2
are involved in C. perfringens-associated avian enteric
diseases (Crespo et al., 2007).
The infections in poultry are mostly caused by C.
perfringens type A, and to a lesser extent by type C
(Songer and Meer, 1996; Engström et al., 2003). Because
C. perfringens type A is highly prevalent in the intestines
of healthy animals, controversy exists about its real
pathogenic role (Smedley et al., 2004; McClane et al.,
2006). Additionally, it was shown that strains isolated
from necrotic enteritis outbreaks did not produce more
alpha toxin compared to isolates from the gut of clinically
healthy broilers (Gholamiandehkordi et al., 2006).
Timbermont et al. (2009) examined the ability of C.
perfringens isolates from both healthy and diseased
poultry, and from calf hemorrhagic enteritis cases,
producing different concentrations of alpha toxin in vitro,
to induce necrotic enteritis in broilers. The obtained
results revealed that induction of necrotic lesions in the
broiler gut is not associated with the ability to produce
alpha toxin in vitro. Moreover, the results also suggest
that the virulence of C. perfringens strains is to some
extent host specific since two C. perfringens strains
isolated from calf hemorrhagic enteritis were not able to
produce necrotic lesions in chickens.
Keyburn et al. (2008) were able to identify a novel
toxin (netB) in a C. perfringens type A strains isolated
from chickens suffering from necrotic enteritis. According
to the authors this novel toxin is the first definitive
virulence factor to be identified in avian C. perfringens
strains capable of causing necrotic enteritis. However,
netB strain could be also found in healthy chickens and
turkeys (Gad et al., 2011a) as well as in other animal
species such bovine (Martin, 2010). On the hand, Martin
(2010) reported that the majority (58%) of chickens with
NE were caused by C. perfringens isolates that were NetB
positive. Under experimental condition they found that
only strains that possess NetB were capable of producing
NE regardless of the source of the isolate. NetB negative
strains including those isolated from cases of NE were
unable to produce NE in the disease model. Martin and
Smyth (2009) also found a strong correlation between the
detection of the cpb2 gene and netb gene. However, when
interpreting the results it has to be kept in mind that the
presence of the gene of a toxin does not necessarily mean,
that the toxin is produced, as it was shown for netb toxin
(Abildgaard et al., 2010) or cpb2 (Crespo et al.,2007).
Necrotic enteritis (NE)
NE is an acute disease caused by Clostridium
perfringens when proliferates to high numbers in the
small intestine and produces toxins responsible for
damaging the intestinal lining (Long and Truscott, 1976;
Shane et al., 1985). It was firstly described by Parish
(1961). The disease has been observed in several domestic
and wild birds world wide. Recently several reviews were
published (Van Immerseel et al., 2004; Williams, 2005;
Wilson et al., 2005; McDevitt et al., 2006; Opengart,
2008). Beside clinically manifested disease, subclinical
infections may take place and are mostly accompanied
with reduction of performance.
Mode of infection
The most important source of infection in poultry
appears to be contaminated feed, litter, water and the
environment (Wijewanta and Seneviratna, 1971;
Komnenov et al., 1981; Craven et al., 2001a). In addition,
some reports about the possible vertical transmission have
been published (Köhler et al., 1974a, b; Shane et al.,
1984; Craven et al., 2001b, 2003). Recently, Martin
(2010) were able to demonstrate under experimental
condition, that factors such as co-infection with Eimeria
species, genotype of chicken and the strain of C.
perfringens were the most critical factors involved in
disease development, while other factors such as age of
chickens, contact with litter and protein content of the diet
played a lesser role.
Clinical signs and lesions
After experimental infection, the first mild clinical
signs are evident approximately 24 to 36 hours after
administration of a pure C. perfringens culture to broiler
chickens (Bains, 1968; Helmboldt and Bryant, 1971;
Balauca et al., 1976; Al-Sheikhly and Truscott, 1977;
Balauca, 1978). The clinical signs appear suddenly;
apparently healthy birds may become acutely depressed
and die within hours (Long, 1973; Tsai and Tung, 1981;
Shane et al., 1985). Mortality ranges between 2 and 10%.
Affected birds show ruffled feathers, marked depression,
in-appetence, tendency to huddle, watery droppings and
diarrhoea (Long, 1973; Porter, 1998; Gazdzinski and
Julian, 1992).
The presence of C. perfringens in the intestinal tract
or inoculation of the animals with high doses of C.
perfringens, however, does generally not lead to the
development of necrotic enteritis. One or several
predisposing factors may be required to elicit the clinical
signs and lesions (Shane et al., 1984; Cowen et al., 1987;
Kaldhusdal et al., 1999). It appears that some
dysfunctions of the alimentary tract are necessary
predisposing cause of infection. Intestinal stasis, intestinal
distension, coccidiosis, salmonellosis, crop mycosis and
haemorrhagic enteritis (HE) may predispose the birds to
infection (Al-Sheikhly and Al-Saieg, 1980; Shane et al.,
1985; Baba et al., 1992, Williams, 2005). Factors
predisposing the intestinal tract to overgrowth by
clostridia organisms may also be the consumption of diets
high in energy, protein and fish meal as well as the
Pak Vet J, 2011, 31(3): 175-184.
consumption of high fibre litter and wheat based diet
(Branton et al., 1987; 1997; Kaldhusdal and Skjerve,
1996; Ficken and Wages, 1997; Kocher, 2003). Panneman
(2000) demonstrated that the proximal intestine of normal
birds has very low levels of bacteria, whereas birds
affected with dysbacteriosis have substantially higher
bacterial counts. Clostridium spp. has been shown to
contribute to this overgrowth. Dysbacteriosis is defined as
the presence of a qualitatively and/or quantitatively
abnormal flora in the small intestine causing a clinical
disorder and/or malabsorption. It is seen in broilers after
21 days of age with wet faeces and a reduction in feed
intake (Fabri, 2004). Furthermore, Siegel et al. (1993)
reported that genetic susceptibility could be an additional
factor, which can influence the course of infection, since a
significant difference in mortality rate between different
major histocompatibility complex genotypes was
observed. An outbreak of necrotic enteritis occurred in
chickens that were B13B13 or B21B21 at the MHC in
sublines of lines selected for high (HA) and low (LA)
antibody response to sheep erythrocytes. Percentage
mortality and hen-day egg production, although similar
for both background genomes, were different for MHC
genotypes. Mortality was 6% for B21B21 and 15% for
B13B13 types. Although hen-day egg production for both
types declined from about 76 to 50%, the decrease
occurred earlier but recovery of survivors was faster in
B13B13 than in B21B21 pullets (Siegel et al., 1993).
On autopsy dehydration is the most common finding.
Breast muscles are dark red and gizzards are full of litter.
Severe inflammation in the duodenum and jejunum is the
most predominant finding, but in some instances the entire
length of the intestinal tract is involved (Bains, 1968;
Helmboldt and Bryant, 1971; Long et al., 1974; Tsai and
Tung 1981; Ficken and Berkhoff, 1989). The intestine is
distended thin walled and filled with gas and contains
dark offensive fluid (Broussard et al., 1986). The mucosa
is covered with green or brown diphteroid membrane,
which can be easily separated from the lining (Fig. 1).
Varying degrees of sloughing of the intestinal mucosa
could also be observed (Fig. 2). As the condition
progresses, areas of necrosis can be recognized from
outside of the intestine (Helmboldt and Bryant, 1971;
Long et al., 1974; Balauca, 1978; Shane et al., 1985).
Initial microscopic lesions develop at the apices of
villi and are characterized by sloughing of epithelium and
colonization of the exposed lamina propria with bacilli,
accompanied by coagulation necrosis. Progression of
lesions usually occurs from villi apices to crypts. Necrosis
may extend into the submucosa and muscular layers of the
intestine (Fig. 3) (Nairn and Bamford, 1967; Helmboldt
and Bryant, 1971; Long et al., 1974; Tsai and Tung, 1981;
Opengart, 2008). Large numbers of gram-positive bacilli
can be seen (Fig. 4 and 5) within the necrotic debris
(Randall, 1991). In per acute cases there is little
inflammatory cell infiltrate although, if the animal
survives, there is a progression to heterophil and
mononuclear cell infiltration followed by fibrosis (Shane
et al., 1985; Ficken and Wages, 1997).
Cholangiohepatitis causes severe economic losses
due to high liver condemnation rate on the processing and
downgraded of the slaughtered carcasses. Clostridium
perfringens is usually isolated in association with the
disease. The hepatitis characterized by an enlarged firm
liver sometimes with a slightly knobby surface and a
medium tan colour. Histopathological lesions consist of
hyperplasia of the bile duct, fibrinoid necrosis, cholangitis
and occasionally focal granulomatous inflammation
(Onderka et al., 1990; Løvland and Kaldhusdal, 1999;
Sasaki et al., 2000). Onderka et al. (1990) experimentally
reproduced the condition by either tying off the bile ducts
or injecting C. perfringens into the bile duct. It seems that
the presence of C. perfringens in many of the gall
bladders of affected livers suggested some involvement of
either the bacterium or its toxin which interfere with the
liver function.
Gizzard erosions
Gizzard erosions has been observed in commercial
broiler chickens and several non-infectious factors such as
mycotoxin-contaminated feed, vitamin B6 and E
deficiency, inadequate levels of sulphur-containing
dietary amino acids, high levels of dietary copper, pelleted
feed as well as inclusion of certain fish meals in the diets
and were discriminated as possible cause. Ono et al.
(2003) reported on Outbreaks of adenoviral gizzard
erosion in slaughtered broiler chickens in Japan and
Novoa-Garrido et al. (2006) found a significant
association between gizzard lesions and increased caecal
C. perfringens counts in broiler chickens.
A presumptive diagnosis may be made from the case
history, clinical signs, lesions and staining fresh smears of
upper part of the intestinal tract with Gram stain showing
an abundant number of clostridia organisms (Ficken and
Wages, 1997; Hafez and Jodas, 1997). This should be
confirmed by the isolation of the causative agent. For
isolation several media are available such as sheep blood
agar supplemented with neomycin or tryptose-sulfite-
cycloserine agar (TSC). The identification can be carried
out using biochemical tests. Most of isolates ferment
lactose, glucose, maltose, hydrolyze gelatin, and reduce
nitrate. This bacterium is non-motile, indole and catalase
negative (Ficken and Berkhoff, 1989). In addition, PCR
was developed to detect of alpha toxin (Heikinheimo and
Korkeala, 2005) as well as a real-time PCR for
quantitative detection of C. perfringens in gastrointestinal
tract of poultry (Wise and Siragusa, 2005). Also ELISAs
for direct detection of C. perfringens major toxins and
enterotoxin are commercially available.
Treatment with antibiotics such as penicillin,
amoxicillin, ampicillin, erythromycin, dihydrostrepto-
mycin and tetracyclin provided a satisfactory clinical
response. Penicillin’s are known to be particularly active
against C. perfringens. Resistance to penicillin is very rare
and β-lactamase has not been demonstrated. Three days is
the minimum duration of treatment, however longer
applications may be required. Recently, Gad et al. (2011b)
were determined the minimum inhibitory concentrations
of 16 antibiotics for 100 Clostridium perfringens isolates
collected between 2008 and 2009 from commercial turkey
Pak Vet J, 2011, 31(3): 175-184.
flocks using a commercially available broth micro-
dilution test kit. No isolates were resistant against β-
lactam antibiotics (amoxicillin, oxacillin, and penicillin),
lincospectin, tylosin, doxycyclin, tetracycline,
enrofloxacin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, lincomycin,
and tilmicosin. A low frequency of resistance was
detected against erythromycin and tiamulin with 5 and
20%, respectively. Spectinomycin, neomycin and colistin
showed the highest incidence of resistance with 74, 94
and 100%, respectively.
According to Brennan et al. (2000) administration of
dietary Tylan® for seven consecutive days following
Fig. 1: Necrotic enteritis: The mucosa is covered with green or
brown diphtheroid membrane, which can be easily separated
from the lining.
Fig. 2: Severe necrotic enteritis with necrotic pseudomem-
brane covering the intestinal mucosa.
Fig. 3: Severe, acute, necrotizing enteritis with extensive
transmural spreading as well as associated, necrotizing and
granulomatous steatites/serositis; large number of Gram-
Positive bacilli, located multifocal within lesions (H & E 20X)
(Courtesy: Dr. Olivia Kershaw, Berlin).
Fig. 4: Necrotic enteritis: note large number of Gram-Positive
bacilli, located multifocal on the surface as well as within lesions
(Gram X200) (Courtesy: Dr. Olivia Kershaw, Berlin).
Fig. 5: Necrotic enteritis: note large number of Gram-Positive
bacilli, located multifocal on the surface as well as within lesions
(Gram X600) (Courtesy: Dr. Olivia Kershaw, Berlin).
confirmation of an NE field outbreak reduced the NE
mortality and lesion score and improved overall growth as
well as feed conversion in broilers. The optimum dose of
Tylan to control NE was 100 ppm.
No resistance to the ionophorous anticoccidial drugs
such as Narasin has been found (Watkins et al., 1997;
Martel et al., 2004). Brennan et al. (2001) reported that
Narasin, when administrated at 70 ppm in feed from Day
0 to 41 prevents morbidity, mortality and suppression of
growth and feed conversion associated with NE in
For the commercial poultry industry, controlling the
levels of C. perfringens is an important issue because of
the economic cost of infected flocks. It has been estimated
that, worldwide, C. perfringens costs the international
poultry industry in excess of $US 2 billion per year
(Kaldhusdal and Løvland, 2000). In addition, costs to
broiler producers associated with subclinical (mild)
necrotic enteritis (SNE) were estimated recently by
Skinner et al. (2010) using published information on
impacts on body weight and feed conversion rate (FCR)
associated with SNE and costs and revenues associated
with broiler production. SNE was estimated to result in a
12% reduction in body weight and a 10.9% increase in
FCR compared with healthy birds. For the purposes they
considered scenarios involving hypothetical flocks of
Pak Vet J, 2011, 31(3): 175-184.
20,000 birds raised to final body weights ranging from
4.63 to 7.94 lb. The incidence of SNE was assumed to
occur at 20% based on the literature. SNE resulted in a
loss to producers ranging from US$878.19 to US$1480.52
per flock. When feed costs required to obtain SNE flocks
having a total live body weight equal to equivalent healthy
flocks at market age were calculated, the increased cost to
producers ranged from US$370.49 to US$739.38 per
flock (Skinner et al., 2010).
Strategies to reduce the incidence of clostridial
infections are necessary help to increase the profitability
of the poultry production and several further approaches
are generally used to combat the infection and as
alternatives to AGPs. Investigations indicate that
competitive exclusion, prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes and
acids can impact the incidence and severity of NE in
poultry (Fukata et al., 1991; Elwinger et al., 1992;
Hofacre et al., 1998; Kaldhusdal et al., 2001). The data
suggest that these products may provide the poultry
industry with an alternative management tool that has the
potential to promote better intestinal health and decrease
monetary losses due to C. perfringens (McReynolds et al.,
According to Langhout (2007), these approaches will
need adaptations in the feeding program and/or feed
production. The practical relevance of these approaches
may vary between the different areas in the world. At this
moment it is difficult to evaluate novel strategies
developed to antibiotic-free feeding concepts.
Combination of different approaches is necessary to
enhance the performance and reduced health status of the
birds such as:
i) Selection of highly digestible feed ingredients to
reduce nutrients for microbial degradation.
ii) Improvement in the balance of the essential amino
acids resulting in lower total dietary protein levels.
This will reduce the risk for clostridium problems,
since this bacterium in particular increases during
proteolytic fermentation.
iii) Improvement in the physical form of the diet, for
example via the inclusion of coarse particles in the
diet. Coarse particles will improve the passage rate of
the feed through the intestinal tract and as a
consequence increase digestion and reduce bacterial
fermentation in the intestinal tract.
iv) Introduction of a special prestarter diet in the feeding
program. The main objective of this prestarter diet
should be to stimulate the development of the
immune system and the development of an optimal
micro flora.
v) Improvement of climate control in the broiler house
to avoid stress in the animal and keeping litter quality
in optimal condition.
vi) Improvement of disease control in broilers. This
disease control focuses much more on the prevention
of health problems than on treatment of diseases.
Active and passive immunity using vaccination
against C. perfringens and its toxins appears to offer
protection. Heier et al. (2001) found out that broiler flocks
with high titres of maternal antibodies against C.
perfringens alpha-toxin had lower mortality during the
production period than flocks with low tiers. Also
Løvland et al. (2004) use toxoids vaccines based on C.
perfringens type A and C toxoids to vaccinate breeder
flocks. The IgG responses in vaccinated parent hens were
distinct and the levels of antibodies to C. perfringens
alpha - toxin in progeny of the vaccinated hens was high
enough to protect the progeny against subclinical C.
perfringens associated necrotic enteritis. On the other
hand several recent investigations showed that immunity
to NE after oral infection using virulent strain and
subsequent treatment is much better than using avirulent
C. perfringens strains and they identified immunogenic
secreted proteins apparently uniquely produced by
virulent C. perfringens isolates and concluded that there
are certain secreted proteins beside to alpha-toxin, that are
involved in immunity to NE in broiler chickens
(Thompson et al., 2006; Kulkarni et al., 2007). Further
additional study showed the ability of oral immunisation
against C. perfringens in broiler chickens using an
attenuated Salmonella vaccine vector (Kulkarni et al.,
Implementation of several approaches such as
improvement of management, feed formulation and use of
alternative products to modulate the intestinal flora led to
an improvement of the situation. Limiting exposure to
infectious agents through biosecurity, vaccination,
supportive therapy, cleaning and disinfection are essential.
In addition, early recognition in managing the enteric
disorders is very important.
Finally, use of an effective anticoccidial drug in the
ration is helpful to minimise the effect of enteritis. Since,
recent investigations showed that the use of some
alternative products might be able to reduce the intestinal
colonization with pathogenic bacterial agents. This could
be an additional tool to reduce enteric disorders in future.
I would like to thank Dr. Olivia Kershaw, Institute of
Animal Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Free
University Berlin for providing the histopathological
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... C. perfringens can produce four types of lethal toxins (alpha, beta, epsilon, and iota) and categorize them into different biotypes A, B, C, D, and E (Hafez, 2011). Besides the above-mentioned toxins, some C. ...
... Coccidiosis has bad effects on the intestines Chen et al., 2020), making them susceptible to NE. The (Hafez, 2011;Wade and Keyburn, 2015) can result in leakage of serum into intestinal lumen which acts as rich source of nutrients for C. perfringens; and (Moore, 2016;Umar et al., 2016) cause production of mucus which serves as high protein nutrient source for C. perfringens proliferation (Moore, 2016 ...
... Coccidiosis has bad effects on the intestines that make them susceptible to NE.s The integrity of gut is compromised by injury and damage to GIT which (M'Sadeq et al., 2015) opens access to the basal layer of the intestine which can become an important infection site in the initial stages of the disease, (Van Immerseel et al., 2016) can expose collagen and extracellular molecules, which play a critical role in adherence of C.perfringens(Wade and Keyburn 2015;Hafez et al., 2011) can result in leakage of serum into intestinal lumen which acts as rich source of nutrients for C. perfringens; and(Moore, 2016;Umar et al., 2016) 108 RECENT ADVANCES IN ENGINEERING, SCIENCE AND CONSTRUCTION ...
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This book presents the recent advances in engineering, science, and construction. The matters discussed and presented in the chapters of this book cover a wide spectrum of topics and research methods in the field of engineering, science, and technology. The book contains eight chapters: estimations of river flows by use of artificial intelligence methods, investigation of quality criteria during the storage of vacuum dried minced meat and powder soup, using in the density functional method in material science, investigation of coating efficiency in friction surfacing process, synthesis and characterization of graft copolymers by atom transfer radical polymerization, the effects of nitrilotriacetic acid (nta) on some plasma enzymes of nile tilapia, necrotic enteritis: A re-emerging economically important issue and alternatives to antibiotics, and application of IoT in agriculture. This book, which consists of studies covering the fields of artificial intelligence, engineering, science, construction, materials, and metallurgical, will constitute an academic data source for academicians and researchers. I believe that this book, which consists of different scientific fields, will make significant contributions to the world of science and I would like to thank the authors who have contributed.
... Clostridium (C.) perfringens type A which costs the global poultry industry up to 5-6 billion USD every year (Wade and Keyburn, 2015). This bacterium resides as a physiological microbiome in the intestines of animals and birds (Hafez, 2011). C. perfringens is classified into five toxinotypes (A-E) depending upon the type of toxins produced viz. ...
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Ever since the reduction of antimicrobial growth promoters in animal feed, infectious diseases have re-emerged in certain parts of the world, necrotic enteritis (NE) for one. The current study determines the protective efficacy of egg yolk antibodies (EYAs) in experimentally infected broiler chicken. Eighty (80), day-old broiler chickens were procured and divided into four groups (G1-G4). Group G1 served as a negative control, while G2 served as positive control viz infected with C. perfringens type A (1 x 10 8 cfu/ml) from days 17-19 of the experiment. Groups G3 and G4 immunized passively with anti-clostridial IgY @ 1 ml per bird between days 21-24 via oral route, while 22 nd and 24 th days via I/M route, respectively. Two killings were performed (days 26 th and 35 th) and the birds were observed for growth performance, hematology and serum biochemistry. The study results showed a statistically significant decrease in growth, hematology and serum protein values, while elevation in serum enzyme values of the birds in group G2 when compared to group G1. The groups G3 and G4 (passively immunized) showed the values less affected and close to the physiological ranges. Hence it was concluded that anti-clostridial EYAs (IgY) has ameliorative effects against experimental clostridial infection in broiler chicken. To Cite This Article: Abadeen ZU, Javed MT, Rizvi F and Rahman SU, 2021. Salutary effects of anti-Clostridium perfringens type A egg yolk antibodies (IgY) on growth performance and hemato-biochemical parameters in experimentally infected broiler chicken. Pak Vet J, 41(4): 562-566. http://dx.
... However, these differences are difficult to interpret due to dissimilarities in used methodologies. Knowing that turkeys have a higher predisposition for disease and a longer production cycle, leading to build-up of litter or more environmental stressors, a higher AMU in turkeys compared to broilers is expected [16,[37][38][39]. ...
... Good enteric health plays a critical and basic role in successful broiler production by converting feed into meat. Any disturbances in this conversion process, such as mechanical, chemical, or biological hazards, impair nutrient absorption rates, resulting in high economic losses because of poor growth, increased mortality rates, and increased treatment costs (1). The major enteric viruses, including chicken astrovirus (CAstV), avian nephritis virus (ANV), avian rotavirus (AvRV), chicken parvovirus (ChPV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), avian reovirus (ARV), and fowl adenovirus (FAdV), are etiologies of enteritis of poultry that are accompanied by high economic losses to the poultry industries (2)(3)(4)(5). ...
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Chicken astrovirus (CAstV) and avian nephritis virus (ANV) are enteric viruses of poultry and have infected a wide range of poultry species worldwide, causing runting-stunting syndrome (RSS), which requires virus screening and results in serious economic damage. No confirmed cases have been reported from Bangladesh. In the present study, CAstV and ANV were monitored in Bangladesh. We monitored samples for CAstV and ANV and compared their genomic sequences to other reference strains. We found 8/31 flocks (25.8%) were positive for CAstV, 6/31 flocks (19.3%) had mixed infection of CAstV and ANV, and 1 flock (3.2%) was positive for ANV. Only ANV and a combination of CAstV and ANV were found in broilers and broiler breeders, but CAstV was found in all types of chickens. We isolated two of each from CAstV and ANV through specific pathogen-free chicken embryonated eggs via the yolk sac route. Phylogenetic analysis based on the ORF1b conserved region of CAstV and ANV suggested that the locally circulating strain was closely related to the strains isolated from India and Brazil. This report is the first molecular characterization of CAstV and ANV in Bangladesh. This study highlights that CAstV and ANV are circulating in Bangladeshi poultry.
... It should be mentioned that the increased use of amoxicillin and ampicillin in poultry therapy might have promoted the rise of ESBL E. coli. In particular, these antimicrobials have been used against enteric disorders associated with an overgrowth of Clostridium perfringens [49,50] following the ban of the use of antibiotics as feed growth promoters in industrial chickens [51]. Our results showed that antibiotic-free and organic systems, that had not used antimicrobials, were protective factors for ESBL presence if compared to conventional management. ...
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The spread of resistant bacteria from livestock to the food industry promoted an increase of alternative poultry production systems, such as organic and antibiotic-free ones, based on the lack of antimicrobial use, except in cases in which welfare is compromised. We aimed to investigate the antibiotic susceptibility of commensal Escherichia coli isolated from organic, antibiotic-free, and conventional broiler farms and slaughterhouses toward several antimicrobials critically important for human health. To assess antimicrobial susceptibility, all E. coli isolates and extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) E. coli were analysed by the microdilution method. The prevalence of tigecycline, azithromycin and gentamicin E. coli-resistant strains was highest in organic samplings. Conversely, the lowest prevalence of resistant E. coli strains was observed for cefotaxime, ceftazidime and ciprofloxacin in organic systems, representing a significant protective factor compared to conventional systems. All E. coli strains were colistin-susceptible. Contamination of the external environment by drug-resistant bacteria could play a role in the presence of resistant strains detected in organic systems. Of interest is the highest prevalence of cephalosporin resistance of E. coli in conventional samplings, since they are not permitted in poultry. Our results suggest that monitoring of antibiotic resistance of the production chain may be helpful to detect “risks” inherent to different rearing systems.
... However, these differences are difficult to interpret due to dissimilarities in used methodologies. Knowing that turkeys have a higher predisposition for disease and a longer production cycle, leading to build-up of litter or more environmental stressors, a higher AMU in turkeys compared to broilers is expected [16,[37][38][39]. ...
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Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens our public health and is mainly driven by antimicrobial usage (AMU). For this reason the World Health Organization calls for detailed monitoring of AMU over all animal sectors involved. Therefore, we aimed to quantify AMU on turkey farms. First, turkey-specific Defined Daily Dose (DDDturkey) was determined. These were compared to the broiler alternative from the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (DDDvet), that mention DDDvet as a proxy for other poultry species. DDDturkey ranged from being 81.5% smaller to 48.5% larger compared to its DDDvet alternative for broilers. Second, antimicrobial treatments were registered on 60 turkey farms divided over France, Germany and Spain between 2014 and 2016 (20 flocks per country). Afterwards, AMU was quantified using treatment incidence (TI) per 100 days. TI expresses the percentage of the rearing period that the turkeys were treated with a standard dose of antimicrobials. Minimum, median and maximum TI at flock level and based on DDDturkey = 0.0, 10.0 and 65.7, respectively. Yet, a huge variation in amounts of antimicrobials used at flock level was observed, both within and between countries. Seven farms (12%) did not use any antimicrobials. Aminopenicillins, polymyxins, and fluoroquinolones were responsible for 72.2% of total AMU. The proportion of treating farms peaked on week five of the production cycle (41.7%), and 79.4% of the total AMU was administered in the first half of production. To conclude, not all DDDvet values for broilers can be applied to turkeys. Additionally, the results of AMU show potential for reducing and improving AMU on turkey farms, especially concerning the usage of critically important antimicrobials.
... Infeed antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) were first used to control the disease. However, due to the increase of antibiotic resistance, European Union members have entirely stopped their usage [9]. Vaccination is one of the best strategies to prevent NE disease in poultry [10]. ...
To develop a nanoparticle-based vaccine against necrotic enteritis, a chimeric antigen (rNA) consisting of the main antigens of Clostridium perfringens, NetB, and Alpha toxin, was prepared. then, the rNA molecules were loaded onto the functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNPs) using physical adsorption or covalent conjugation methods. The characterization of synthesized nanoparticles was performed by scanning electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential measurement, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and thermogravimetry techniques. The results revealed that the spherical nanoparticles with an average diameter of 90±12 nm and suitable surface chemistries are prepared. MSNPs-based formulations did not show any significant toxicity on the chicken embryo fibroblast cells. The results of the challenge experiments using subcutaneous or oral administration of the as-prepared formulations in the animal model showed that the as-prepared nanosystems, similar to those formulated with a commercial adjuvant (Montanide), present stronger humoral immune responses as compared to that of the free proteins. It was also indicated that the best protection is obtained in groups vaccinated with MSNPs-based nanovaccine, especially those who orally received covalently conjugated nanovaccine candidates. These results recommend that the MSNPs-based formulated chimeric proteinous vaccine candidates can be considered as an effective immunizing system for the oral vaccination of poultry against gastrointestinal infectious diseases.
... Coccidiosis remains one of the major threats for poultry industry throughout the world [7]. The disease is traditionally controlled by the use of chemoprophylactic measures including anticoccidials in feed that inhibit the developmental stages of Eimeria. ...
The purpose of the research is to identify species of Eimeria spp. in chicken broilers suspected to be infected with coccidia and to determine the effect of coccidiostatics in the course of coccidiosis. Materials and methods . The study involved 20 six-week-old broiler chickens obtained from a farm heavily affected by coccidia (natural infection – a high oocyst incidence). Each group yielded 10 randomly picked chickens to be used in the experiment. The birds were divided into 2 groups 10 chickens each: control (I); Baycox-treated (II); Baycox was applied for 2 days in a concentration of 25 ppm in drinking water. Samples of broiler chickens’ droppings were tested qualitatively by the flotation method (Willis-Schlaaf) and then quantitatively by the McMaster technique. The chickens were killed 6 days post-treatment and their intestinal mean total lesion scores (MTLS) were graded 0 to 4 on an arbitrary scale described by Johnson and Reid (1970). Results and discussion . As a result of the research, six species of protozoa of the genus Eimeria were identified: E. acervulina, E. tenella, E. brunetti, E. maxima, E. mivati, E. necatrix, while E. necatrix and E. maxima were the dominant species. This proves the presence of such species as E. mivati, E. acervulina (76.34%) in the anterior segment of the intestine and E. necatrix, E. maxima (83.34%) – in the middle segment of the small intestine. Infections of E. brunetti broilers amounted to 51.11%. The most pathogenic species of E. tenella residing in the cecum was found in 37.53%. MTLS in the group of chickens that received Baycox was 0.33. The post-treatment oocyst indices in the second group amounted to 1 (1–50 oocysts in 1 g of faeces), in the control group MTLS was very high (2,5), the oocyst index exceeding 3.
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The present study was planned to evaluate the ameliorative effects of egg yolk antibodies (EYAs) in broiler chicken. For this purpose, 80-day-old broiler chickens were divided into four groups (A–D), where group A was kept as negative control. Experimental infection with C. perfringens (1 × 108 cfu/mL) was induced via oral route on days 17, 18 and 19 of the experiment in groups B, C and D. Groups C and D were passively immunized by anti-clostridial IgYs @ 1 mL per bird via oral and oral and intramuscular (I/M) routes respectively, on days 21 to 24, and on days 22 and 24 of the experiment, respectively. Two necropsies were performed (the first on day 26th and the second on day 35th). Birds in group B showed behavioral signs e.g., laziness, depression and diarrhea, gross post-mortem lesions e.g., increase in the relative weights (RW), due to acute swelling and congestion of liver and kidneys and ballooning and hemorrhages of jejunum and microscopic lesions e.g., congestion and necrosis in liver and kidneys’ parenchyma and disrupted epithelium with fewer goblet cells in jejunum, compared to the group A. Birds in groups C and D, showed significant improvements in clinical and behavioral signs, RW of liver, kidneys and jejunum, swelling, congestion and mononuclear cells’ infiltration in liver and kidneys and damages in the jejunal-wall, compared to group B. The most significant changes were found in birds of group C. Our study revealed ameliorative effects of EYAs on certain biological parameters however, further studies would be needed to justify a safer production and a reliable application of EYAs in NE outbreaks.
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Parasitic infections in pigeons are very important due to their adaptability to different environmental conditions, as well as their relationship with human society. In this study, 250 samples of domestic and wild pigeons (Columba livia) were collected from different areas in Samawah, Al-Muthanna province, Iraq, from March 2020 to January 2021. Clinical examination of external parasites was conducted by screening fecal samples for intestinal parasitic infections and preparing direct swabs from the beaks. Out of the 250 pigeon samples (125 domestic and 125 wild pigeons), 65 pigeons were found infected (26%), including 40 domestic (32%) and 25 wild pigeons (20%) (P≤0.05). The results showed that these parasitic infections belong to three major groups of bird parasites: 1) Protozoa, such as Eimeria species (spp.) oocyst, Cryptosporidium spp., and Trichomonas gallinae, with prevalence rates of 21 (16.8%), 14 (11.2%), 19 (15.2%), 11(8.8%), 7 (5.6%), and 2 (1.6%), 2) Helminths, such as cestodes (Raillietina tetragona) and nematodes (Ascaridia columbae) with prevalence rates of 5 (4%), 4 (3.2%), 4 (3.2%), and 2 (1.6%), as well as Arthropods, including lice (Menacanthus stramineus) with prevalence rates of 5 (4%) and 3 (2.4%) in domestic and wild pigeons, respectively. Additionally, no significant difference was found between male and female pigeons in their infection rate (P≤0.05). The findings also revealed that the highest percentage of infection in both genders of domestic and wild pigeons was caused by one spp. of parasites (62.5% and 64% in domestic and wild pigeons, respectively), followed by two spp. (24% and 27.5% in domestic and wild pigeons, respectively), and three spp. of parasites (10% and 12% in domestic and wild pigeons, respectively). However, there was no significant difference between domestic and wild pigeons regarding their infections with one, two, or three spp. of parasites (P≤0.05). It is thus concluded that differences in the prevalence of these parasites in different regions are partly due to differences in nutrition, feeding habits, and geographical environment.
The modern poultry industry oriented for high production and better quality at low cost, together with increasing claim of consumers for poultry meat products, demands continuous efficient and goal oriented veterinary care. The present review describes the history of turkey domestication and the organisation of commercial meat turkey industry in Germany as well as disease conditions and problems related to rearing system and genetics in meat turkeys with special reference to cannibalism and debeaking problem, respiratory diseases, leg weakness, breast blisters and aortic rupture.