With the AeroCollect method, it is possible to analyze the air from the barn for different types of salmonella. Samples submitted to AeroCollect’s laboratory for salmonella analysis, will initially be analyzed for salmonella types of zoonotic relevance. If you want to have your samples analyzed for S. pollorum or S. gallinarum, we would like to hear from you.
Infection with salmonella bacteria can give rise to both acute and chronic poultry disease. In addition, poultry is an important source of infection for human infections with salmonella. Salmonella infection in poultry is most often caused by one of the types S. pollorum or S. gallinarum. S. pollorum causes systemic disease in chickens under 6 weeks, whereas S. gallinarum is more frequently the cause of disease in animals older than 3 months, and here both acute and chronic infection can occur. Salmonella infection in poultry causes a high herd mortality, reduced growth, weak animals with paralysis and blindness, and diarrhea. Salmonella outbreaks of hatcheries often show early death or chickens that have died during incubation as a result of the transfer of the bacterium from the hen laying the egg. Human infections with salmonella are most often caused by the types of S. typhimurium, which are typically transmitted with pork, and S. enteritidis, which are typically transmitted via eggs or chicken meat. Infection occurs in connection with ingestion of, for example, insufficiently heat-treated meat or eggs laid by systemically infected hens. Human salmonella infections are characterized by stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhea.
With AeroCollect, it is possible to monitor poultry herds for campylobacter. This allows the detection of campylobacter even before arrival at the slaughterhouse, as the samples are analyzed directly by PCR without the need for sample preparation or culture. The collected campylobacter air samples can be further tested for relevant production-reducing diseases such as IBV and gumboro, in order to optimize the vaccination strategy in collaboration with the herd veterinarian.
Campylobacter is a common gut bacterium in animals, and the types C. jejuni and C. coli are specific campylobacter types that colonize the intestinal tract of poultry. These bacteria rarely cause disease in birds but are the main cause of food-induced gastrointestinal infection in humans.
Campylobacter is rarely seen in birds under 3 weeks of age, and as the level of a herd typically increases with the age of the animals, it will typically be at its highest when the chicks reach the age of slaughter. The temperature also plays a role for the campylobacter level in a poultry house as this increase during the hot months, possibly due to the transfer of the bacterium between herds of flies. However, the presence of campylobacter in a herd rarely affects the birds but is an important risk for infection for the consumer. Human campylobacter infections typically occur through ingestion of insufficiently heat-treated chicken meat or contaminated vegetables, where ingestion of only a few bacteria can give rise to disease. Symptoms of human campylobacter infection include occasional and most often self-limiting aqueous and/or bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever.
AeroCollect samples can be used as an alternative to the traditional blood samples in the case of suspected wild IBV infections (the collected air sample can be used directly for typing the detected IB virus). Further, a routine analysis of the air samples can be used in a monitoring program that provides the necessary information for an intelligent vaccination program.
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) in poultry is caused by the highly infectious avian coronavirus, infectious bronchitis virus. Viruses can cause disease in birds of all ages; however, symptoms of infectious bronchitis are often more pronounced in young chickens. The symptoms occur 24-48 hours after the birds have been infected and last up to 7 days in the individual animal, while virus outbreaks in bird flocks can flourish for up to 14 days. Infectious bronchitis virus gives rise to very varied symptoms depending on the virulence of the strain, the age of the animals, the climate and the susceptibility and immune status of the animals. Typical clinical signs include decreased appetite, cough, sneezing and difficulty breathing as well as a general bad mood and diarrhea. Egg layers also see a decrease in the quality of the eggshell and egg production can decrease by up to 70%. An IBV infection predisposes to other secondary infections, which is often the true cause of animal disease. Infectious bronchitis virus spreads between the animals with dust particles and so-called aerosols as the animals breathe, and these particular particles can be captured by the AeroCollect method and analysed in our laboratories.
Infectious bursal disease virus (Gumboro)*
AeroCollect is validated for the detection of gumboro in air samples from infected flocks. The sooner the gumboro is detected in the air the sooner the treatment can begin, which is why risk herds can be monitored advantageously using the AeroCollect technology for the presence of the gumboro virus in the house. Likewise, after treatment by previous rotations, it is possible to follow whether the virus has been successfully extinguished throughout the treatment, or it is still possible to detect viruses in the house and why the treatment should be continued.
Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) popularly known as gumboro is an acute viral infection typically seen in chickens up to 16 weeks of age. An untreated gumboro infection can have major economic consequences in individual production and can cause mortality of up to 60% for some virus strains. Gumboro is a highly contagious disease that survives extremely well in the environment, allowing birds to become infected at insertion, even when it occurs several weeks after the release of an infected team. It is therefore important to start treatment as soon as the virus is detected. Viruses are excreted with the stool for 10-14 days after the infection occurs, and symptoms typically occur 2-3 days after the animals have been infected. In young birds (less than 3 weeks) the infection may well be present without obvious clinical symptoms. When detecting viruses in chicken production, a vaccine is used by the following three teams to starve the virus in the house and thus get rid of it.
With the AeroCollect method it is possible to measure Adeno virus in a flock. With the use of a killed vaccine, it is still possible to the collection of air samples to monitor if a wild strain occurs in the flock.
Adenovirus is divided into a further 3 groups of viruses, all of which give rise to different disease in different types of birds.
In this group there are 12 different adenovirus strains that are primarily pathogenic in chickens. These strains are called fowl adenovirus 1-12 (FAdV 1-12). Animals of all ages are susceptible to infection by these virus strains that can infect both vertically and horizontally. That is, chickens may already be infected from the egg hatch if the chicken is infected. When the animal reaches 2-4 weeks of age, it begins to secrete viruses itself with the stool, saliva, urine and other secretions. Viruses can hide latently in the animal and later give rise to disease again and are again excreted to other animals in the herd. In addition, viruses can be transmitted via personnel and other objects in the environment. Symptoms of FAdV vary by specific virus strain, but include liver and heart disease, among others. Some strains cause acute infection and death in young chicks, while other strains result in milder symptoms. However, the mild infections can be exacerbated by prior infection with, for example, gumboro or blue-wing disease, which has weakened the immune system of the animals. Below is a brief description of selected diseases caused by FAdV.
Inclusion body hepatitis (IBH) is a form of hepatitis seen primarily in poultry. As a result of this disease affecting the liver, a sudden death of some individuals in the herd occurs.
Hydropericardium syndrome is believed to be caused by FAdV 4 and causes fluid retention around the animal’s heart, which impairs the pumping capacity of the heart. This disorder is seen more frequently than IBH and causes a much higher mortality rate.
Quail bronchitis is a lung infection in quail caused by FAdV 1. Chickens can carry this infection and thus infect quail. The clinical symptoms are coughing, sneezing, rattle and flooding of the nose and eyes. In acute cases, aqueous diarrhea is also seen. Mortality can be very high in birds under 2 weeks, which is why the disease is of great economic importance to breeders of this type of bird.
Among this group are the viruses that cause the diseases turkey haemorrhagic enteritis and marble spleen disease. These diseases occur in turkeys and pheasants, respectively, where a third disease of avian adenovirus group II splenomegaly causes an exacerbation of spleen in broilers.
Egg drop syndrome ’76 is caused by duck adenovirus 1 (DAdV 1). In addition to ducks, this virus can also infect chickens that may be infected already from the egg if the parent animals have the infection. However, viruses can also be transmitted by horizontal infection, where infected chickens can infect their flocks via the stool. The disease is manifested in laying hens by the production of pale, thin and soft eggshells or partially or completely missing eggshells. In addition, in geese and ducks which are the natural hosts of this virus, coughing and difficulty breathing can be seen as typical symptoms.
With AeroCollect, we will be able to monitor E. coli fracture in a herd so that measures can be taken if high levels of E. coli occur.
Escherichia coli is a bacterium that often occurs in farming environments without causing disease, however, E. coli in the herd can still have very large economic consequences as it gives rise to great variation in animal size. E. coli is an opportunistic pathogen, which means that it frequently gives rise to disease in animals that are already weakened and can therefore appear with many different disease images throughout the life of a chicken. General symptoms of illness can be seen as a decrease in feed intake, drowsiness, passivity, frayed plumage, strained and rapid breathing, or a gasp after breathing. However, the more specific symptoms depend on which of the diseases listed below are involved. In day-old chicks, an infection will typically manifest as a plum sac infection or a blood poisoning. Later in the animal’s life, it will be skin infections, joint inflammation, bone marrow inflammation and air sac inflammation that are dominant. In the adult chickens, an infection with E. coli can be the cause of fallopian tubes and peritonitis, and these can be both acute and chronic. They typically occur when the hen is 22-33 weeks old, as there is an increase in egg production, which can be stressful for the hen. The stressed hen has a weakened immune system, thus paving the way for an infection with E. coli. In the chronic inflammatory conditions, large abscesses occur in the abdominal or fallopian tubes, the chicken becomes unremarkable and a decrease in egg production is observed. Mortality in a herd with E. coli infection is usually low, whereas the disease is typically very prevalent in the herd and therefore causes a financial loss.
The AeroCollect equipment can be used to detect reovirus from air samples either as part of a routine monitoring program or as part of a test panel, taken by observation of symptoms to assist a veterinarian’s diagnosis.
There are several different strains of avian reovirus, most are harmless and live in the intestinal tract of the animal without giving rise to disease. Others cause disorders of the particular gastrointestinal system, respiratory tract or musculoskeletal system. Some strains affect chickens, while disease at duck, geese and turkey are each caused by their specific reovirus strain.
In broilers and occasionally laying hens, severe levels are seen as a result of viral arthritis caused by an avian reovirus strain. The chickens are infected by ingestion of virus with contaminated feed or water. Thereafter, viruses are replicated in the bird’s intestinal system to finally be spread with the blood to the rest of the body. In addition, viruses can be transmitted from the adult hen to the chicken via the egg, which is why very young animals may be infected from the hatch. The pathogenic virus strains often localize to the poultry hock joint, after which an inflammation occurs. Chickens infected with avian reovirus therefore have a difficulties walking or lie still, resulting in loss of production.
Other strains of avian reovirus cause respiratory disease and others again cause gastrointestinal infection, liver or heart disease. Common to the viral infections is that they give rise to weakened animals, and consequently a reduced production.
Chicken Anemia Virus (Blue wing disease)
The AeroCollect technology can be used to detect CAV from air samples either as part of a routine monitoring program or as part of a test panel taken by observation of symptoms to assist a veterinarian’s diagnosis.
Blue wing disease is a disease of the very young chickens caused by Chicken Anemia Virus (CAV). Chickens of all ages are susceptible to the infection, but only chickens younger than three weeks develop clear clinical symptoms. An infection with CAV can be transmitted via the stool or through the air, but most often the transmission occurs through the egg from hen to chicken. Blue wing disease is therefore typically seen in 10-20 day-old animals, where symptoms such as decreased appetite and depression can be observed. The animals become pale as viruses inhibit the formation of red blood cells, which also causes blue staining of the bird’s wings as well as bleeding under the skin, hence the name blue wing disease. Herds infected by CAV often have a high mortality rate due to the birds’ reduced immune system and subsequent secondary infections.
Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV/TRT)
With AeroCollect, it is possible to monitor the presence of viruses in the herd in a simple way from the entire flock, and not as today where it is a spot test of the pharynx or nasal cavity from a few single animals.
Avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) gives rise to clinical disease in turkeys and chickens. Based on symptoms and bird species, various disease designations have emerged for infection with this virus. These include turkey rhinotracheitis (TRT), avian pneumovirus infection in turkeys (APV) swollen head syndrome (SHS) and avian rhinotracheitis (ART). This RNA virus causes significant financial losses due to its effect on the upper respiratory tract. The clinical symptoms of turkeys include coughing, flooding of the nose, sneezing, and rattle during breathing as well as swelling of the head. In addition to respiratory symptoms, numbness, loss of appetite and ruffled plumage. The symptoms occur 3-7 days after infection, and typically the entire herd is infected. An increase in mortality can be seen, but unless the condition is aggravated by a secondary infection, the birds will typically be healthy again after 7-10 days. In chickens, aMPV causes swollen head syndrome, where clear swelling is found around the beak and eyes, in addition, floods from the eyes and nose, and the growth and development of the animal is reduced as a result of decreased well-being.
Pasteurella - Poultry Cholera
AeroCollect can be used as a monitoring tool for at-risk herds, where collected air samples are routinely examined for the presence of Pasteurella, as well as a diagnostic tool as part of the panel examined for herds with the symptoms described above.
Pasteurella infection in birds causes the disease poultry cholera when over 20% of a herd has contracted the infection. Poultry cholera is an infectious disease found in both wild and domesticated birds. The birds are infected with the bacterium pasteurella multocida via mucous membranes or through tears and wounds. Turkeys are very sensitive to infection with p. multocida, and entire turkey flocks can die within a few days due to an infection. Mortality is often higher in laying eggs than in broiler chickens, as older animals are more susceptible than young animals.
Poultry cholera can occur in 3 different forms, a peracute form, an acute form and a chronic form. The peracute form shows a sudden increase in mortality without any prior symptoms. In the acute form, there are countless animals, with an increased frequency of breathing, flooding of the eyes and nose, and a slimy, greenish diarrhea. Comb and chin may appear blue in color immediately before death. Finally, there is a chronic form that is seen in birds that survive the acute stage or are infected with a bacterium with low virulence. In chronic infection, a decrease in egg production and generally unremarkable animals is seen with swelling of the chin, foot pads and joints of wings and legs as a result of a local infection.
AeroCollect can be used to detect mycoplasma in the air in poultry flocks. These measurements can partly be used as an element in a monitoring panel or to assist the veterinarian in making the correct diagnosis by observing the above symptoms.
Mycoplasma is a single-celled organism of which there are many different species that are differentiated, among other things, by which host animals they can infect. Several mycoplasma species have been isolated from poultry, but the most important species among birds are M. gallisepticum, M. meleagridis, M. synoviae and M. iowae.
M. gallisepticum causes chronic respiratory disease especially in chickens and turkeys and is the most pathogenic of all mycoplasmas that can infect birds. Chickens are infected with the bacterium by transmission with the egg, but the birds can also infect each other, as sick animals secrete bacteria with their exhaled air in the form of aerosols. In hens and chickens infected with the bacterium, symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing and sneezing are seen. Presence of rash from eyes and nose may also occur, but this is most frequently seen in turkeys that are very sensitive to M. gallisepticum infection. In addition, a decrease in production can be observed as a result of infection.
M. synoviae causes infectious arthritis and mild respiratory tract disease in chickens and turkeys. M. synoviae is transmitted primarily by infected birds secreting the bacterium during exhalation in the form of aerosols. M. synoviae is widely used in egg herds with birds of different ages. The bacterium gives rise to arthritis and respiratory symptoms, which is why symptoms such as depression, swollen pillows and widespread limping among the herd are frequent findings of infection.
M. meleagridis occurs in turkeys where the bacterium is transmitted with the egg, causing disease in the newly hatched chickens. The bacterium causes a lower hatching rate, poor growth, and bone development, which significantly reduces the quality of the chickens. Likewise, M. iowae occurs primarily in turkeys, where it gives rise to low hatching rates and an accompanying financial loss.
Avian Influenza virus
AeroCollect can be used both as a monitoring tool, where air borne samples from the herd are routinely monitored for the presence of Avian influenza, and as a method for identifying sources of contamination in connection with an outbreak of influenza in specific regions of the country, where air measurements are a logistically simple method for collecting samples from many herds.
Avian influenza also called bird flu is an infectious viral disease that can cause mortality of up to 100% in a flock. Avian influenza is also a zoonosis, which means that humans and animal species other than poultry can be infected with avian flu, but it is only rarely that humans have been infected. Viruses are excreted from infected birds via the respiratory tract and through the stool. Wild birds form a reservoir for influenza A virus and viruses can be transmitted between birds with infected feed and drinking water. The infection can also be transmitted with clothing, feeding bags, non-disinfected hatching eggs, tools, machines etc.
The disease is divided into two groups based on the virus’s ability to cause disease among susceptible birds:
- High pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which causes a very serious disease characterized by a generalized infection of the infected poultry and can result in very high herd mortality, cessation of egg laying, rashes and fluid accumulation.
- Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI), which causes a mild disease with decreased eating and drinking and symptoms from the respiratory tract. It should be noted that this can give rise to secondary infections that can worsen the condition of the animals.
Aluetian Disease Virus*
With AeroCollect, it is possible to detect AMDV early in the process, as the technology uses virus monitoring in the air. Air samples are analyzed for AMDV using PCR technology in AeroCollect’s own laboratories. The air samples are collected by passing along all the cages and allowing the minks to breathe into the sample chamber. In this way, a farm of, for example, 20,000 animals can be tested in a few hours.
Plasmacytosis occurs as a result of infection with the parvovirus. The disease is also called Aleutian Mink Disease Virus, abbreviated as AMDV, when it was first thought that this virus only gave symptoms of mink with the particular Aleutian color. However, it has later been shown that all types of fur are susceptible to the disease. The small virus is highly contagious and survives extremely well in the environment. An infection with AMDV can cause symptoms such as reduced growth or weight loss, decreased fertility and a high mortality rate. In addition, poor quality of the skin is seen and with dark fur type mink, white prickly hair may appear. Acute pneumonia as well as a higher incidence of weak or dead born puppies occur in young animals. AMDV can occur in both an acute and a chronic form, and the disease is not treatable. Acute illness occurs approx. 24 hours after infection, and most frequently involve acute bleeding from the nose and high mortality. In the chronic form of the disease, on the other hand, it may take several months before the aforementioned symptoms occur, and it is therefore important to monitor herds for plasmacytosis infection.
African Swine Fever
The diseases listed are validated, under validation or in development. The validation work reflects which diseases are important to the clients. Clients are encouraged to contact AeroCollect® to get diseases added to the list.
*validated and accredited by DANAK – The Danish Accreditation Fund.