The aetiology of increased mortality observed in two breeder duck flocks (Flock A consisting of 3500 laying ducks and Flock B comprising 4300 laying ducks) during the first egg-laying season was studied. In Flocks A and B, 773 ducks and 715 ducks (18.4% and 16.6%) died within a 24-week and a 20-week period, respectively. Death was preceded by clinical signs including movement difficulties, lack of appetite and depression lasting for 1 to 2 days. Diarrhoea was not observed. On gross pathological examination, the ducks were found to have haemorrhagic to fibrinonecrotic typhlocolitis, renal degeneration accompanied by fibrosis and mineralization, hepatic and splenic amyloidosis, and swelling of some of the metatarsal and phalangeal joints. Histopathological and immunohistochemical examination consistently demonstrated spirochaetes in the mucous membrane of the affected large intestine. On the basis of their cultural and biochemical properties and polymerase chain reaction sequencing analysis, four out of seven spirochaete strains isolated from the ducks (Flock A) by culture on special media under anaerobic conditions were identified as Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, and five out of eight strains (Flock B) were identified as Brachyspira pilosicoli. This is the first report on the isolation of B. hyodysenteriae and B. pilosicoli from laying ducks affected by fibrinonecrotic typhlocolitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)