Bacteriological and pathological studies of egg peritonitis in commercial layer chicken in Namakkal area
Authors: Palani Srinivasan, Gurusamypalayam Amirthalingam Balasubramaniam, Thippichettipalayam Ramasamy Gopala Krishna Murthy, Perumal Balachandran
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Objective: To detect the various bacteriological agents and pathological changes in commercial
layer chicken affected with egg yolk peritonitis in Namakkal region of India.
Methods: A total of 6 572 layer chicken from 85 commercial farms were subjected for the study,
out of which 1 715 showed various types of oviduct abnormalities. Among the 1 715, 264 birds from
six farms were identified as egg peritonitis on the basis of postmortem examination. Trachea,
lung, heart blood, liver, peritoneal exudate, oviduct (infundibulum, magnum, uterus) and cloacal
swabs were collected from the 264 birds with egg peritonitis lesion for screening of bacterial
agents. Signalment, clinical signs and pathological changes were recorded in the affected flocks.
Result: The results of the present investigation indicated that the E. coli associated egg
peritonitis was responsible for 15.39% of the reproductive tract abnormalities in commercial layers
between 21 and 80 week of age. In the affected flocks egg production drop and mortality varied
from 3% to 20% and 0.5% to 7.0% respectively. It was noticed during peak egg production (21 to 60
week) and southwest monsoon season (58%). Statistical analysis of age, season and egg production
by Chi square test of independence revealed highly significant difference. E. coli was isolated
as a pure culture and concurrent with other bacterial agents in 226 and 38 birds respectively.
Among the fifteen E. coli serotypes identified serotype O166, O64 and O111 were predominant.
Necropsy examination of affected birds revealed the presence of amorphous or insipissiated yolk
material in the abdominal cavity with inflammatory changes in the ovary, oviduct and intestine.
Microscopically the oviduct surface epithelium showed degeneration and desquamation,
moderate to marked infiltration of inflammatory cells especially heterophils and lymphocytes
in various regions and lumen contained serofibrinous exudate, inflammatory and desquamated
epithelial cells with bacterial microcolonies. Ovarian follicles revealed hyperemia, degeneration
of granulosa cells and infiltration of inflammatory cells. Intestine showed degenerative, necrotic
and inflammatory lesion.
Conclusion: The findings of this study showed that the egg peritonitis might be caused by either
the translocation of intestinal E. coli into the peritoneal cavity or by the movement of cloacal
E. coli into the oviduct followed by ascension of these bacteria up the oviduct, through the
infundibulum, and into the peritoneal cavity. To control the egg peritonitis faecal contamination
with E. coli should be minimized.