Spotty Liver Disease: A review of an ongoing challenge in commercial free-range egg production

Courtice, Jodi Maree and Mahdi, Layla Khalid and Groves, Peter John and Kotiw, Michael (2018) Spotty Liver Disease: A review of an ongoing challenge in commercial free-range egg production. Veterinary Microbiology, 227. pp. 112-118. ISSN 0378-1135


Abstract

Spotty Liver Disease is an acute infectious disease of layer chickens that was likely first described in the USA and Canada in the 1950s and 1960′s. The disease occurs almost exclusively in barn and free-range production systems. Outbreaks usually, but not exclusively occur in young layers (≅25 weeks) at peak of lay. Indicators of SLD include an acute drop in egg production of up to 35%, together with increased mortality of up to 15%. A presumptive diagnosis at post mortem is made with the detection of characteristic small yellow-white necrotic hepatic lesions, together with a fibrinous peri-hepatitis, excess pericardial and peritoneal fluid, and usually enteritis with diarrhoea. Histopathology reveals a multifocal acute hepatocellular necrosis with fibrin and occasional haemorrhage. Control measures trialled include use of antibiotics, improved biosecurity and hygiene, as well as management practices directed at reducing stress in flocks. However, none other than treatment with antibiotics has been consistently effective which suggested a bacterial aetiology. In 2015, a novel fastidious thermophilic, microaerobic campylobacter was isolated from symptomatic SLD flocks in the UK. Subsequently, an Australian group isolated and further characterised a genetically similar bacterium and named it Campylobacter hepaticus. The bacterium can be cultured from the liver and bile of infected birds, although recovery from non-sterile organs such as the caecum and duodenum remains elusive. Consequently, the route of transmission remains unconfirmed, although molecular detection by PCR of C. hepaticus DNA in the gastrointestinal tract and faeces of SLD infected birds is highly suggestive of a faecal-oral route.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2015 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing (1 Jan 2015 -)
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 02:32
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2021 03:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: Avian Vibrionic Hepatitis, Spotty Liver Disease, Campylobacter hepaticus
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070707 Veterinary Microbiology (excl. Virology)
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3009 Veterinary sciences > 300903 Veterinary bacteriology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 83 Animal Production and Animal Primary Products > 8305 Primary Animal Products > 830501 Eggs
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1006 Primary products from animals > 100601 Eggs
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/jvetmic.2018.08004
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/41250

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