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Recurring colisepticaemia in batches of birds in a poultry farm in Nsukka, Southeast Nigeria

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Abstract:

Repeated outbreaks of Escherichia coli infection in pullets and laying birds in a poultry farm in Nsukka, southeast Nigeria are reported. The outbreaks were recorded in four batches of birds; the initial cases occurring in birds 12 – 16 weeks of age while subsequent outbreaks were in birds 28–31 weeks of age. The disease was characterized by depression, inappettence, mild cough and whitish diarrhoea; morbidity was 10% while mortality was about 5%. There was a 15% drop in egg production in laying birds. Post-mortem lesions included peritonitis, pericarditis, hydropericardium and perihepatitis. Pure cultures of E. coli were obtained from the organs cultured. The E. coli strains were sensitive to neomycin, streptomycin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, pefloxacin, ofloxacin and chloramphenicol but resistant to tetracycline, nalidixic acid, ampicillin and cotrimoxazole. Biosecurity measures are recommended for the control of avian colisepticaemia in Nigeria. Key Words: Outbreaks, Escherichia coli, pullets, laying birds. (Nigerian Veterinary Journal: 2003 24(1): 48-52)

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