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Prevalence of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in commercial poultry, hobby poultry and wild birds in Belgium

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Abstract
Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a pathogenic species for poultry and responsible for major economic loss. It is a common cause of chronic respiratory disease and can result in a variety of different symptoms such as coughing, nasal discharge, sinusitis, airsacculitis, decrease in egg production, and increase in embryo mortality in layers, reduction of weight gain and downgrading of carcasses in broilers. Because of the possible vertical transmission, infected breeder flocks should be depopulated in order to prevent further spread. Despite high hygienic measures, outbreaks in breeder flocks still occur and to date the exact route of spread into the breeder farms is not known. Because knowledge about the prevalence of M. gallisepticum in poultry holdings (other than breeders) is currently lacking in Belgium, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of M. gallisepticum among layer, broiler and turkey holdings, as well as in other bird species (backyard poultry, racing pigeons and wild birds) that are commonly present in Belgium and could possibly act as reservoirs for this bacterium. A random selection of poultry herds, proportional to herd density per province, was made based on the active holdings present in the Belgian National Animal Identification and Registration System (Sanitel) data base owned by the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC). At each layer holding (n=87) and turkey holding (n=17) 60 blood samples were collected and serum was analyzed using a rapid plate agglutination test (MG-RPA test, Soleil diagnostics). Positive sera were confirmed with a blocking ELISA test (Svanovir® Mg-Ab kit, Boehringer Ingelheim Svanova). Due to the slow immune response that occurs during mycoplasma infection and the shorter life span of broilers, real-time PCR was performed to test the presence of M. gallisepticum DNA (ADIAVET™ Myco AV, Biomérieux) on 12 tracheal swabs per broiler holding (n=102). Samples of other origins include: blood samples of racing pigeons (n=56) taken during consultation at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (University of Ghent); fifty-six owners of backyard chickens (n=460); sera from 2012, taken from wild crows and geese (n=192); tracheal swabs from wild birds (n=100) collected by hunters during hunting season of September - January 2013; and finally,seven bird rescue centers were visited and blood samples and tracheal swabs (n=197) were taken from different species of wild birds. All serum samples were analyzed using the Svanovir® Mg-Ab kit and all tracheal swabs were analyzed with RT-PCR (ADIAVET™ Myco AV, Biomérieux). Two layer holdings (2.3%; 95% CI: 0.6-8%) were positive after confirmation with ELISA with a within herd prevalence of 39.2% (95% CI: 30.9-48.1%) and 47 out of 5220 serum samples (0.9%; 95% CI: 0.7-1.2%) tested positive. Eight broiler holdings (7.8%; 95% CI: 4-14.7%) were positive with a within herd prevalence of 34.4% (95% CI: 25.6-44.3%) and 33 out of 1224 tracheal swabs (2.7%; 95% CI: 1.9-3.8%) tested positive. Seventeen turkey holdings were sampled and all serum samples were negative for M. gallisepticum. Fifty-six serum samples from racing pigeons tested negative for M. gallisepticum. 73.2% (95% CI: 60.4-83%) of backyard flocks were M. gallisepticum positive with a within flock prevalence of 48.8% (95% CI: 43.6-54.1%) and 169 out of 460 serum samples (36.7%; 95% CI: 32.5-41.2%) were positive. One sample (wood pigeon) obtained during hunting season (1%; 95% CI: 0.2-5.4%) and 4 samples (two herons, one duck, and one magpie) obtained from bird rescue centers (2%; 95% CI: 0.8-5.1%) tested positive for M. gallisepticum. Ninety-six samples from crows and 96 samples from geese, collected in 2012, were negative for M. gallisepticum antibodies with ELISA. The prevalence of M. gallisepticum in commercial poultry is rather low, although in broilers a higher prevalence is found than in layers. This could be due to analysis method (RT-PCR vs serology). In backyard chickens there is a very high seroprevalence of M. gallisepticum which indicate that they may act as a reservoir for this bacterium which may disseminate into commercial poultry holdings. Further isolation and typing of strains will be used to determine the possible routes of transmission.

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Chicago
Michiels, Tinneke, Sarah Welby, Roel Haesendonck, Marc Verlinden, Glynnis Devos, Mia Vanrobaeys, Christian Quinet, An Martel, and Patrick Butaye. 2014. “Prevalence of Mycoplasma Gallisepticum in Commercial Poultry, Hobby Poultry and Wild Birds in Belgium.” In Flemish Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, 21st Annual Meeting, Abstracts.
APA
Michiels, Tinneke, Welby, S., Haesendonck, R., Verlinden, M., Devos, G., Vanrobaeys, M., Quinet, C., et al. (2014). Prevalence of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in commercial poultry, hobby poultry and wild birds in Belgium. Flemish Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, 21st Annual meeting, Abstracts. Presented at the 21st Annual meeting of the Flemish Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics.
Vancouver
1.
Michiels T, Welby S, Haesendonck R, Verlinden M, Devos G, Vanrobaeys M, et al. Prevalence of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in commercial poultry, hobby poultry and wild birds in Belgium. Flemish Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, 21st Annual meeting, Abstracts. 2014.
MLA
Michiels, Tinneke, Sarah Welby, Roel Haesendonck, et al. “Prevalence of Mycoplasma Gallisepticum in Commercial Poultry, Hobby Poultry and Wild Birds in Belgium.” Flemish Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, 21st Annual Meeting, Abstracts. 2014. Print.
@inproceedings{5770342,
  abstract     = {Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a pathogenic species for poultry and responsible for major economic loss. It is a common cause of chronic respiratory disease and can result in a variety of different symptoms such as coughing, nasal discharge, sinusitis, airsacculitis, decrease in egg production, and increase in embryo mortality in layers, reduction of weight gain and downgrading of carcasses in broilers. Because of the possible vertical transmission, infected breeder flocks should be depopulated in order to prevent further spread. Despite high hygienic measures, outbreaks in breeder flocks still occur and to date the exact route of spread into the breeder farms is not known. Because knowledge about the prevalence of M. gallisepticum in poultry holdings (other than breeders) is currently lacking in Belgium, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of M. gallisepticum among layer, broiler and turkey holdings, as well as in other bird species (backyard poultry, racing pigeons and wild birds) that are commonly present in Belgium and could possibly act as reservoirs for this bacterium.
A random selection of poultry herds, proportional to herd density per province, was made based on the active holdings present in the Belgian National Animal Identification and Registration System (Sanitel) data base owned by the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC). At each layer holding (n=87) and turkey holding (n=17) 60 blood samples were collected and serum was analyzed using a rapid plate agglutination test (MG-RPA test, Soleil diagnostics). Positive sera were confirmed with a blocking ELISA test (Svanovir{\textregistered} Mg-Ab kit, Boehringer Ingelheim Svanova). Due to the slow immune response that occurs during mycoplasma infection and the shorter life span of broilers, real-time PCR was performed to test the presence of M. gallisepticum DNA (ADIAVET{\texttrademark} Myco AV, Biom{\'e}rieux) on 12 tracheal swabs per broiler holding (n=102). Samples of other origins include: blood samples of racing pigeons (n=56) taken during consultation at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (University of Ghent); fifty-six owners of backyard chickens (n=460); sera from 2012, taken from wild crows and geese (n=192); tracheal swabs from wild birds (n=100) collected by hunters during hunting season of September - January 2013; and finally,seven bird rescue centers were visited and blood samples and tracheal swabs (n=197) were taken from different species of wild birds. All serum samples were analyzed using the Svanovir{\textregistered} Mg-Ab kit and all tracheal swabs were analyzed with RT-PCR (ADIAVET{\texttrademark} Myco AV, Biom{\'e}rieux).
Two layer holdings (2.3\%; 95\% CI: 0.6-8\%) were positive after confirmation with ELISA with a within herd prevalence of 39.2\% (95\% CI: 30.9-48.1\%) and 47 out of 5220 serum samples (0.9\%; 95\% CI: 0.7-1.2\%) tested positive. Eight broiler holdings (7.8\%; 95\% CI: 4-14.7\%) were positive with a within herd prevalence of 34.4\% (95\% CI: 25.6-44.3\%) and 33 out of 1224 tracheal swabs (2.7\%; 95\% CI: 1.9-3.8\%) tested positive. Seventeen turkey holdings were sampled and all serum samples were negative for M. gallisepticum. Fifty-six serum samples from racing pigeons tested negative for M. gallisepticum. 73.2\% (95\% CI: 60.4-83\%) of backyard flocks were M. gallisepticum positive with a within flock prevalence of 48.8\% (95\% CI: 43.6-54.1\%) and 169 out of 460 serum samples (36.7\%; 95\% CI: 32.5-41.2\%) were positive. One sample (wood pigeon) obtained during hunting season (1\%; 95\% CI: 0.2-5.4\%) and 4 samples (two herons, one duck, and one magpie) obtained from bird rescue centers (2\%; 95\% CI: 0.8-5.1\%) tested positive for M. gallisepticum. Ninety-six samples from crows and 96 samples from geese, collected in 2012, were negative for M. gallisepticum antibodies with ELISA.
The prevalence of M. gallisepticum in commercial poultry is rather low, although in broilers a higher prevalence is found than in layers. This could be due to analysis method (RT-PCR vs serology). In backyard chickens there is a very high seroprevalence of M. gallisepticum which indicate that they may act as a reservoir for this bacterium which may disseminate into commercial poultry holdings. Further isolation and typing of strains will be used to determine the possible routes of transmission.},
  author       = {Michiels, Tinneke and Welby, Sarah and Haesendonck, Roel and Verlinden, Marc and Devos, Glynnis and Vanrobaeys, Mia and Quinet, Christian and Martel, An and Butaye, Patrick},
  booktitle    = {Flemish Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, 21st Annual meeting, Abstracts},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Brussels, Belgium},
  title        = {Prevalence of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in commercial poultry, hobby poultry and wild birds in Belgium},
  year         = {2014},
}