Pathology and localization of Avibacterium endocarditidis in experimentally infected broiler breeders

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B. Horne Møller, Magne Bisgaard, Susanne Elisabeth Pors

The aim of this study was to investigate the pathogenic potential of Avibacterium endocarditidis. Forty broiler breeders were inoculated with one of three doses of the organism and killed at different time points. Bacteriology, pathology and fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) were performed to evaluate bacterial growth and the development of lesions. Abundant growth in pure culture of A. endocarditidis was always obtained from valvular lesions, while only poor growth or no growth was obtained from liver and spleen lesions, confirming previous observations from naturally occurring cases. Gross lesions and histopathological findings confirmed previous observations. Valvular lesions were acute, ranging from slight thickening of the valves to severe inflammation. In most cases, bacteria colonized the valves. Lesions observed in the spleen included different degrees of necrosis and liver lesions ranged from very small infarcts to large areas of coagulative necrosis. Arthritis occurred in 19 birds, 15 of which tested positive for A. endocarditidis. Most birds developed bacteraemia, but the inability to isolate bacteria from the liver and spleen and the lack of bacteria demonstrated by FISH and histopathology, suggested lack of fulminant septicaemia. A significant correlation between the size of dose inoculated and development of valvular endocarditis was not observed; however, regressive changes in the ovary, liver necrosis and hepato-, spleno- and renomegaly were significantly dose dependent. A. endocarditidis represents a potential pathogen for chickens, the reservoir of which remains to be determined.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Comparative Pathology
Volume150
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)266-275
Number of pages10
ISSN0021-9975
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ID: 50467073