April 17, 2024

Feathered Insight: Innovations in Poultry Diagnostic Technology.

Types of Poultry Diagnostic Tests
One of the most important tools for poultry farmers is diagnostic testing. There are several types of tests that can help identify diseases affecting poultry flocks:

Serology Tests – These blood tests detect antibodies produced by the immune system when fighting off specific pathogens. They can indicate if birds have been previously exposed to certain bacteria or viruses even if no clinical signs are present. Common serology tests include ELISA and agar gel immunodiffusion.

Microbiology Tests – Samples like tracheal or cloacal swabs are cultured to try and isolate the causative pathogen for diseases. This confirms the presence of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. Culture tests are important for determining antibiotic sensitivity as well.

Necropsy Examination – A full post-mortem examination of dead birds allows veterinarians and diagnostic lab technicians to look for gross lesions indicative of particular diseases. Tissue samples may also be collected for histopathology or PCR testing.

Molecular Diagnostics – Modern tests like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR can detect genetic material from disease-causing agents in samples. This provides a very rapid and sensitive diagnosis for some infections.

Identifying Common Poultry Diseases

There are several diseases poultry diagnostics regularly identify in commercial flocks around the world. Understanding the clinical signs and lab results of these conditions helps farmers provide appropriate treatment plans.

Infectious Bronchitis – Caused by a coronavirus, it produces respiratory signs and decreased egg production. Diagnosis involves virus isolation from swabs or PCR on tissues collected during necropsy. Serology looks for antibodies to IBV.

Avian Influenza – Both low and high pathogenic strains can infect poultry and be zoonotic. Diagnosis relies on virus isolation, PCR, and histopathology of lesions during outbreaks. Serology helps monitor for exposures.

Newcastle Disease – This virulent virus, especially velogenic strains, hits poultry hard with respiratory disease and high mortality. Virus isolation and PCR are used to test for NDV in both live birds and dead.

Infectious Coryza – Haemophilus paragallinarum bacteria cause coryza disease marked by nasal discharge and respiratory distress. Diagnosis relies on culture and PCR testing of tracheal or nasal swabs.

Salmonellosis – Non-typhoidal Salmonella bacteria like S. Enteritidis are zoonotic and cause intestinal salmonellosis. Diagnosis involves culturing the bacteria from internal organs during post-mortem exam or from aborted eggs.

Avian Mycoplasmosis – Mycoplasma gallisepticum and M. synoviae are causes of chronic respiratory disease; diagnosis uses cultivation and PCR of oropharyngeal or tracheal swabs. Serology can also detect antibodies.

Fowl Cholera – Pasteurella multocida bacteria cause a wide range of illnesses from acute sepsis to arthritis and respiratory disease in chickens. Identification relies on culture from affected tissues collected at necropsy.

Histomoniasis – The protozoan Histomonas meleagridis causes “blackhead disease” in turkeys, producing liver lesions. Diagnosis involves necropsy examination and finding protozoa on histopathological evaluation of hepatic tissue samples.

Diagnosing Common Parasitic Infections

Endoparasitic infections are also frequently diagnosed in poultry production using fecal examinations, necropsy identification, and specialized diagnostic testing:

Coccidiosis – Intestinal protozoa of the genus Eimeria cause heavy damage and mortality especially in younger birds. Diagnosis involves microscopic fecal examination to identify Eimeria oocyst shedding or finding gross intestinal lesions during post-mortem.

Ascaridiasis – Roundworm nematodes like Ascaridia galli are a common cause of respiratory disease and reduced performance. Finding adult worms and eggs during necropsy confirms the diagnosis.

Capillariasis – The nematode Capillaria spp. infects the proventriculus, causing loss of appetite and weight loss. Post-mortem examination identifies adult worms in lesions of the glandular stomach.

Designing Treatment Plans

Armed with diagnostic lab results, veterinarians can design targeted treatment plans for poultry disease outbreaks. Proper diagnosis is essential for choosing the correct antimicrobials, anticoccidials, or dewormers. It also allows monitoring response to therapy and making adjustments. Continued surveillance using poultry diagnostics helps control disease on farm and safeguard bird and public health. With the right approach, farmers can stay ahead of illness in their flocks.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile