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Vaccination with an autogenous bacterin fails to prevent colonization by Brachyspira intermedia in experimentally infected laying chickens

Amin, M.M., Phillips, N.D., La, T. and Hampson, D.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-7729-0427 (2009) Vaccination with an autogenous bacterin fails to prevent colonization by Brachyspira intermedia in experimentally infected laying chickens. Veterinary Microbiology, 133 (4). pp. 372-376.

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Avian intestinal spirochaetosis (AIS) is a disease complex affecting adult laying and breeding chickens associated with infection by anaerobic intestinal spirochaetes of the genus Brachyspira. Options for control of AIS are limited, as few effective antimicrobial agents are registered for use in laying chickens. One of the two most commonly encountered pathogenic species in AIS is B. intermedia, and the aim of the current study was to determine whether a B. intermedia bacterin vaccine would help control AIS caused by this species. An autogenous bacterin was prepared from B. intermedia strain HB60 and given twice intramuscularly at a 3-week interval to 12 laying chickens housed in individual cages. Twelve non-vaccinated control chickens were placed in adjacent cages in the same room. Two weeks after the second vaccination all the chickens were experimentally challenged with B. intermedia HB60 by crop tube. Subsequently faeces were cultured for spirochaetes every 2-3 days, faecal water content and chicken weight were measured weekly, and egg numbers and weights were recorded daily. Serum was taken prior to both vaccinations, at the time of challenge and at euthanasia. The chickens were killed 6 weeks post-challenge. The vaccinated chickens showed seroconversion to the vaccine, but antibody levels declined significantly post-infection. In comparison, the non-vaccinated chickens showed seroconversion post-infection. The reason for the reduction in the antibody levels in the vaccinated chickens after infection was not explained. At some point all the chickens excreted spirochaetes in their faeces, and the duration of excretion was not different between vaccinated and non-vaccinated chickens. There were no differences in faecal water content, chicken weights, egg production, or gross and microscopic caecal lesions between vaccinated and non-vaccinated chickens. In conclusion, an autogenous bacterin vaccine did not prevent infection with B. intermedia in laying chickens.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2008 Elsevier B.V.
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