Study on the vertical transmission of arthropathic and amyloidogenic Enterococcus faecalis in a flock of brown layer chickens

W.J.M. Landman, A. Feberwee, K.T. Veldman, D.J. Mevius

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    Abstract

    Enterococcus faecalis-related amyloid arthropathy was diagnosed in a sample of birds from a flock of brown layer parent chickens aged 57 weeks. E. faecalis was isolated from amyloidotic knee joints and from blood samples from lame birds. From this flock a smaller one was kept for production purposes to study the vertical transmission of arthropathic and amyloidogenic E. faecalis. Three batches of non-soiled and thoroughly disinfected eggs, to prevent egg-shell contamination, were collected for 6 weeks and submitted for incubation every 2 weeks. No joint pathology was found in the offspring chicks (n = 458) monitored for joint disease until 16 or 21 weeks of age. Fresh and candled eggs (infertiles and dead embryos) obtained at day 18 of the incubation period had negative results at bacteriological examination of the yolk sac, except one non-hatched egg (late embryonal death in shell) from which E. faecalis was isolated. Genotyping by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of all E. faecalis isolates obtained from blood and joints (except one) of the parent birds and of the non-hatched egg after Sma I digestion showed that all isolates were genetically closely related or identical to a known arthropathic and amyloidogenic E. faecalis strain. In this study, vertical transmission of E. faecalis, although it may occur on a small scale as shown by PFGE, did not seem to play a significant role. Conversely, the chronicity of the condition and the development of an immune response may have affected the efficiency of its transmission.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)88-91
    JournalVeterinary Quarterly
    Volume23
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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