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Identify the principle microbiological agents responsible for and main factors associated with infective causes of leg - AW0213

Broiler chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) suffer a number of pathological conditions resulting in lameness. The incidence of Staphylococcal and E. coli osteomyelitis in lame and control birds sampled on commercial farms from a broad geographical sample were identified and typing of the strains of S. aureus and E. coli performed by Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA(rapd). The gait score, a measure of lameness in these birds, was correlated with the bacteriological findings and with the incidence of specific S. aureus and E. coli isotypes. A correlation between the incidence of Type B S.aureus and high gait score was demonstrated. The incidence of isolation of the pathogens S. aureus and E. coli within the environments experienced by the bird during the growth cycle were also examined. In a study involving detection of Mycoplasma spp. in joint associated tissues by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), to association between Mycoplasma spp. and lameness was demonstrated.
Post mortem blood collection and dissection of birds which had been gait scored on farm, allowed the association between challenge with Reovirus and Chicken Anaemia Virus, as measuerd by antibody titre and a range of skeletal parameters, to be statistically analysed. An association which was `not quite` significant (p = .057) between reovirus titre and gait score was demonstrated, with a strong correlation beteen tibial length and reovirus titre (p = .006). The role of genomic variation in susceptibility to lameness was explored by the use of Subtractive Hybridization, with comparison of RNA derived from lame and control birds and discussion of gene sequences produced by this subtraction study suggests that this technique has potential for differentiating genetic succeptibility to conditions which may result in lameness.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Identify the principle microbiological agents responsible for, and main factors associated with, infective causes of leg weakness   (670k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1998

To: 2001

Cost: £379,046
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Bristol
Livestock Farming              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare