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Amyloidosis

Other Names: Avian Amyloidosis, Amyloid Arthropathy, AA Amyloidosis (AAA)

Avian amyloidosis is a well-recognized pathological disorder which is a common cause of death in adult birds, especially chickens. It is a fatal progressive condition in which an abnormal protein (amyloid) builds up within the bird's tissues and organs, leading to organ failure. Although there are several types of amyloidosis that occur in humans, chickens are most frequently affected by the inflammation-associated form---also known as AA‐amyloidosis or systemic amyloidosis.

Avian amyloidosis often occurs as a secondary result of several diseases, especially chronic infections. Any chicken with an existing chronic inflammation, such as bumblefoot, gout, avian tuberculosis, or tumors, are more at risk. This is because prolonged inflammation causes a significant increase in serum levels of the hepatic acute phase reactant serum amyloid A (SAA), the precursor protein of amyloid protein A (AA).

How is Amyloidosis Diagnosed?


Since clinical signs of amyloidosis are non‐specific, diagnosis requires histopathology following biopsy or necropsy to obtain a definite diagnosis.

Clinical Signs

Poor feather quality
Not molting
Inability to stand
Flaccid paralysis
Neurological signs

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Biopsy
  • Necropsy

Treatment

NameSummary
Supportive careTreatment of underlying disease condition and reduce stress
Fish oil supplements, which are high in omega-3 fatty acidsStudies done in mice show they may help reduce inflammation in chronic inflammatory conditions.
Vitamin CUseful for its antioxidant properties.

Support

Prevention

  • Prevention of chronic inflammatory conditions such as bumblefoot, gout, arthritis, aspergillosis
  • Do not administer multiple vaccines in one setting to chickens.

Prognosis

Poor

Scientific References

Good Overviews

Age Range

Usually seen in older birds

Risk Factors

  • History of chronic inflammation or trauma (aka bumblefoot)
  • Existing tumor
  • Overcrowding
  • Administering multiple vaccinations.