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Amyloidosis

Avian Amyloidosis, Amyloid Arthropathy, AA Amyloidosis (AAA)

Avian amyloidosis is a well-recognized pathological disorder which is a common cause of death in 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 is often found to occur as a secondary result of several diseases, especially chronic infections. Any chickens with existing chronic inflammations (aka bumblefoot, gout, and avian tuberculosis) or tumors are more at risk. It has been found that prolonged inflammation causes a significant increase in the serum levels of the hepatic acute phase reactant serum amyloid A (SAA), the precursor protein of amyloid protein A (AA).

Increased incidences of amyloidosis have been shown to occur in chickens kept in overcrowded, stressful living conditions. In one study, up to 71% of ducks developed amyloidosis who were kept in overcrowded living conditions.

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
Antioxidants

Support

Prevention

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

Scientific References

Good Overviews

Risk Factors

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