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Dermatophytosis, Dermatomycosis, Avian Ringworm
Dermatophytosis (ringworm), also referred to as favus, is a contagious fungal skin infection caused by dermatophytes. Dermatophytes are a specific group of fungi that produce enzymes called keratinases (known to break down the protective barriers of the outer layer of host's skin), allowing itself entry to establish infection. There are several different species and strains of dermatophytes, therefore the type and severity of the infection differs from chicken to chicken. However, chickens are primarily infected by Microsporum gallinae, which is widespread in poultry, with backyard, hobby, or game flocks of chickens being the most susceptible.
Early signs of favus in chickens is the presence of dry, white, scaly or powdery-like deposits on the comb. During later stages it may spread to other areas, such as the face, wattles, and possibly even the feathered parts of the skin.
Dermatophytes are transmitted to chickens through direct or indirect contact with skin of other infected birds, animals, insects, people, soil, or fomites (equipment, objects, clothes, etc.).
The incubation period varies from several days to a couple weeks.