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Fowl Typhoid

Overview


Fowl typhoid (FT) is an infectious, acute or chronic septicaemic disease, caused by Salmonella gallinarum. FT has a similar presentation and diagnosis to Pullorum disease, although adult chickens can show clinical signs of disease. FT affects chickens and turkey flocks worldwide, however in the United States, outbreaks in commercial poultry with FT have not occurred since 1980.

Clinical signs differ depending on the severity of the infection. Infected chickens often will die 5-10 days following when they first develop clinical signs.

Transmission
S. gallinarum is most commonly transmitted to chickens through contact with infected birds, or vertical transmission from hens to chicks through the egg. Infected birds can also contaminate the environment, feed, water and bedding through discharge of the bacteria within their feces which remains active in the environment for 6 months or longer. It is however, sensitive to disinfectants and sunlight. Fomites and personnel can spread the bacteria without proper biosecurity procedures.

Clinical Signs

Sudden death
Loss of appetite
Ruffled feathers
Pale comb/wattles
Sticky (yellow-green) diarrhea
Increased thirst
Droopiness

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • PCR assay
  • Bacterial culture
  • Necropsy

Treatment

NameSummary
Supportive careIsolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
Antibiotics

Prevention

  • Vaccination - Live and inactivated vaccines are available in some countries.
  • Biosecurity
  • Maintain proper sanitary conditions
  • Only purchase chicks from disease free (NPIP-certified) flocks

Scientific References

Good Overviews

Age Range

Although younger chickens can be infected, it most often affects adult chickens over 12 weeks old.

Risk Factors

  • High rodent populations on premises
  • Poor sanitary practices
  • Letting chickens have access to ponds or other large water sources that could be contaminated by wild bird or animal feces.
  • Purchasing chickens from sources that are not pullorum-typhoid-free certified.

Also Consider