Salmonellosis is an important bacterial disease of poultry, caused by infection with Salmonella
infections manifest as several diseases in chickens, depending on the Salmonella
- Arizonosis: Arizonosis is a septicemic disease of young chickens and turkeys, caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica subsp. arizonae (S. arizonae). The disease presents in both acute or chronic form and is characterized by septicemia, neurological signs and blindness.
- Pullorum disease (PD): Pullorum disease, also referred to commonly as Bacillary White Diarrhea, is an acute systemic disease of young chicks, caused by infection with S. Pullorum. It is mainly a problem for newly hatched chicks, which begin to show clinical signs of infection within a couple weeks upon hatching. Chicks may be seen huddling under heat sources, making continuous faint chirping and peeping noises. These chicks will also develop white chalky droppings that cause them to develop white pasted vents (known commonly as 'pasty butt').
- Fowl typhoid (FT): Fowl typhoid is an acute or chronic septicemic disease that usually is most significant in growing and adult chickens and turkeys. It is caused by infection with S. Gallinarum. 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.
- Paratyphoid (PT) Infection: Paratyphoid (PT) Infection is a common disease of chickens, usually more significant to younger chicks than for adults. It is caused by several different strains of Salmonella spp. The most common being S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis.
PD and FT testing has been incorporated into the requirements of the NPIP National Control Program, implemented in the United States to attempt to minimize the circulation of both diseases in flocks.
spp are both horizontally and vertically transmitted. They are spread through transovarian transmission from hens to to their offspring, contamination of the environment (soil, bedding, perches, nesting boxes, eggs, waterers, drinkers, etc.), mechanically through flying and biting insects, rodents, wild birds, introduction of new flock members, equipment, vehicle tire tread, clothing, unwashed hands, etc. Many animals, especially poultry and pigs, may be infected with Salmonella
but show no signs of clinical illness. They are a significant source of spreading the disease among other flock members and potentially other animals and humans. This is because infected sub clinical carriers may shed the bacteria in large numbers within their feces, either continuously or intermittently, contaminating the environment.
Samples of feed, water, or litter can be collected and tested for the presence of Salmonella
. Sterile cotton swabs can be used for isolation. Cotton swabs can be dragged along litter to check for environmental contamination or be used to check breeder nests, laying cages or hatchery machines. There are a wide range of rapid Salmonella
detection techniques, including enzyme immunoassay antigen capture assays, DNA probes, and immunofluorescence.