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Spotty liver disease (SLD) is an acute infectious disease found sporadically in free-range egg laying hens in Australia, United States, and the United Kingdom. It is thought to be caused by infection with Campylobacter spp. Most cases occur during the warmer months of the year, although it has been reported year round depending on the geographical region. Hens are most at risk during peak lay.
The Campylobacter bacterium can be cultured from the liver and bile of infected birds. A presumptive diagnosis can also be made post mortem by the detection of characteristic small yellow-white necrotic hepatic lesions, together with a fibrinous perihepatitis, excess pericardial and peritoneal fluid, and usually enteritis with diarrhoea. Histopathology reveals a multifocal acute hepatocellular necrosis with fibrin and occasional haemorrhage.