Staph Infection, Staph Septicemia, Staph Arthritis, Bumblefoot .
Staphylococcosis infections are common in poultry worldwide. The genus Staphylococcus
is composed of over 36 species and 21 subspecies that are normal inhabitants of the skin, mucous membranes and nares of healthy birds. However some species have the potential to cause disease if it enters the body of the bird, through a wound, inflammation, trimming of toe nails or beak, open naval of newly hatched chicks, minor surgical procedures, parenteral vaccinations, or concurrent chronic infection causing a defense impairment of the immune system.
Most infections are related to invasion with Staphylococcus aureus
, which is considered the most pathogenic staphylococcal species. Recently, S. agnetis
has emerged as the primary pathogen causing bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO) of the proximal tibiae and femora in broiler chickens. There are several disease manifestations in chickens associated with infection with Staphylococcus
|Form||Location||Typical Age||Usual outcome|
|Osteomyelitis||Bone||Usually older||Chronic lameness|
|Arthritis/Synovitis||Joint||Usually older||Chronic lameness|
|Bumblefoot||Feet||Adults||Lameness, often chronic|
|Omphalitis||Yolk sac||Newly hatched chicks||Death|
A breakdown in the natural defense mechanism must occur for S. aureus
to gain entry into chickens. This is usually through a skin wound, inflamed mucous membrane or hematogenous dissemination where a locus of infection is established. It can also occur due to a defense impairment following viral infections.
infection has a short incubation period, with chicks showing signs usually within 48-72 hours.