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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2017

Authors: Sulejmanovic, T; Liebhart, D; Mägdefrau-Pollan, B; Sanglhuber, EM; Wiesinger, E; Bilic, I; Hess, M

Title: Emergence of fatal histomonosis in meat Turkey flocks in Austria from 2014 to 2016.

Other title: Auftreten von Histomonose mit hoher Mortalität in kommerziellen Mastputenherden in Österreich von 2014 bis 2016

Source: Wiener Tierarztliche Monatsschrift (104), 9-10 277-287.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Bilic Ivana
Hess Michael
Liebhart Dieter
Sulejmanovic Tarik

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Poultry and Fish Medicine, Clinical Unit of Poultry Medicine

A total of 13 outbreaks of histomonosis affecting eight meat turkey farms in Austria occurred in the period from June 2014 until September 2016, with extensive sampling and close monitoring of outbreaks in five cases (farms A E). In the outbreaks 75,300 turkeys were involved, of which approximately 28,000 died or had to be euthanized, confirming the high fatality of the disease. Pathognomonic lesions in birds were observed in all outbreaks monitored where mortalities occurred and parasitic DNA was detected in organs, dust and cloacal swabs. Sequence analysis based on 18S rRNA revealed clustering of histomonads to genotype 1, whereby the isolates on farms A, B and E differed from those on farms C and D. The intermediate host Heterakis gallinarum could not be detected in any of the cases. The application of phytotherapeutics and rigid biosecurity measures in the first three cases on two neighbouring farms did not prevent high mortalities, so the application of the antibiotic paromomycin was initiated in subsequent outbreaks. The outcome varied from mortalities of up to 42 % to very low mortalities or even none at all. The data from recent outbreaks indicate the prevalence of H. meleagridis in Austrian turkey flocks, accompanied by a high risk of an outbreak. Current measures are insufficient to combat the disease. Although there was some benefit of paromomycin in four outbreaks, further observations are required to assess its use for metaphylaxis as its application was unsuccessful in two cases.

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