1887

Abstract

Outbreaks of erysipelas, a disease caused by infection with (ER), is a re-emerging problem in cage-free laying hen flocks. The source of ER infection in hens is usually unknown and serological evidence has also indicated the presence of ER or other antigenically related bacteria in healthy flocks. The aim of the present study was to evaluate sample collection, culture methods and DNA-based methodology to detect ER and other Erysipelotrichales in samples from healthy chickens and their environment. We used samples from a research facility with conventionally reared chickens with no history of erysipelas outbreaks where hens with high titres of IgY recognising ER previously have been observed. Microbial DNA was extracted from samples either directly or after pre-culture in nonselective or ER-selective medium. Real-time PCR was used for detection of spp. and high-throughput amplicon sequencing of 16S rRNA sequencing was used for detection of Erysipelotrichales. A pilot serological analysis of some Erysipelotrichales members with IgY from unvaccinated and ER-vaccinated high-biosecurity chickens, as well as conventionally reared chickens, was also performed. All samples were negative for ER, and by PCR analysis. However, 16S rRNA community profiling indicated the presence of several Erysipelotrichales genera in both environmental samples and chicken intestinal samples, including spp. that were detected in environmental samples. Sequences from spp. were most frequently detected in samples pre-cultured in ER-selective medium. At species level the presence of and/or was indicated. Serological results indicated that IgY raised to ER showed some cross-reactivity with . Hence, environmental samples pre-cultured in selective medium and analysis by 16S rRNA sequencing proved a useful method for detection of Erysipelotrichales, including spp., in chicken flocks. The observation of such bacteria in environmental samples offers a possible explanation for the observation of high antibody titres to ER in flocks without a history of clinical erysipelas.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Animal Health and Welfare ERA-Net (Award ID number 119, in Sweden grant number 221-2015-189)
    • Principle Award Recipient: HelenaEriksson
  • Albert Hjärre Foundation (Award na)
    • Principle Award Recipient: EvaWattrang
  • Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas (Award 2019-01270)
    • Principle Award Recipient: HelenaEriksson
  • Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas (Award 942-2015-766)
    • Principle Award Recipient: HelenaEriksson
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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2024-06-05
2024-06-19
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