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Friday, 18 April 2014
Home arrow Poultry Diseases arrow Avian Mycoplasmosis arrow Mycoplasma gallisepticum

Mycoplasma gallisepticum PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 30 September 2006
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Mycoplasma gallisepticum
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Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a pathogenic species within the genus Mycoplasma of the family Mycoplasmataceae.

Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) infection, a common disease of poultry, is commonly designated as chronic respiratory disease (CRD) of chickens. Despite success in eliminating the disease in grand parent (GP) stock and turkeys, it persists in broiler breeders and broilers in many areas (1). Mycoplasma gallisepticum is a respiratory disease, affecting the entire respiratory tract, particularly the air sacs, where it is localized. It is mainly characterized by respiratory rales, coughing and nasal discharge. Clinical manifestations are usually slow to develop and the disease has a long course. All the air sacs may be involved, become cloudy in appearance, and filled with mucus. Similar exudates may encircle the heart and heart sac (2).

Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection is caused by an organism classified as a mycoplasma. This organism is similar to bacteria, but lacks a cell wall. This characteristic makes MG extremely fragile.

 This disease is found everywhere and is extremely important to both the broiler grower and the table-egg producer. Mycoplasma gallisepticum is especially serious in broiler chickens in which it often acts synergistically with other agents, such as respiratory viruses or pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli to provoke chronic respiratory disease. (3). While not a catastrophic disease it is one of significant economic importance. Mycoplasma gallisepticum is often a co-infection agent with other agents that makes the clinical signs of the other disease much worse. Infection of the air sacs in broilers is a cause for condemning the dressed birds as unsuitable for human consumption (2).

 The economic impact of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in broilers includes severely depressed growth rate and feed conversion efficiency. A result of reduced feed consumption is the loss of weight which will be worse in broilers (4).

 Mycoplasma gallisepticum problems are of high economic significance since respiratory tract lesions can cause high morbidity, high mortality and significant condemnation at slaughter and downgrading of carcass. MG may remain dormant and cause no disease until the chicken undergoes some stress, so the MG itself is not a killer, in fact, even morbidity is not great. However, an outbreak may be followed quickly by many secondary infections, and it is these that do the damage (5).



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