Incidence, pathogenesis and control measures of Enterococcus infections in chicken embryos and neonatal broiler chickens (New)

Yolk sac infections have become the number one disease problem in the broiler chicken industry in Canada.
The emergence of yolk sac infections due to Enterococcus species has increased over the last two years at
poultry hatcheries in Saskatchewan and as a result, chick quality and broiler performance have decreased
significantly. Pathogens responsible for neonatal bacterial infections of broiler chickens originate from the
hatchery and this leads to a very high first week mortality, chronic infections, increased culling during
grow-out period of broilers and increased condemnations at processing. Moreover, the exact mode of
transmission, port of entry, and virulence mechanisms of Enterococcus is unknown. Because of these reasons,
it is essential to minimize hatchery-borne infections and increase the performance of broiler flocks. Therefore,
appropriate epidemiological surveillance is a necessity for disease investigation, and has implications for
preventive and control measures. The objective of this study is to identify the causes associated with increased
incidence of Enterococcal infections in chicken embryos and neonatal chickens and to study the
immunoprotective effects of oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG-ODN) against Enterococcal
infections. We are proposing to use CpG-ODN by the in ovo route to control the emergence of Enterococcal
infections in the broiler chicken industry.

Faculty Supervisor:

Susantha Gomis





Animal science



University of Saskatchewan



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