Epidemiology and Infection

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Epidemiology and Infection (2010), 138:353-363 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009
doi:10.1017/S0950268809990562

Original Papers

Birds and humans

Flock management and histomoniasis in free-range turkeys in France: description and search for potential risk factors


M. P. CALLAIT-CARDINALa1 c1, E. GILOT-FROMONTa1, L. CHOSSATa3, A. GONTHIERa2, C. CHAUVEa2 and L. ZENNERa1

a1 Université de Lyon, F-69000 Lyon; École Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, F-69280, Marcy l'Etoile, France; Université Lyon 1; CNRS UMR 5558, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive, F-69922, Villeurbanne, France
a2 Université de Lyon, F-69000 Lyon; École Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, F-69280, Marcy l'Etoile, France
a3 Cabinet Vétérinaire de Redon, F-35600, Redon
Article author query
callait-cardinal mp [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
gilot-fromont e [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
chossat l [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
gonthier a [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
chauve c [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
zenner l [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]

SUMMARY

The relationship between flock management and histomoniasis, a re-emergent infection in poultry, was investigated by statistical techniques used in veterinary epidemiology to deal with various problems including: multicollinearity, confounding, interaction or sample size. Associations between the variables describing flock management were examined by multivariate descriptive analysis to reduce the number of independent variables, prior to investigating associations with the disease. No homogenous groups of farms were found in the 44 free-range turkey flocks sampled in France. Histomonas meleagridis was identified in 26/38 flocks and histomoniasis was confirmed in 19 flocks. Cleanliness of the building, wet litter and diarrhoea were linked with H. meleagridis and severity of histomoniasis. Sharing outdoor fields simultaneously with chickens was related to serious macroscopic lesions determined by post-mortem examinations. Contrary to general belief, acidification of drinking water with organic acid had consistent association with the presence of H. meleagridis in turkey caeca. These results confirm previous findings and provide several new hypotheses on the effects of hygiene and water management on H. meleagridis and histomoniasis.

(Accepted July 13 2009)

(Online publication August 10 2009)

Key Words:Histomonas meleagridis; histomoniasis; infectious disease epidemiology; poultry; risk assessment

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr M. P. Callait-Cardinal, École Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon 1, avenue Bourgelat, 69280 Marcy l'Etoile, France. (Email: mp.callait@vet-lyon.fr)


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