Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Place of publication
Washington, DC, United States
American Society for Microbiology
Infectious coryza is a well-recognized and commonly encountered upper respiratory tract disease of chickens that is caused by the bacterium Haemophilus paragallinarum. The occurrence of recent outbreaks in North America has emphasized that the disease can be significant in meat chickens as well as layer chickens. In developing countries, coryza is commonly complicated by the presence of a range of other infectious, resulting in severe disease and significant economic losses. Unusual forms of the disease, involving arthritis and septicemia, again associated with the presence of other pathogens, have been found in South America. Newly recognized bacteria such as Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale and phenotypic variant forms of both H. paragallinarum and close relatives (variant in that they no longer require V-factor for growth in vitro) have increased the difficulty associated with diagnosing the disease. There have been suggestions in both South America and South Africa that new serovars or serovar variants, associated with unusual clinical manifestations and causing vaccine failures, are emerging. Definitive evidence to confirm or deny the role of these 'variants' in vaccine failures is currently not available. A new DNA-based diagnostic technique, involving PCR, has been recently described and will greatly assist in the diagnosis of infectious coryza.