Evaluation of tiamulin and lincomycin for the treatment of broiler breeders experimentally infected with the intestinal spirochaete Brachyspira pilosicoli

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-304
Journal / PublicationAvian Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


Brachyspira pilosicoli strain CPSp1 isolated from a chicken in a broiler breeder flock in Queensland was used to experimentally infect 30 individually caged 22-week-old Cobb 500 broiler breeder hens. Another 10 birds were sham-inoculated with sterile broth. All birds failed to become colonized. At 29 weeks of age, all birds were transferred to a diet containing 50 parts/106 zinc bacitracin (ZnB) and were re-challenged with the same B. pilosicoli strain at 32 weeks of age, weekly for 5 weeks. The majority of the inoculated birds then became colonized, confirming previous findings that ZnB can increase susceptibility to colonization with B. pilosicoli. The control group remained uninfected. Infected groups tended to have an increased faecal water content and faecal staining of eggshells. Ten birds were then treated by crop tube with 25 mg/kg body weight tiamulin for 5 days, and 10 birds with 20 mg/kg body weight lincomycin for 5 days. Both treatments removed the infection, while untreated birds remained infected. The results support previous observations that ZnB at 50 parts/106 in the diet increases the susceptibility of birds to B. pilosicoli infection, and demonstrated the usefulness of both tiamulin and lincomycin for treatment of infection with B. pilosicoli in adult birds.