Experimental infection of layer hens with a human isolate of 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)361-364
Journal / PublicationJournal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number4
Online published1 Apr 2003
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


The anaerobic intestinal spirochaete Brachyspira pilosicoli commonly colonizes the large intestine of a number of species, including chickens and human beings. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether an isolate of B. pilosicoli recovered from an HIV-infected patient with diarrhoea could infect and cause disease in adult chickens. Over a 4-week period following experimental infection, a group of eight inoculated chickens showed a persistent and significant increase in faecal water content (∼6–7 %). The faeces of three of the eight birds became culture-positive, and remained so. At post-mortem examination, no specific pathological changes were found, and no spirochaetal attachment to the caecal epithelium was observed. These findings confirm that B. pilosicoli strains can infect across species barriers and cause chronic mild diarrhoea in intact adult chickens.