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Avian Insight Vol 1 2012

Avian Insight Vol 1 2012

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Published by: Bryan Nicoll on Jun 21, 2012
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Mycoplasma gallisepticum
: Control byLive Attenuated Vaccines
 ycoplasma gallisepticum
(MG) is a pathogenicbacterial species infecting chickens and turkeys.MG infections among these poultry can lead to sig-nificant economic losses which are realized throughincreased mortality, carcass condemnation, associ-ated medication costs and reduced egg production,hatchability, and feed efficiency. The pathogenexhibits worldwide distribution and MG infectionshave been documented in a variety of flock types.Although efforts to reduce the occurrence and impactof MG have demonstrated success, MG remains a toppriority of poultry producers. Recent surveys (2009)by the Association of Veterinarians in Egg Produc-tion and American Association of Avian Pathologistsand findings of the Agricultural Research Service/National Institute of Food and Agriculture AnimalHealth Stakeholder Workshop (2010) have prioritizedMG and MG-related disease among the top fiveissues facing today’s poultry industry.In chickens, uncomplicated MG infections may beassociated with relatively mild sinusitis, tracheitis,and airsacculilitis. Turkeys are more susceptible toMG and MG infections within this species, commonlytermed infectious sinusitis, are associated with swell-ing around the eye and respiratory disease. The se-verity of MG-related disease may be significantlyenhanced by associated infections by other bacterial(e.g.
Esherichia coli 
) or viral (e.g. Newcastle diseasevirus, infectious bronchitis virus) agents and result inchronic respiratory disease (CRD). Environmental fac-tors (e.g. temperature, air quality) may also impactthe severity of disease. It is important to note thatfollowing initial infection by MG, infected poultry re-main MG carriers for life.
MG Control
Since its identification as an agent of poultry disease,efforts have been made to minimize the occurrence/spread of MG. Within the meat-type turkey and broilersegments of the U.S. poultry industry, biosecurity andbiosurveillance measures have been largely successfulat controlling the occurrence of MG infections andwhile MG infections still occur, they are sporadic innature. Significant effort has been made to maintainMG-free stock and biosurveillance programs such asthose outlined in the NPIP (21) have been effective atidentifying MG breaks and reducing further MG spread.Within different segments of the poultry industry, sin-gle age poultry production sites largely remain MG-free due to their all-in-all-out nature and the relativelyshort survivability of MG outside of the host. In con-trast, multi-age production facilities are much moredifficult to maintain MG-free. Facilities of this typeare very common within the commercial table egglaying industry and increasingly so among broiler andturkey breeders. The increased risk of MG infectionto these facilities lies in their immense size and their
By S. L. Branton and J.D. Evans
Volume 1, 2012
Since its identificationas an agent of poultrydisease, efforts havebeen made to mini-mize the occurrence/spread of MG. Withinthe meat-type turkeyand broiler segmentsof the U.S. poultryindustry, biosecurityand biosurveillancemeasures have beenlargely successful atcontrolling the occur-rence of MG infectionsand while MG infec-tions still occur, theyare sporadic in nature.
Mycoplasma gallisepticum
:Control by Live AttenuatedVaccines,
Notes from theCEO,
reduced ability to depopulate due to the in-creased economic implications of such anevent. Once infected, these large multi-agefacilities may remain as reservoirs of MG forthe life of the complexes as replacementpullets originating from MG-free stock areconstantly exposed to MG upon placement.Successful MG control at a multi-age facilitybased solely on application of strict biosecu-rity and biosurveillance protocols has beenreported (9), but this seems more of the ex-ception than the rule as MG is consideredendemic within many multi-age commercialegg laying flocks. Typical MG control at multi-age facilitiesmay include application of antibiotics, in-activated (bacterin-based) vaccines, or liveattenuated vaccines (LAVs). Regarding an-tibiotics, these agents have proven largelyineffective at eliminating MG from infectedflocks, though their application may reducethe economic impact of the infection. How-ever, their use may be limited by associatedmedication costs and growing public sen-timent against widespread antibiotic use.Inactivated vaccines have demonstratedprotection against MG-associated lossesand may be preferred to LAVs when the po-tential transmission (vertical or horizontal)of live MG would be problematic (e.g. broilerbreeders). However, these vaccines must beadministered manually and may requiremultiple vaccinations to achieve maximalprotection (18).
Live Attenuated Vaccine (LAVs)
 Today, LAVs are among the most commonMG-control agents utilized, particularlywithin the commercial table egg laying in-dustry. LAVs have demonstrated protectionagainst airsacculitis, respiratory signs, eggproduction losses, and field strain transmis-sion (horizontal and vertical), but protectionafforded can vary according to the appliedLAV. There are currently four commerciallyavailable LAVs within the United States:Poulvac® Myco F, an F strain-derived vaccinemarketed by Fort Dodge Animal Health;AviPro® MG F, an F strain-derived vaccinemarketed by Lohmann Animal Health; My-covac-L®, strain 6/85 marketed by Intervet/Plough Animal Health; and MycoplasmaGallisepticum Vaccine®, strain ts-11 marketedby Merial Select. The F strain-derived vaccines originatefrom a field isolate (F strain) characterizedof typical virulence, but later described of only moderate virulence (17, 23, 26). TheF strain was applied to egg layer vaccina-tion programs and demonstrated partialprotection against egg production lossesassociated with virulent MG challenges. The F strain colonized the respiratory tractand persisted in vaccinated layers (2, 12).F strain vaccination reduced MG challengestrain populations and demonstrated MGfield strain displacement (13, 15). The straininduced a strong serological response andto some extent this response was dose-dependent (5, 16, 22). However, the F strainwas found to be pathogenic to turkeys (20).In 1988, an F strain derivative was licensedby the USDA. This original commercial Fstrain derivative was described as the mostpopular and economical when comparedto other available MG vaccines (1, 8). Morerecently, a second F strain-derived LAV(AviPro® MG F) has become available, butdue to the relative novelty of this LAV, com-paratively little information specific to thisLAV is available. However, in a recently com-pleted study in which the two commerciallyavailable F strain derivatives were appliedvia eye drop to layer pullets, both of thevaccines when applied at their manufactur-ers’ recommended dosage resulted in 100%seroconversion (SPA- and ELISA-assessed),100% detectable in vivo LAV populations,and protected vaccinated hosts from airsac-culitis following intracheal challenge with avirulent strain of MG (4). The Mycovac-L® LAV (strain designation6/85) was derived from a U.S. field isolate(10). The Mycoplasma Gallisepticum Vac-cine® (strain designation ts-11) was derivedfrom an Australian field isolate strain whichwas chemically mutagenized and selectedfor temperature sensitive growth character-istics (25). Both LAVs are avirulent for chick-ens and turkeys and protected vaccinatedchickens from airsacculitis associated withvirulent MG challenge (1, 7, 25). These LAVsinduce a mild serological response and donot persist in the respiratory tract (1). How-ever, the extent of seroconversion and per-sistence within the host may be dependenton host strain, the route of application, andthe applied dosage (3, 6). Generally, 6/85-and ts-11-derived vaccines are consideredless protective against virulent MG chal-lenge than F strain-derived vaccines and thelevel of protection afforded by an LAV maybe correlated to the virulence of the vaccinestrain (20). Both the 6/85- and ts-11-derivedvaccines offer less protection against viru-lent MG-associated airsacculitis as com-pared to an F strain-derived vaccine (1) anda 6/85-derived LAV was not as protectiveagainst egg production losses immediatelyfollowing virulent MG challenge (7).Indicative of live vaccines, the LAVs arepotentially transmissible and may be regu-lated on a state by state or case by case ba-sis. The risk of transmission is of particularinterest with the F strain-derived LAVs dueto associated virulence to some poultry andan F strain-derived LAV has been associatedwith field outbreaks in turkey flocks (19, 20,23). Transmission of the F strain has beendemonstrated between pen mates andegg transmission also may occur (5, 12, 20).LAVs derived from MG strains 6/85 and ts-11 have a lower potential for transmissionas compared to F strain-derived LAVs (24).However, breaks involving possible deriva-tives of MG strain 6/85 and MG strain ts-11have been reported (11, 14, 24).
Current Research
In lieu of the development of more effec-tive means of control, LAVs will continue tobe important instruments to protect poul-try producers from losses associated withvirulent MG field breaks, particularly withinmulti-age facilities. Today, these LAVs arebeing applied by a wide variety of routesincluding via spray, eye drop, and drinkingwater and the realized dosages or resultingvaccinal loads may vary widely impactingthe protection afforded. With the spray ap-plication route alone, numerous devices arebeing utilized with varying degrees of ef-ficiency. Toward maximizing the protectionafforded by available LAVs, research is cur-rently underway to determine the impact of various delivery systems and identify opti-mal conditions for LAV application.
1. Abd-el-Motelib, T. Y., and S. H. Kleven. 1993.Avian Dis. 37(4):981-987.2. Branton, S. L., H. Gerlach, and S. H. Kleven.1984. Poult Sci. 63:1917-9.3. Collett, S. R., D. K. Thomson, D. York, and S. P.Bisschop. 2005. Avian Dis. 49:133-7.4. Evans, J.D., S.A. Leigh, S.D. Collier, S.L. Bran-ton. 2011. American Society of Microbiol-ogy General Meeting, May 22-24, New Or-leans, LA.5. Evans, J. D., S. L. Branton, and S. A. Leigh.2009. Avian Dis. 53:416-20.6. Evans, J. D., S. A. Leigh, S. L. Branton, and S. D.Collier. 2007. Avian Dis. 51:912-7.7. Evans, R. D. and Y. S. Hafez. 1992. Avian Dis.36:197-201.8. Gingerich, E. 2002. Proceedings: CornellPoultry Conference, Ithaca NY. June 19,2002. 52(3), 2-5.9. Halvorson, D. A. 2011. Avian Dis. 55:139-142.10. Kleven, S. H. 2008. Avian Dis. 52:367-74.11. Kleven, S. H. 2000. 49th Annual New Eng-land Poultry Health Conference, Ports-mouth, New Hampshire.12. Kleven, S. H. 1981. Avian Dis. 25:1005-18.13. Kleven, S. H., H. H. Fan, and K. S. Turner.1998. Avian Dis. 42:300-6.14. Kleven, S. H., R. M. Fulton, M. Garcia, V. N.Ikuta, V. A. Leiting, T. Liu, D. H. Ley, K. N.Opengart, G. N. Rowland, and E. Wallner-Pendleton. 2004. Avian Dis. 48:562-569.15. Levisohn, S. and M. J. Dykstra. 1987. AvianDis. 31:1-12.16. Levisohn, S. and S. H. Kleven. 1981. Isr JMed Sci. 17:669-73.17. Levisohn, S., Y. Yegana, I. Hod, and A. Herz.1983. Avian Pathol. 12:247-61.18. Ley, D. H. 2008.
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