Mycoplasma infectious synovitis

Occurrence: Worldwide.
Species of bird: Chickens, turkeys
Age of bird: All.
Causes: Mycoplasma synoviae. Spread through the egg and laterally by aerosol. Mechanical transmission occurs via people equipment, vehicles etc.
Effects: Signs include breast blisters, pale or shrunken combs, lameness, ruffled feathers, greenish droppings with large amounts of urates. Birds sit on hocks, are dehydrated, listless, have hot swollen hock and wing joints and foot pads. Layers may have lowered egg production and shell quality.

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Causes

Chickens and turkeys of all ages are susceptible to this acute to chronic disease. The aetiology
agent involved is M. synoviae.

Mode of transmission

Spread through egg and laterally by aerosol. Also transmitted by people, vehicles etc.

Clinical signs

Signs  include  breast  blisters,  pale  or  shrunken  combs,  lameness,  ruffled  feathers,  greenish droppings with large amounts of urates. Birds sit on hocks, are dehydrated, listless, have hot swollen hock and wing joints and foot pads and/or lowered egg production and shell quality.

Post-mortem lesions

Lesions include viscous creamy to grey exudate in yolk, synovial membranes and tendon sheaths, joints, keel bone over breast and hepatospleenomegaly. Honey coloured fluid on breasts and joints, swollen, mottled and pale kidneys may be present.

Diagnosis

ELISA test for antibodies is important. Isolate organism from medium on agar. Identification of the organism using Giemsa stain of culture or antigen capture ELISA with monoclonal antibody, and PCR. It simulates bacterial or viral arthritis. Honey (yellow) coloured fluid from swollen joints is a presumptive diagnosis. It simulates Synovitis by Staphylococcus aureus.

Prevention

Prevention includes serological testing of breeder flocks twice during their life, vaccination of pullets with killed bacterin or temperature sensitive mutant live vaccine by water, one age per farm, and all-in, all- out management.