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Rotavirus Infection

Extracted From:
A Pocket Guide to
Poultry Health
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By Paul McMullin
© 2004
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Rotavirus infection is seen in chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, pheasants, partridges and pigeons. The route of infection is oral and maximum viral excretion occurs 2-5 days post infection. It is not known if vertical transmission occurs though virus has been occasionally isolated from embryonated eggs.


  • Diarrhoea.

Post-mortem lesions

  • Viruses replicate mainly in the mature villous epithelial cells.


Demonstration of virus (PAGE, electron microscopy or Elisa on intestinal contents - submit 6 x .5 g faeces). Virus may be found in asymptomatic birds.


No specific treatment for this infection. Control of secondary bacterial enteritis may require antimicrobial medication. Use of a good electrolyte solution is beneficial in the acute stage of infection.


Good hygiene in brooding areas.

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