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Vibrionic Hepatitis, Avian Infectious Hepatitis

Extracted From:
A Pocket Guide to
Poultry Health
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By Paul McMullin
© 2004
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An insidious onset disease of chickens caused by Vibrio bacteria. Morbidity is low. Transmission is by faecal contamination, birds remaining carriers for months, and disease is precipitated by stress. The infective agent is rather resistant to environment and disinfectants.


  • Dejection.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Loss of condition.
  • Inappetance.
  • Pale comb and wattles.
  • Scaly comb.
  • Jaundice.
  • Drop in production/weight gain.

Post-mortem lesions

  • Focal hepatic necrosis in 10% of affected. Foci often stellate, or there may be a cauliflower-like 'spotty liver'.
  • Haematocysts under capsule.
  • Swelling of organs.
  • Catarrhal enteritis.


History, lesions, isolation of infective agent from bile. Differentiate from leukosis, histomonosis, ulcerative enteritis, fowl cholera, and typhoid.


Erythromycin, fluoroquinolones.


Hygiene, depopulate, obtain birds free of disease, contain stressors.

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