New Guidelines on Aspergillosis Management

US - A new brochure provides guidelines for the control of aspergillosis in poultry.
calendar icon 10 August 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

A new brochure from Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health provides practical information on the control and prevention of aspergillosis, a common and aggressive fungal contamination that causes poultry producers major economic losses worldwide.

Aspergillosis is caused by the fungus Aspergillus, an omnipresent and fast-growing variety that requires only warmth, a little moisture, and plenty of organic material to thrive. Aspergillus spores therefore find ideal breeding ground in the modern poultry production chain, particularly in hatcheries.

According to Dr Charlie Broussard, US poultry technical service director, for Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, some degree of Aspergillus contamination is almost inevitable, even on the best-managed operations.

He explained: "The Trojan horse for the contamination can be eggs from the breeder farm, dust from the feed mill or the field, or hatchery waste. A single egg can shower the hatchery and ventilation system with the Aspergillus spores, which are very difficult to eliminate once they colonise."

If aspergillosis is not effectively controlled, outbreaks can result in significant setbacks, including higher embryo mortality, early chick and growth period mortality, poor weight gain in broilers, increased treatment costs; and loss of grower confidence in chicks.

The information and case histories in the brochure show how careful control and prevention can lead to substantial savings and enhanced performance throughout the poultry production chain.

Dr Broussard continued: "In the case of aspergillosis, an ounce of prevention is worth considerably more than a pound of cure – especially since it's nearly impossible to cure the problem once a contamination has occurred. In the brochure, we show how proper sanitation, in ovo vaccination, egg transportation, biosecurity, and hatchery design contribute to preventing and controlling aspergillosis."

He noted that even when strict sanitary precautions are in place, hatcheries will still be confronted with Aspergillus.

"A strong, specific disinfectant such as Clinafarm® (imazalil) is therefore critical to controlling the fungus," Dr Broussard added.

Clinafarm is a disinfectant with specific activity against Aspergillus fungus and its spores. In addition to killing the mould safely and effectively, Clinafarm prevents its growth by blocking the formation of ergesterol, an essential part of the fungal wall. A spray formulation and a smoke generator are available, which may be used separately or together depending on circumstances.

For US readers only: For more information about Aspergillus control and a free copy of the colour booklet, contact your Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health representative or click here.

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