Salmonella Gallinarum: Contagious or Acute Disease

Salmonellosis is a common bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract and liver. Salmonella infection spread in shed through feces and wet litter.

By Sania Tariq, Abdul Samad, Muhammad Hamza, Areeb Ahmer, Ayesha Muazzam and Afeen javaid

Introduction to Disease

This disease was originally called septic disease of young chicks. Most death occur up to the age of 2 weeks. A carrier bird is generally sub clinically infected. In sick birds (particularly in broilers), which are older than two weeks, Pericarditis and Perihepatitis are observed. This disease serotypes more than 1000, all of which may be considered potentially pathogenic.

Control of this disease is establishment of disease free status of breeding flocks and hygienic control of the hatchery and poultry farms, particularly control measures against mice, and decontamination of feedstuffs and doing vaccination of birds.

Cause of disease

Salmonella is caused by a bacterium name as Enterobacteriaceae. This bacteria are gram negative, non-sporing and rod shaped. The disease has got economic importance as this causes heavy mortality and morbidity 40%.

Route of Disease Transmission

The infection spread through horizontally and infected birds. This bacteria enter in birds through Causative agents, feces, and contaminated water or feed. The pathogen can remain viable in soil for up to a year. From 14 days of age onwards affected bird’s show stunting, poor feathering and frequently lameness due to arthritis.

Signs of disease

Severe damage to the intestinal mucosa, infection in the spleen, liver and lymph nodes, due to diarrhoea severe dehydration caused, depression, arthritis, loss of vitality and appetite. Site of alimentary canal are mostly infected due to this disease. Highly hemorrhages may cause anaemia. Very young birds are more susceptible than older birds. Birds weight loss and start poor feathering. Decreased egg production.

Postmortem lesions

Hemorrhages on gastric mucosa, enlargement of liver and spleen, discoloration of skin, omphalitis is often occur, anaemia, atrophy of ovarian follicle, enteritis of anterior small intestine.

How to find out disease

It can be diagnose by hemagglutination test, isolation technique, postmortem lesions and clinical signs.

Ways of entrance of salmonella spp. In the birds


Various broad spectrum antibiotics are used as treatment in chicken which might prevent bird from disease. Chloramphenicol, Neomycin, Polymixin-B, Nitrofurazone, Amoxicillin, Tetracycline, are some antibiotics or drugs which are used to prevent salmonella infection. Some electrolytes also used due to dehydration. 

Control Measure

  1. Biosecurity
  2. Vaccination


Biosecurity method should be follow. Be ensure no one enter in the shed and prevent from cross infection between houses. Always use disinfect and sanitize equipments in shed. Shed should be rodents proof. Shed should be properly cleaned from fecal material and wet litter. Proper isolation needed for prevention of salmonella infection. Overcrowding should be avoided.


Live or inactivated vaccines used against salmonella and the competitive exclusion method, which is effective for a very short period (until 1 to 2 weeks after hatching). These vaccination help to reduce the infection of birds and reduce the risk of mortality.

Salmonella infection minimizes factors

  • Shed should be hygienic.
  • Avoid unpasteurization food.
  • Store your food appropriate temperature.
  • Avoid huddling
  • Avoid sewage water

Differential Diagnosis

There are some important differential diagnosis:

Coccidiosis: It produces hemorrhagic diarrhoea which is scanty in nature. Oocytes of coccidia can be identified in faeces.

Liver fluke infestation: Signs of anaemia, eggs diseases and constipation.

Pasteurellosis: Involved in respiratory system.

Poisoning: Poisons may cause diarrhoea

Key points

Salmonellosis is one of the important zoonosis due to bacterial agents. This disease spread worldwide and has been recorded from almost all the countries. The bacteria killed by drying, sunlight and heat but they remain alive for almost 7 month in soil or feces. This bacteria can be destroyed at 60 degree temperature in 20 minutes. We can reduce the disease infection by using different strategies like improving the management issues, use antibiotics and vaccines and doing biosecurity method.

Authors: Sania Tariq, Abdul Samad, Muhammad Hamza, Areeb Ahmer, Ayesha Muazzam and Afeen javaid Faculty of veterinary and Animal Sciences MNSUAM

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