Monograph

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definition: 

Avian encephalomyelitis is an infectious disease of viral origin that affects certain bird species.

Situation in America: 

Avian encephalomyelitis is a cosmopolitan disease, the incidence of which has nevertheless greatly diminished thanks to the vaccination of breeders. It is present in the Caribbean, probably in most of the islands.

Susceptible species: 

Chickens, turkeys and quails between the age of 6 days and 3 weeks

Etiological agent: 

Avian encephalomyelitis is caused by a Picornavirus, an RNA non-enveloped virus.

Methods of transmission
Source: 

Infection by direct contact is not common.

Transmission: 

The disease is primarily transmitted vertically, as the virus is excreted in eggs.

Symptoms: 

- In young birds: appearance of mild trembling of the head, progressive muscular ataxia, developing into paralysis, seated position on tibio-metatarsal joints

- In adults: If infected at the beginning of egg laying: mild but protracted decline in egg laying, decrease in fecundity and hatchability.

If infected during egg laying: sudden but brief decline in egg laying

Diagnostics
Laboratory diagnosis: 

- Detection of the pathogenic agent through viral isolation or an ELISA test

- Detection of antibodies using an ELISA test

Prophylaxis: 

Sanitary

In infected areas, the isolation and elimination of affected animals

Vaccines: 

Inactivated virus vaccine (the only type allowed in France) for breeders before or during egg laying


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