In order to assess the role of Alcaligenes faecalis in respiratory disease of broilers, a study was conducted to determine the prevalence of this bacterium in North Carolina broilers and to determine the relationship of A. faecalis infection to clinical disease. Our studies showed that A. faecalis is prevalent in North Carolina commercial broilers during the winter months. Bacteriological examination of turbinates and tracheas revealed that almost 40% of individual birds between 35 and 45 days of age yielded positive cultures; 62% of tested flocks were infected. When present, A. faecalis was usually the predominant bacterium isolated. Furthermore, because of a higher frequency of A. faecalis isolation in broiler flocks with respiratory disease (75% vs. 29% in flocks without respiratory diseases), these studies suggest a causal relationship between this bacterium and clinical respiratory disease.
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