In this investigation, we determined the prevalence of the Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale (ORT) infection in broilers and broiler breeders in southern Brazil. We also correlated the presence of antibodies in broilers with performance. Sera from 1550 broilers from 50 flocks were collected during the slaughter time in nine companies with federal veterinary inspection of the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Sera from 480 meat-type breeders of 40 flocks from 14 companies in southern Brazil were also analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the prevalence of antibodies was determined. The prevalence of ORT antibodies in broiler flocks was 63.83%, but in each individual flock only 6.52% of the birds were positive. The prevalence in broiler breeder flocks was 100.00%, and in each individual flock 94.62% of the birds were positive. There was a positive correlation between the presence of antibodies to ORT and decreased body weight in broilers. There was no significant correlation between presence of antibodies to ORT and age, lineage, efficiency index, feed conversion, and mortality. There was a positive correlation between the presence of respiratory signs and antibodies to ORT, although the reverse correlation was not significant. These results confirm that ORT is present and widespread in broilers and broiler breeders in southern Brazil.
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