Avibacterium paragallinarum and Gallibacterium anatis are recognized bacterial pathogens both infecting the respiratory tract of chickens. The present study investigated outcomes of their coinfection by elucidating clinical signs, pathologic lesions, and bacteriologic findings. Additionally, the efficacy of a commercially available vaccine to prevent diseases caused by A. paragallinarum and G. anatis was evaluated. Birds inoculated with G. anatis alone did not present any clinical signs and gross pathologic lesions in the respiratory tract. However, clinical signs of infectious coryza were reproduced in nonvaccinated birds that were challenged with A. paragallinarum alone or together with G. anatis. Such clinical signs were more severe in the coinfected group, including the death of four birds. Some of the birds that were vaccinated and challenged showed mild clinical signs at 7 days postinfection (dpi). Inflammation of sinus infraorbitalis was the most prominent gross pathologic lesion found in the respiratory tract of nonvaccinated birds inoculated either with A. paragallinarum and G. anatis or A. paragallinarum alone. In the reproductive tract, hemorrhagic follicles were observed in nonvaccinated birds that were infected either with G. anatis alone or together with A. paragallinarum. In vaccinated birds, no gross pathologic lesions were found except in one bird that was coinfected with both the pathogens characterized by mucoid tracheitis. Bacteriologic investigations revealed that multiplication of G. anatis at 7 dpi was supported by the coinfection with A. paragallinarum. Altogether, it can be concluded that simultaneous infection of A. paragallinarum and G. anatis can increase the severities of disease conditions in chickens. In such a scenario, vaccination appears to be an effective tool for prevention of the disease, as protection was conferred based on clinical, pathologic, bacteriologic, and serologic data.
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Vol. 61 • No. 1