Ten gram-negative, pleomorphic, rod-shaped isolates from coryza-like, respiratory diseased laying and broiler chickens were identified as Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale. All O. rhinotracheale isolates showed typical biochemical and enzymatic characteristics. Also, all isolates showed hemagglutinating activity with glutaraldehyde-fixed erythrocytes. On the basis of this property, a rabbit-raised antiserum was produced for an isolate. All isolates were identified by antiserum by hemagglutination-inhibition tests. No cross-reactions were observed when O. rhinotracheale isolates were tested with Haemophilus paragallinarum antisera, and vice versa. Mild respiratory signs, including mild nasal discharge, slight rales, and sneezing, were observed in challenged chickens. At postmortem examination, multifocal pneumonia, airsacculitis, and foamy exudate in abdominal cavity were observed. Furthermore, because bacterial adherence is regarded as an essential step in the infection process, in vitro adherence of O. rhinotracheale isolates to chicken tracheal epithelial cells was tested. All isolates showed positive adherence. Obtained results indicate that O. rhinotracheale is a pathogenic agent present in the Mexican poultry.
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Vol. 46 • No. 3