The impact of chicken infectious anemia virus (CIAV) infection on commercial chicken flocks in Israel was examined by analyzing flocks with or without typical CIAV signs, signs of other diseases, or apparently healthy flocks. In 23 flocks (broilers and layers) of ages up to 8 wk, typical signs of CIAV infection (stunting, gangrenous dermatitis, and secondary bacterial infections) were recorded. When permitted by flock owners, in several cases among these 23 flocks the morbidity, mortality, and performance parameters were recorded; the presence of CIAV was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR); and the antibody status of parents and broilers was measured. In addition, total mortality, number of birds sold, total kilograms of meat sold, density (kg/m2), mean age at slaughter, daily growth rate in grams, total kilogram of food consumed, food conversion rate, and the European Index were calculated. We also surveyed flocks affected by other diseases, such as tumors, respiratory diseases, or coccidiosis, and flocks with no apparent clinical signs. The latter flocks were negative by CIAV-PCR, indicating that typical CIAV clinical signs are associated with one-step PCR-CIAV amplification. However, a small amount of CIAV might still be present in these flocks, acting to induce the subclinical effects of CIAV infection. These data indicate a link between the presence of virus sequences and typical CIAV signs and strengthen the concept that CIAV infection has a negative economic impact on the chicken industry.
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Vol. 48 • No. 1