Investigations were conducted to determine the occurrence of Avibacterium paragallinarum in poultry in Uganda. A total of 710 each of bacteriologic and serum samples were taken from chickens and turkeys for demonstration of A. paragallinarum and antibodies. Samples for isolation of A. paragallinarum were also subjected to direct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for demonstration of the organism's presence. Antibodies to A. paragallinarum were demonstrated in the sera using the hemagglutination inhibition test. A total of five isolates were recovered from two out of five commercial layer chicken farms investigated where suspected cases of infectious coryza were reported, and all of them belonged to Page's serovar C. PCR detected more positive samples (11/68) than did culture (5/68). Isolates were not recovered from free-range poultry nor were there any positive samples by PCR. The overall seroprevalence was 40.5% and the seroprevalence to serovars A, B, and C were 18%, 0.5%, and 22%, respectively. Antibodies to all Page's serovars A, B, and C were demonstrated in free-range chickens but only serovar C antibodies were demonstrated in commercial chickens. No antibodies were demonstrated in turkeys. This is the first time infectious coryza has been confirmed in Uganda and the causative agent, A. paragallinarum, isolated. A high seroprevalence observed in free-range chickens seems to indicate a subclinical infection under extensive village management conditions.
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Vol. 51 • No. 2