Abstract in English:Avian mycoplasmas occur in a variety of bird species. The most important mycoplasmas for chickens and turkeys are Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), M. synoviae (MS), and M. meleagridis. Besides, M. iowe (MI) is an emerging pathogen in turkeys, but of little concern for chickens. Mycoplasmas are bacteria that lack cell wall and belong to the class Mollicutes. Although they have been considered extracellular agents, scientists admit nowadays that some of them are obligatory intracellular microorganisms, whereas all other mycoplasmas are considered facultative intracellular organisms. Their pathogenic mechanism for disease include adherence to host target cells, mediation of apoptosis, innocent bystander damage to host cell due to intimate membrane contact, molecular (antigen) mimicry that may lead to tolerance, and mitotic effect for B and/or T lymphocytes, which could lead to suppressed T-cell function and/or production of cytotoxic T cell, besides mycoplasma by-products, such as hydrogen peroxide and superoxide radicals. Moreover, mycoplasma ability to stimulate macrophages, monocytes, T-helper cells and NK cells, results in the production of substances, such as tumor necrosing factor (TNF-alpha), interleukin (IL-1, 2, 6) and interferon (<FONT FACE=Symbol>a, b, g</FONT>). The major clinical signs seen in avian mycoplasmosis are coughing, sneezing, snicks, respiratory rales, ocular and nasal discharge, decreased feed intake and egg production, increased mortality, poor hatchability, and, primarily in turkeys, swelling of the infraorbital sinus(es). Nevertheless, chronic and unapparent infections are most common and more threatening. Mycoplasmas are transmitted horizontally, from bird to bird, and vertically, from dam to offspring through the eggs. Losses attributed to mycoplasmosis, mainly MG and MS infections, result from decreased egg production and egg quality, poor hatchability (high rate of embryonic mortality and culling of day-old birds), poor feed efficiency, increase in mortality and carcass condemnations, besides medication costs. Mycoplasmas are diagnosed by serologic tests, culture and PCR and are sensitive to antimicrobials whose action sites are other than the bacterial cell wall, such as tetracyclines, macrolides, quinolones and tiamulin. However, mycoplasma control is more efficiently achieved by acquisition of birds free of MG, MS, MM and/or MI, vaccination of layers, and monitoring of breeder flocks, followed by elimination of the infected flocks that are detected.
Abstract in English:An experiment was conducted at Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia/Unesp - Botucatu for 168 days to evaluate the effects of protein, Met + Cys and lysine diet levels on egg production and egg quality of laying Japanese quails. Quails with 42 days of age were reared in a completely randomized design. There were 1,944 quails distributed in four replicates of 27 birds per pen, according to a factorial 3x3x2 with three crude protein levels (16, 18 and 20% CP), three Met + Cys levels (0.700; 0.875 and 1.050%) and two lysine levels (1.100 and 1.375%). Birds fed diets with 18 and 20% CP had higher feed intake and egg production than those fed diets with 16% CP. There was significant interaction (p<0.05) between protein and Met + Cys levels on egg weight. There was no effects (p>0.05) of the protein level on feed conversion per dozen eggs; however, improved feed conversion per egg mass was seen for birds fed diets with 20% CP compared to those fed diets with 16% and 18% CP. Protein and lipid percentage in the yolk increased when dietary protein level increased from 16 to 18%. Increasing Met + Cys from 0.700% to 0.875% reduced yolk protein percentage. Higher lipid percentage in the yolk was seen in eggs from quails fed diets with 1.050% Met + Cys, whereas 1.375% lysine in the diet of resulted in decreased egg production and egg mass, besides poorer feed conversion per dozen eggs and per egg mass.
Abstract in English:This study assessed the effect of different cage stocking densities on the performance of Italian quails in the laying period. Two hundred and sixty four quails with 30 weeks of age and 280g mean body weight were used. Birds were randomly assigned to 96 x 33 x 16 cm cages and distributed in a randomized block design with 4 treatments (12, 15, 18 and 21 quails per cage or 264, 211, 176 and 151 cm² per quail, respectively) and 4 replicates. Birds were given feed and water ad libitum and submitted to the same experimental conditions. The experimental diet was formulated based on NRC (1994) recommendations. There were no significant differences among treatments for feed conversion per egg mass (kg:kg), percentage of broken eggs and mortality. There was a linear reduction (p<0.05) in egg weight, feed consumption, percentage of production, egg mass and feed conversion per dozen with the increase in stocking density. The gain per house per day was better at the cage density of 151 cm² per bird. However, the density of 211 cm² per bird provided the best gain per bird per day, because this stocking density had better productive indexes when compared with the other treatments.
Abstract in English:The objective of this study was to estimate the variance components for body weight in Japanese quails by Bayesian procedures. The body weight at hatch (BWH) and at 7 (BW07), 14 (BW14), 21 (BW21) and 28 days of age (BW28) of 3,520 quails was recorded from August 2001 to June 2002. A multiple-trait animal model with additive genetic, maternal environment and residual effects was implemented by Gibbs sampling methodology. A single Gibbs sampling with 80,000 rounds was generated by the program MTGSAM (Multiple Trait Gibbs Sampling in Animal Model). Normal and inverted Wishart distributions were used as prior distributions for the random effects and the variance components, respectively. Variance components were estimated based on the 500 samples that were left after elimination of 30,000 rounds in the burn-in period and 100 rounds of each thinning interval. The posterior means of additive genetic variance components were 0.15; 4.18; 14.62; 27.18 and 32.68; the posterior means of maternal environment variance components were 0.23; 1.29; 2.76; 4.12 and 5.16; and the posterior means of residual variance components were 0.084; 6.43; 22.66; 31.21 and 30.85, at hatch, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days old, respectively. The posterior means of heritability were 0.33; 0.35; 0.36; 0.43 and 0.47 at hatch, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days old, respectively. These results indicate that heritability increased with age. On the other hand, after hatch there was a marked reduction in the maternal environment variance proportion of the phenotypic variance, whose estimates were 0.50; 0.11; 0.07; 0.07 and 0.08 for BWH, BW07, BW14, BW21 and BW28, respectively. The genetic correlation between weights at different ages was high, except for those estimates between BWH and weight at other ages. Changes in body weight of quails can be efficiently achieved by selection.
Abstract in English:This study was carried out at Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Botucatu, SP, Brazil, with the objective of evaluating the efficacy of four techniques in the assessment of tibial dyschondroplasia lesions in broiler chickens. Four hundred Cobb male chicks were reared from 1 to 39 days of age. At 39 days, forty birds were selected and tibial dyschondroplasia status was assessed by four different techniques: evaluation using the lixiscope, macroscopic examination, histological examination and bone mineral density assessment using optical radiographic densitometry. The efficacy of each technique to assess dyschondroplasia lesions in the tibial growth plate was determined in comparison to histology, which was considered to be 100% efficient. The correlation results between lixiscope analysis and histology were poor. Macroscopic scores and densitometry readings were highly correlated with histology scores, and it is considered that these techniques reliably reproduce the status of the growth plate.
Abstract in English:Three experiments were conducted to determine the nutritional requirements of potassium (K) for male Ross broiler chickens, from 8 to 21, 22 to 42 and 43 to 53 days of age. The following parameters were evaluated: body weight gain (BWG), feed intake (FI) and feed conversion ratio (FCR). In each experiment, a completely randomized experimental design was used, with six treatments (K levels), and six, eight and eight numbers of replicates, and eight, five and four birds per pen, respectively. The experimental diets were basal diets deficient in K but supplemented with K carbonate to result in levels of 0.30, 0.44, 0.58, 0.72, 0.86 and 1.00% K. Estimated requirements for BWG were 0.628, 0.714 and 0.798% K, for the periods 8-21, 22-42 and 43-53 d, respectively.
Abstract in English:Three trials were carried out to determine energy metabolized (EM) requirement model for starting and growing pullets from different strains, at five ambient temperatures and different percentage feather coverage. In Trial I, metabolizable energy requirements for maintenance (MEm) and efficiency of energy utilization were estimated using 64 birds of two different strains, Hy-Line W36 (HLW36) and Hy-Line Semi-heavy (HLSH), from 9 to 13 weeks of age. The effects of ambient temperature (12, 18, 24, 30 and 36ºC) and percentage feather coverage (0, 50 and 100%) on MEm were assessed in the second trial, using 48 birds per temperature per strain (HLSH and HLW36) from 9 to 13 weeks of age. Trial III evaluated ME requirements for weight gain (MEg) using 1,200 birds from two light strains (HLW36 and Hisex Light, HL) and two semi-heavy strains (HLSH and Hisex Semi-heavy, HSH) reared until 18 weeks of age. According to the prediction models, MEm changed as a function of temperature and feather coverage, whereas MEg changed as a function of age and bird strain. Thus, two models were developed for birds aged 1 to 6 weeks, one model for the light strain and one for the semi-heavy strain. Energy requirements (ER) were different among strains from 7 to 12 weeks, and therefore 4 models were elaborated. From 13 to 18 weeks, one single model was produced for semi-heavy birds, since ER between semi-heavy strains were not different, whereas two different models were elaborated for the light layers. MEg of light birds was higher than MEg of semi-heavy birds, independent of age.
Abstract in English:We studied the effects of two different systems of expressing amino acid requirements (total - TAA or digestible - DAA), two energy levels (2,900 or 3,200 kcal of ME/kg) and two physical forms (mash or pellet) on the performance of male broilers from 21 to 42 d of age. Diets formulated on DAA basis improved feed conversion (p<0.001) and the conversion of consumed ME into body weight gain (p<0.001). Birds fed 3,200 kcal ME/kg presented better feed conversion (p<0.001), higher abdominal fat deposition (p<0.001) and worse conversion of consumed ME into body weight gain (p<0.001) as compared to birds fed 2,900 kcal ME/kg. Birds fed pelleted feed had higher feed intake (p<0.001), higher weight gain (p<0.001), better feed conversion (p<0.001), better conversion of consumed ME into body weight gain (p<0.001) and higher abdominal fat deposition (p<0.001). The results obtained in the present study suggest that feed formulation based on DAA is required when diets contain protein sources which amino acid digestibility is unreliable. Besides, pelleted feed improves performance parameters of broilers.
Abstract in English:Broiler chicks belonging to two poultry companies, A and B, with different breeders' vaccination programs were challenged with a very virulent strains of infectious bursal disease virus (vvIBDV), genotyped as G11. Birds were separated in four groups, two vaccinated at the first day of life and two unvaccinated. They were then challenged at the 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th and 22nd days. At every day of challenge, before and after the procedure, the following data were collected from each group: Bursa of Fabricius (BF) relative weight, BF diameter, BF for histologie examination, serum for measuring antibodies against IBDV through the ELISA and clinical evaluation of IBD. The results obtained have shown a non-significant drop in antibody level between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated groups. When analyzing the different results, it could be established that an ELISA titre of 3,4 log10 was the cutoff point between healthy and sick birds. Regression equations were built to determinate the best moment for vaccination and also the ELISA log titre birds what could present in a given age. Based on that, chicks from Company A should receive a vaccine against IBD from the 6th to 7th day of age, while the ones from Company B should get it between the 11th and the 12th day of age. Finally, the overall results suggest that the birds should not be vaccinated at one day old, and also that the breeders' different vaccination schemes resulted in progenies with different levels of maternal protection, and as a consequence the same vaccination plan should not be applied indiscriminately to broilers from different poultry companies.
Abstract in English:A semi-nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (Semi-N-RT-PCR) was developed and used to detect the S glycoprotein gene of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) strains and to discriminate H120 vaccine strain from other strains. Viral RNA was extracted from the allantoic fluid of chicken embryos and from tissues of chickens experimentally infected with different strains of IBV. Amplification and identification of the viral RNA was performed using two sets of primers complementary to a region of the S glycoprotein gene in the Semi-N-RT-PCR assay. The pair of primers used in the first PCR consisted of universal oligonucleotides flanking a more variable region of S1-S2 gene. The second primer pair was used in the Semi-N-RT-PCR and was comprised of one of the primers from the first universal pair together with either another universal internal oligolucleotide or a oligonucleotide sequence specific for the H120 strain of IBV. The universal primers detected all reference IBV strains and field isolates tested herein. The Semi-N-RT-PCR had high sensitivity and specificity, and was able to differentiate the H120 vaccine strain from other reference IBV strains; including M41 strain. All tissue samples collected from chickens experimentally infected with H120 or M41 strains were positive in the semi-nested RT-PCR using universal primers, while only the H120-infected tissue samples were amplified by the set of primers containing the H120-oligonucleotide. In conclusion, the ability of Semi-N-RT-PCR to detect distinct IBV strains and preliminarily discriminate the vaccine strain (H120) closes a diagnostic gap and offers the opportunity to use comprehensive PCR procedures for the IBV diagnosis.