Title : Staphylococcus agnetis as a Model Microorganism to Induce Bacterial Chondronecrosis with Osteomyelitis in Broiler Chickens
We have isolated Staphylococcus agnetis from lame birds and used one isolate to induce lameness in broilers, which resulted in 50-60% of lameness. In addition, we are identifying the virulence factors in S. agnetis, so we can understand the pathogenicity of this emerging pathogen. S. agnetis is a relatively newly identified bacterial species that causes Bacterial Chondronecrosis with Osteomyelitis (BCO) lameness cases in broiler chickens. BCO lameness is a major animal welfare and food safety issue that affects the poultry industry worldwide resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. Our research group isolated S. agnetis from infected bones and blood samples from birds raised on either wire or wood shaving flooring. Identifying bacterial species that cause BCO lameness in chickens helps us understand the transmission and pathogenesis of the disease. S. agnetis is a Gram positive, non-motile, non-spore forming, and coagulase negative species that was known for causing mastitis cases in bovine. No prior correlation was established between S. agnetis and BCO prior to the research conducted by our group at the University of Arkansas. We have used S. agnetis as a model for the epidemiology of BCO. In addition, we used selected probiotics and prebiotics mixes to decrease the incidence of BCO in chickens.
Broiler chickens get the S. agnetis infection from the environment and the bacteria gain access to the blood via the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, and/or the skin. After entering the blood stream, S. agnetis bacteria colonize the proximal femoral and tibial heads eliciting necrosis, which results in lameness. Lameness is caused by many bacterial strains that vary according to the geographical region. We have established that S. agnetis is one of the main causes of lameness in our poultry research farm. Our group published the full genome sequence for multiple S. agnetis isolates from chicken and cattle. The chicken isolates cluster within the cattle isolates, suggesting a recent host transition, with very different etiology. Understanding the determinants of host adaptation, and virulence will be critical to understanding this transition
What will audience learn from your presentation?
• The audience will learn about the Bacterial Chondronecrosis with Osteomyelitis BCO lameness in broiler chickens.
• BCO lameness is a major animal welfare and food safety issue that affects the poultry industry worldwide resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.
• Identifying bacterial species that cause BCO lameness in chickens helps us understand the transmission and pathogenesis of the disease.
• Our research group isolated Staphylococcus agnetis from infected bones and blood samples from birds raised on either wire or wood shaving flooring.
• We are now using to induce BCO lameness in broiler chickens. This model helps test feed additives impact on the incidence of BCO lameness in broiler chickens.