Salmonella pullorum and gallinarum (also called Pullorum and Typhoid) are bacterial diseases which can produce heavy losses in chicken flocks, turkey flocks and other gallinoformes.
Losses are greatest in very young birds but can be seen at almost any age. Survivors of these infections remain carriers for life and can become a source of infection for other birds. Breeders produce hatching eggs which contain these bacteria and chicks are hatched with the infection and frequently die.
Pullorum disease will affect turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, pheasants, sparrows, quail, bittern, geese, pigeons, doves, parakeets and canaries. The infection may spread by breathing contaminated dust or coming into contact with down from infected poultry or with other material in the incubator, shipping box, brooder, or pen that has been touched by an infected bird.
Blood-testing adult breeding birds in combination with biosecurity and sanitation have all but eliminated the disease in the United States. Pullorum-typhoid testing is available through the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory.
Testing for Pullorum Typhoid
Pullorum can be controlled and eradicated by eliminating infected carrier birds. Blood-testing potential breeding animals and culling infected birds are the steps needed to eliminate the egg borne disease and break the disease cycle. Breeders that test negative produce non-infected eggs and non-infected birds.
The Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) tests for Pullorum-typhoid using the rapid whole-blood plate agglutination test, the rapid serum plate test, the standard tube agglutination test, and the microagglutination test. These tests use whole blood or serum of infected birds which contain antibodies that will clump when mixed with stained Pullorum organisms.
The laboratory accepts samples from hatcheries and flock owners permitted with the Board. All samples must be collected by an authorized testing agent. For supplies, forms and questions, please contact MPTL at 320-231-5170 or firstname.lastname@example.org.