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  • 1 Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate Central Agricultural Office Tábornok u. 2 H-1149 Budapest Hungary
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Two groups of one-day-old Peking ducklings (Groups I and II, 12 birds/group) were inoculated orally with Brachyspira pilosicoli and two groups with B. alvinipulli (Groups III and IV, 12 birds/group). T-2 toxin was added to the feed of Groups II and IV in a dose of 1 mg/kg of feed. Groups V and VI served as uninfected control groups (ducks of Group VI received T-2 toxin). The body weight gain of the ducks was measured and clinical signs were monitored continuously. The birds were sacrificed and necropsied on days 7, 14, 21, and 28 post infection (PI). The liver, spleen, kidney, thymus, bursa of Fabricius, ileum, caecum and colon were examined histologically. Culturing of Brachyspira spp. and immunohistochemistry were performed from the sampled parts of the intestines as well. No gross pathological or histological lesions that could be associated with B. pilosicoli or B. alvinipulli were detectable in the intestinal mucous membrane including the colonised intestinal glands. Mortality did not occur during the experimental period. Decrease in body weight gain was significant in the T-2-toxin-treated groups, and it was slight (not significant) in the Brachyspira-infected groups. Crust on the beaks, necrosis, crusting and ulceration in the mucous membrane of the oral cavity and on the skin of the feet, atrophy of the thymus and bursa of Fabricius due to the effect of T-2 toxin, accompanied by lymphocyte depletion, were observed. These lesions were most prominent on days 14 and 21 PI but were seen on day 28 PI as well. Immunohistochemical detection and reisolation of B. pilosicoli and B. alvinipulli were successful on days 7, 14, 21 and 28 days from different segments of the intestine of certain birds, but no significant difference was observed in the colonisation rate between the T-2-toxin-treated and the untreated groups.

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