Mycoplasma synoviae; the last piece in the puzzle  

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What puzzle? – How to grow broilers and produce eggs without the routine use of antibiotics in poultry areas (with endemic mycoplasma challenge).
 
For a long time antibiotics have been used in poultry and egg production but there is considerable consumer/regulatory pressure, price pressure and technical reasons why the administration of antibiotics on a routine basis needs to be phased out of these production systems. The development of resistance in target and non-target organisms is just one reason why antibiotics will be removed. For exporting companies we may see trade barriers erected to products to have been produced with antibiotics to prevent spread of resistance determinants. The puzzle is now how to produce poultry meat and eggs without antibiotics on our current farms.

 

 

Many innovations in poultry management have had profound effects on the health of modern flocks. The implementation of biosecurity has massively decreased the movement of most pathogens except those with airborne and/or vertical transmission. The airborne infections are still particularly a problem in áreas of high poultry density. The attention to the elimination of vertically transmitted infections by breeding companies has given producers at the commercial level the option of pathogen freedom. The implementation of single age sites and all in all out programmes, improved building construction, cleaning and disinfection have all been significant steps. The development of vaccines has allowed disease to be controlled where the infection could not be controlled. If the vaccine completely stops field strain infection this will have further advantages.

Around the world, many poultry operations have been able to control all regular infections except Mycoplasmasynoviae(MS). Thus control of MS has limited the ability of poultry operations finally to run without routine antibiotic programmes. A variety of factors has contributed to the intransience of MS to effective control. There are more active reservoirs for MS (layers, etc), as control has not been as uniformly attempted as for MG (and indeed the MS status of flocks is often not understood). MS infected flocks are rarely culled. MS seems to be more transmissible between farms tan MG. In many places, MS free replacement stock has not been available (although this is rapidly changing with international breeding companies implementing global health standards). Finally infected multi age farms often rapidly challenge replacement flocks on arrival. There is also a belief in some places that MS has no impact (certainly the impact varies between strains but routine application of antibiotics will hide the effects of MS infection). This continued dependence on antibiotics may also affect the efficacy of live MG vaccination in breeders and layers.

The live MS vaccine (MSH) has solved many of these problems. On a farm basis, this has been described as displacement of wild strains but is probably more usefully looked at as increasing the resistance of vaccinated poultry to wild strain challenge. Non vaccinated birds have no protection against wild strain infection. MSH appears to not be horizontally transmitted between sheds unless aided by mechanical transmission (so-called inadvertent vaccination). Surveys of MSH vaccinated flocks in Iran at the end of their first production cycle demonstrate mainly vaccine strain (over 90%) in areas where breeder flock infection rate was formerly 70%. This is just after two years of use. Over longer time periods we can reasonably expect further reductions in the incidence of field strains of MS.

Although no useful immunity is passed to the progeny of MSH vaccinated flocks, the prevention of vertical transmission from breeders is very useful allowing massive decreases in antibiotic requirements in the progeny. Field studies with live MS vaccine have demonstrated that this prevention appears to be absolute (and has been used extensively in Mexico). In mycoplasma (MG and MS) free broilers horizontal transmission does not appear to be a problem with their short life span. Routine antibiotic treatment is necessary for the progeny of mycoplasma-infected breeders and often the breeder themselves - Treating this massive biomass is expensive even if antibiotics are locally cheap.

These properties of MSH have also been used to control MS associated diseases like infectious synovitis, CRD (especially in broilers) and Egg Apical Abnormality, and decrease antibiotic dependence and subclinical effects on egg production and egg FCR. Furthermore, MS field strains can be demonstrated to be displaced by this vaccine. In areas where MG and MS need to be controlled MSH allow sts-11 to be more effectively used by eliminating a need for routine antibiotics applications targeting MS challenge and effects post ts-11 vaccination.

Vaccination is the solution for infections that cannot be consistently excluded from poultry flocks. Progressively vaccination technology has tried to provide protection against these infections and MS control was the final piece needed to wean poultry and egg production off routine antibiotic administration. This strategy including MSH is now starting to be used extensively around the world.

 

Paper presented at Poultry Focus Asia 2014, 3-5 March, Bangkok, Thailand.

 
Author/s
 
Vasilis Kompoulis Vasilis Kompoulis
Veterinary Doctor
April 4, 2018

Excellent article.I agree that MS is progressively aggressive mainly in organic or free range layer flocks
Vaccination with MSlive is the only way to reduce spreading in multi stage farm.

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Muhammad Kashif Muhammad Kashif
Veterinary Doctor
April 4, 2018
excellent article by Chris Morrow
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Chris Morrow Chris Morrow
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
April 4, 2018

Have a look at my similar articles on www.bioproperties.com.au or researchgate

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Sachin Patil Sachin Patil
Veterinary Doctor
April 4, 2018

Dear Chris,
As per my view world wide Mycoplasma is controlled by 3 way
1.Through MG/MS free breeding stock
2.Through vaccination
3. Through Medication
But If we see the nature of avian mycoplasma is very stringent due to lack of cell wall, its nature of living intracellular in the body and once infected infection remains for life. That's the reason its make unique than other pathogens.
So as per my view vaccination of MG/MS is not so effective because to have the good efficacy of vaccine, its should produce more antibody's inside the body after administration but the Mycoplasma is intracellular and works on cellular immunity and not on the humoral immunity so the less amount of Ag-Ab production and poor is the protection.
Secondly , the strain differentiation with the vaccine as well as field strain. There is question mark about the vaccination in the infected flock may be vertically or horizontally shall we recommend in that flock?
In this context its suggestive of control through medication like macrolide and pluromutilin group of antibiotics as they are only having the capacity to treat intracellularly as compared to other class of antibiotics. As since so long there is no resistance problem has been registered till date and no interference of these molecules to human food chain.
This is my practical experience abut the mycoplasma in our part of country.

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Chris Morrow Chris Morrow
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
April 4, 2018

I have been to India quite a bit lately and control also includes combinations of live and killed vaccines, biosecurity and antibiotics. The availability of mycoplasma free replacement stock is also a new innovation and requires a complete rethink of mycoplasma control in India.

I also saw a lot of flocks still having mycoplasma problems despite being treated regularly with antibiotics even with Tiamulin. Breeders are being targeted hard as antibiotic controls from international fast food chains are being implemented at the broiler level. Certainly throughout the whole of Asia fluroquinolone resistance in mycoplasmas is a fact of life. Tylosin resistance is present in some places like Indonesia.

Antibiotics and live vaccines (including F strain) are incompatible. All the live vaccines are sensitive to all antimycoplasmal antibiotics. Interestingly no strains of MS are sensitive to erythromycin. They are all inately resistant.

At the moment there is a lot of focus on leg problems in males especially in the males of the new broiler breeder strains in cages. I am not even sure this is caused by MS. Could be just having a heavier bird on wire.

Anyhow Asia needs to wean itself off antibiotics in lay as this is potentially the greatest driver of resistance and will cost human lives in the future. Not resistance in the mycoplasma which the antibiotics is targetting but in non-target organisms (mainly in the get). Co-selection for plasmids carrying mutl-resistance factors including resistance to heat, desiccation, disinfectants, heavy metals means we need to think about more than just reducing antibiotic use. It is scary. The only thing more scary is the water contamination around Hyderabad's antibiotic factories.

We need to do more than monitor resistance development to protect our safe future.

see
http://www.bioproperties.com.au/!Pages/Publications/Documents/DOC-MycoplasmaControl-CentralToAntibioticStewardship.pdf

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April 6, 2018
It is frustrating and disappointing how we veterinarians, flock and farm managers, farm owners abuse and overlook the antibiotic resistance on today's world.
We're already living an post antibiotic era. But the vast majority of those involved in food chain, in some countries, still do not realize it.
Some comments above are the testimony of this.
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April 12, 2018
I am fully agree with Dr.chris Morrow; M.synovae is now common problem in India but mostly it is correlated with signs of lameness in breeders but we can’t confirm that it’s MS for which isolation & identification is to be done.
Newly introduced heavy breeds do have lameness in growing period but MS is not only reason behind that.
I am agree with Chris it can be control by one live boosted by killed vaccine that to in males will reduce its incidences.
Antibiotic resistance is again one major issue to control this infection but good acidifier combined with sanititiser will also reduce this infection on long treatment.
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Joe Stanyer Joe Stanyer
Agriculturist
April 12, 2018
The Primary Turkey Breeders eliminated all 3 Mycoplasmas from their flocks many years ago, and flocks are constantly monitored.
Mycoplasma is very serious in Broiler Turkeys due to the longer grow-out period.

Aviagen now owns Nicholas and B.U.T., and will no doubt be applying their proven Mycoplasma management systems to their chicken operations.

I regard chickens as a serious risk, and try to avoid them as far as possible
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Dr Kibiike David Dr Kibiike David
Bachlor. Veterinary Medicine
April 12, 2018

I entirely agree with the discussion above. I in Uganda where am a practitioner and a farmer I have encountered this and what saved me mainly was taking biosecurity as number one control measure. Right now I get very few episodes of the disease on my layer farm of 25,000 layers.

I have just introduced the live vaccine of Mycoplasma, in an effort to control the infection properly. This has worked for me and the enterprises are becoming economically viable.

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mehboob elahi mehboob elahi
Veterinary Doctor
April 12, 2018
Sachin patel mentioned (In this context its suggestive of control through medication like macrolide and pluromutilin group of antibiotics as they are only having the capacity to treat intracellularly as compared to other class of antibiotics. As since so long there is no resistance problem has been registered till date and no interference of these molecules to human food chain.)
i want to ask. what is pluromutilin group?
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