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Title: Analysis of antibody levels in egg yolk for detection of exposure to Ascaridia galli parasites in commercial laying hens
Contributor(s): Dao, Thi Hiep  (author); Hunt, Peter W  (author); Sharma, Nisha  (author); Swick, Robert A  (author)orcid ; Barzegar, Shahram  (author); Hine, Brad (author); McNally, Jody (author); Ruhnke, Isabelle  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2019-01
Early Online Version: 2018-08-29
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.3382/ps/pey383Open Access Link
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Abstract: Ascaridia galli is one of the most abundant nematode parasites in poultry. A. galli infections can significantly impact the profitability of egg farms and have negative implications for bird health and welfare. The main objectives of this study were to determine whether A. galli specific antibodies in egg yolks can be used to detect prior or current exposure to A. galli in laying hens, and to distinguish between eggs obtained from caged and free-range hens. Twenty-two laying hen flocks from different production systems (10 free-range, 2 barn-housed and 9 caged flocks) were enrolled in the study. An in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to analyze levels of A. galli specific antibodies in yolk. The numbers of A. galli eggs in hen excreta were also determined in a subset of farms. Free-range flocks had higher and also more variable levels of anti-A. galli antibodies in the egg yolk compared to those of the cage flocks (0.50 ± 0.39 versus 0.16 ± 0.13 OD units) (P < 0.001). Results also confirmed that excreta from free-range and barn-housed flocks contained higher numbers of A. galli eggs than did excreta from caged flocks in which no A. galli eggs were detected. In conclusion, analysis of anti-A. galli antibodies in the egg yolk can be used to detect worm exposure in commercial layer flocks. However, the method used in this study cannot be used in isolation to distinguish between eggs from cage and free-range production systems as anti-A galli antibodies were detected in egg yolk samples from all production systems, and the range of antibody levels overlapped between production systems.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Poultry Science, 98(1), p. 179-187
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 0032-5791
Field of Research (FOR): 070708 Veterinary Parasitology
070205 Animal Protection (Pests and Pathogens)
070203 Animal Management
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 830309 Poultry
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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