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Student Eliminates Prime Suspect Chicken Gut Disease

by 5m Editor
17 May 2007, at 11:51am

MELBOURNE - An Australian PhD student has overturned 30 years of scientific dogma by eliminating the prime suspect believed to cause a common gut disease in chickens that costs the global poultry industries an estimated US$2 billion a year

Working on a research project funded by the Australian Poultry Cooperative Research Centre (Poultry CRC), Monash University PhD student, Anthony Keyburn, has now opened the way for more research to identify the real culprit behind necrotic enteritis, the most common and financially devastating bacterial disease in modern broiler (meat chicken) flocks

His research will be featured at the 2007 Cooperative Research Centres Association Conference's Early Career Scientists Presentations in Perth on Thursday, 17 May.

Necrotic enteritis, or NE, is caused by Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens), a bacterium found at low levels in the intestine of healthy birds. The bacterium only causes the disease when it transforms from a non-toxin producing type to a toxin producing type. Five types of C. perfringens produce toxins, including alpha-toxin, which was believed to be a key to the occurrence of NE following research done in the 1970s. Little work had been done since then to validate this widely-held belief.

Source: AustralianFoodNews

For more information on Necrotic Enterisis, click here.

5m Editor