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Hens and CockerelCoronaviral Enteritis (CE)

Coronaviral enteritis is an acute, highly contagious disease of turkeys of all ages. Cornavirus, a small RNA virus survives for long periods in frozen feces.

The virus tends to localize in the intestine and bursa of Fabricius of young poults. The disease is recognized only in turkeys and mortality in young flocks may reach 50%.

Exact distribution of the disease is not known, but it probably exists in all major turkey growing areas.

The disease in natural outbreaks appears to be transmitted by ingestion of contaminated materials. Feces from infected birds are rich in virus. The virus is not egg-transmitted. Spread is by direct and indirect contact.

Clinical signs are sudden onset and rapid spread. Sick birds chill and chirp and seek heat. Other signs are depression, loss of appetite and weight, diarrhea, dehydration, cyanosis and death . Fecaes show mucous threads and urates. Morbidity and mortality can approach 100% in uncontrolled outbreaks.

Diagnosis is based on farm history and gross autopsy findings, absence of other causes and positive fluorescent antibody (FA) test on frozen intestinal tract sections. Treatment is to medicate the feed with antibiotics and vitamins. Also the use of calf milk replacer and/or potassium chloride in the drinking water. Prevention is eradication only.

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