Candidiasis (moniliasis or thrush)
Candida albicans, the causative fungus of the disease, is widespread in the environment and is usually present in the upper digestive tract of normal birds. Undue and excessive use of antibiotics in poultry results in the growth of the C. albicans. The other factors associated are immunosuppression, debility, illnesses of long duration or heavily contaminated waterers, feeders or litter. Mostly the condition affects chicks below 3 weeks of age.
Symptoms and lesions: Clinical signs are seen only in severely affected chicks. Retarded growth, ruffled feathers or diarrhea are the signs generally observed. The signs may be masked by the primary disease. Diffuse and focal thickening of the affected mucosa with white or gray pseudo membranes or diphtheritic patches are seen in crop and oesophagus. Ulceration in mouth and other digestive tract is seen.
Diagnosis: The condition can well be diagnosed by signs and lesions. Microscopic examination of oral crust would demonstrate fungus.
Prevention and control: Good sanitation, managemental practices and balanced diet supported by health control programs, avoiding excessive use of antibiotics will prevent the disease.