Duck septicemia (duck pasteurellosis/new duck disease)
The disease is caused by Pasteruella anatipestifer (Syn. Riemerella anatipestifer) that mostly affects growing ducklings below 8 weeks of age and is responsible for a significant mortality. Many times the infection coincides duck viral enteritis (duck plague). The transmission is through aerosol, feed, water and fomites; it has also been shown to be transmitted vertically through infected eggs. The bacterium is susceptible to environmental factors and general disinfectants.
Symptoms and lesions: The affected birds may die with or without any symptoms very acutely. There may be ocular and nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing, greenish diarrhoea and tremors of head and neck. The common lesions are fibrinous pericarditis, hepatitis and air sacculitis. Parenchymatous degeneration of liver and diffuse fibrinous meningitis is also observed.
Diagnosis: Tentatively the history, clinical symptoms and PM lesions are adequate for diagnosis. The confirmation is done on the basis of isolation and identification of the causative agent. Demonstration of bipolar organisms in microscopic examination of blood and tissue smears is also confirmatory.
Prevention and control: Follow up of general principles of hygiene and biosecurity are adequate in case of intensively managed duck farms. However large number of ducks stay as a mixed populations with poultry, goose, swans near water-bodies. For these extensively managed populations use of antibiotics and avoidance of stress particularly that of environmental pollution is required to be done.