A sudden onset of infection with the bacterium Erysipelothrix insidiosa (E. rhusiopathiae) is seen in turkeys and increasingly in free-range chickens. It may be transmitted by carrier birds or animals like pigs or sheep. The bacteria are resistant to environmental effects or disinfectants and may persist in alkaline soil for years.
Symptoms and lesions: Inappetance, depression and sleepiness are the initial signs. There may be diarrhea and respiratory signs as well as perineal congestion and chronic scabby skin in some cases. Hemorrhages in fat, muscles and epicardium as well as swelling of liver, kidney and spleen are seen. The whole carcass may be congested. Marked catarrhal enteritis, endocarditis may also be noted.
Diagnosis: Isolation and identification of causative agent on blood agar and the demonstration of the organism in stained impression smears from tissues is generally adequate for diagnosis.
Prevention and control: Strict biosecurity along with good nutrition and management are the basic requirements to prevent entry of infection from pigs and its further spread in a flock.