Spirochetosis (tick fever)
This is disease of young birds under poor management mostly reared as backyard poultry caused by a spiral bacterium, Borrelia anserina and transmitted by a tick Argus persicus. The disease affects chickens, turkey, geese, ducks, pheasants and canaries with morbidity and mortality up to 100%.
Symptoms and lesions: The disease is characterized by anorexia, fever and anemia. Birds show diarrhoea with excessive urates. The droppings may be bile stained. Paralysis is seen before death. Cyanosis of the head, ecchymotic hemorrhages in visceral organs, spleenomegaly, mottling of liver and spleen are the characteristic lesions on postmortem examination.
Diagnosis: The disease is diagnosed by microscopic examination of specially stained blood smears. Wet blood films without staining from freshly drawn blood of ailing bird may demonstrate moving live spirochaetes under a dark-field microscope.
Prevention and control: The disease can be prevented with improvement in management and nutritional status as well as complete tick control can help to control the disease.