Ulcerative enteritis (quail disease)
Ulcerative enteritis, caused by Clostridium colinum, is found in chicken, quails, pheasants, turkeys and some other birds. Clostridial organisms are anaerobic Gram positive bacilli producing spores that are very resistant to climatic conditions and disinfectants. Young quails or high yielding layer pullets show higher mortality. The birds under stress are likely to get Cl. colinum infection from the chronically infected carrier birds through fecal-oral route.
Symptoms and lesions: Birds with the acute form may die suddenly whereas sub- acute cases may show depression, anorexia, whitish watery diarrhea and huddling. The chronically infected survivors are emaciated and develop a humped-up posture before dying. In many cases, the ulcerative enteritis is accompanied by coccidiosis and hence may contain blood in feces. The PM lesions are characteristic. The entire intestinal tract often has button-like superficial ulcers having hemorrhagic borders in the mucosa which may later coalesce and perforate resulting in local or generalized peritonitis. Enlargement of spleen and liver may also be seen in some cases.
Diagnosis: PM lesions and isolation or demonstration of Cl. colinum from lesions are confirmatory.
Prevention and control: Raising birds on nets in cage system is an effective preventive measure. Avoiding predisposing factors and improvement in managemental practices with use of appropriate antibiotics is better option.