A1 Journal article (refereed)
Rapid growth predisposes broilers to necrotic enteritis (2019)

Dierick, E., Hirvonen, O. P., Haesebrouck, F., Ducatelle, R., Van Immerseel, F., & Goossens, E. (2019). Rapid growth predisposes broilers to necrotic enteritis. Avian Pathology, 48(5), 416-422. https://doi.org/10.1080/03079457.2019.1614147

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Dierick, E.; Hirvonen, O. P.; Haesebrouck, F.; Ducatelle, R.; Van Immerseel, F.; Goossens, E.

Journal or series: Avian Pathology

ISSN: 0307-9457

eISSN: 1465-3338

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 48

Issue number: 5

Pages range: 416-422

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03079457.2019.1614147

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66044


Over the past 50 years, intentional genetic selection within the broiler industry has led to major improvements in both body weight gain (BWG) and feed conversion efficiency. Next to its economic advantages, enhancing BWG can increase the risk of metabolic and skeletal disorders. The aim of this study was to examine whether higher BWG is a predisposing factor for broiler necrotic enteritis. In this study, 300 broilers were challenged with Clostridium perfringens using a well-established, previously described challenge model. It was found that birds with higher body weight (BW) and BWG before challenge were predisposed to develop more severe necrotic enteritis lesions. After challenge, the average BWG of the birds developing mild to severe lesions dropped significantly, negatively affecting bird welfare and performance. These results show a significant interplay between BWG and the development of necrotic enteritis lesions. This raises the question whether there is a limit to broiler performance with respect to maintaining intestinal health, and whether decreasing BWG (at certain stages of the growth cycle) can be part of a plan to prevent intestinal pathology.

Keywords: broilers; weight gain; inflammation; animal diseases; bacterial diseases; predisposition

Free keywords: necrotic enteritis; Clostridium perfringens; broiler; body weight gain; growth rate; predisposing factor

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-17-09 at 16:22