Fungal/mycotic diseases of poultry-diagnosis, treatment and control: a review.
Dhama K, Chakraborty S, Verma AK, Tiwari R, Barathidasan R, Kumar A, Singh SD.
Date: 6 March 2014
Fungal/mycotic diseases cause significant economic losses to the poultry industry either due to their direct infectious nature or due to production of mycotoxins, the secondary fungal metabolites produced in grains or poultry feed. Several fungi have created havoc in the poultry industry and some of them cause direct harm to human health due to their zoonotic implications. They are responsible for high morbidity and mortality, especially in young birds and cause stunted growth and diarrhea; and fatal encephalitis. Mycotic dermatitis is a possible health hazard associated with poultry houses. Mycotoxins are the leading cause of producing immunosuppression in birds, which makes them prone to several bacterial and viral infections leading to huge economic losses to the poultry industry. In comparison to bacterial and viral diseases, advances in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of fungal diseases in poultry has not taken much attention. Recently, molecular biological tools have been explored for rapid and accurate diagnosis of important fungal infections. Effective prevention and control measures include: appropriate hygiene, sanitation and disinfection, strict biosecurity programme and regular surveillance/monitoring of fungal infections as well as following judicious use of anti-fungal drugs. Precautionary measures during crop production, harvesting and storing and in feed mixing plants can help to check the fungal infections including health hazards of mycotoxins/mycotoxicosis. The present review describes the fungal pathogens causing diseases in poultry/birds, especially focusing to their diagnosis, prevention and control measures, which would help in formulating appropriate strategies to have a check and control on these unwanted troubles to the poultry producers/farmers.