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Avian malaria ‘like’, or leucocytozoonosis is a parasitic disease in poultry, especially in chickens. In tropical countries, this is a common disease. Even a big problem on commercial chicken farms. In commercial broiler chickens, this case is very much found in the field. The disease is often observed in chickens over the age of 25 days. Chickens experience sudden death, even dead chickens are marked by the release of fresh blood from the mouth and nostrils. This is a severe condition. However, many chickens infected with parasites do not show clinical symptoms, but when the process of transportation from the farm to the market, frequent sudden death on the way.

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blood come out from the mouth
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blood in the abdominal cavity, avian malaria like

Rupture of blood vessels, causing chickens died suddenly and a lot of blood in the abdominal cavity, then this blood out through the cavities of the chicken body. In hot weather conditions, this often happens the wrong diagnosis with cases of severe heat stress. In cases of leucocytozoonosis this also occurs in normal weather conditions.

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blood in the abdominal cavity, leucocytozoonosis

The pattern of death occurs sporadically, dead chickens occur in various pens in a chicken house. Not starting from a particular pen, we can find dead chickens with severe lesion symptoms in various pens at the same time. This is what distinguishes the pattern of viral disease.

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the pattern of spread of disease, avian malaria like (leucocytozoonosis)

Chickens can suffer from clinical illness, but most chickens infected with parasites show no signs or subclinical.

The incidence rate of this disease is very high in certain seasons or in certain months. Highly dependent on climate and growing season. The mosquito population is overwhelming in flowering season, the mosquito (culex sp) is one of the most common vectors of this disease in the farm.

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culex sp, mosquitos as a vector avian malaria

Chicken house with openside system is the best place for the mosquito to partying dinner. This case is rare or never encountered in a close house. Mosquitoes will not be able to fly inside the house with the closed-house system. So farm with an openside system located near the plantation is a major factor in the high incidence of this case. The incidence of the disease always repeats every cycle. This is more complicated than the case of viral, bacterial or poor biosecurity management. It’s an environmental issue when there are no mosquitoes at the farm during the daytime, but at night they come from plantation around the farm and come to the farm for partying, sucking chicken blood and spreading malaria parasites. Then the chicken house is located closest to the garden, plantation often occurs this disease. And rarely occurs in chicken houses located far from plantations.

The pathological lesions are very clear.

Hemorrhages, splenomegaly, hepatomegaly are seen. Grossly visible white dots in affected organs are megaloschizonts. Lesions are associated with megaloschizont development in the spleen, liver, heart, and other organs. See pictures below:

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chicken foot, mosquito bite
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abdominal fat
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leg muscle
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pancreas & intestine, leucocytozoon

See also: Gumboro Disease Pictures

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See our Video Channel, Field Vet Channel on Youtube

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breast muscle

In broiler chickens, this disease is often encountered because the body parts are not covered with feathers. So mosquitoes easily suck chicken blood. In laying hens this disease is also often encountered with subclinical forms. The poor performance of egg production and high daily mortality is the worst result.

It is an environmental issue, and illness will always recur. Overcoming mosquitoes is a difficult problem on farms with openside systems. Some breeders only do the treatment if the case occurs more severe.


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