Enterococcus spp. Acute, Subacute/ ...

Enterococcus spp. Acute, Subacute/Chronic Septicemic Infection Form in Laying Hens


Enterococcus spp.  Acute, Subacute/Chronic Septicemic Infection Form in Laying Hens

Enterococcus spp. In poultry can result in 2 distinct clinical form of the disease, acute and subacute/chronic. (1, 2)

In the acute form, clinical signs are related to septicemia and include depression, lethargy, lassitude, pale combs and wattles, ruffled feathers, diarrhea, fine head tremors and decrease or cessation of egg production. Often only dead birds are found. (1, 2)

In the subacute/chronic form, depression, loss of body weight, lameness, and head tremors may be observed. (1, 2)

Observed Clinical Signs Happenings

Egg drop

  • Egg production declines gradually
  • Decrease or cessation of egg production

Visibly sick birds

  • Few visibly sick birds
  • Depression
  • Lassitude
  • Lethargy
  • Pale combs and wattles
  • Ruffled feathers


  • Low mortality or increases gradually
  • Often only dead birds are found

Dead birds

  • Good bodily  condition
  • Birds may be found dead
  • A poor bodily  condition in the subacute/chronic form


  • Diarrhea

Head, Comb, Wattles, Face, Nostrils, Sinuses, Mount, Beak, Earlobes, abnormalities (except eyes)

  • Pale combs and wattles

Neurological Nervous

  • Fine head tremors
  • Sometimes neurological signs may be overlooked


  • Ruffled feathers

Enterococcus spp. Acute Septicemic Infection Form in Laying Hens DOES NOT shows or exhibit or manifest any of the following clinical signs happenings:

  • Egg production declines rapidly
  • High mortality or increases rapidly
  • Many visibly sick birds
  • Flock behaviour activity change
  • Respiratory abnormalities
  • Lameness or unusual movements, incoordination, reluctance to move
  • Eyes abnormalities
  • Feed Consumption Changes
  • Diet or Feed Changes (Recent Feed delivery, Recent formulation /diet, Other silo or improper storage, another feed brand)
  • Shell quality
  • Internal Egg quality
Causing Agents
Enterococcus spp. Bacterial infection
Affected Systems/Organs
Septicemic Infection, endocarditis, digestive, central nervous system,
Mainly Affects
Egg production, mortality
Prevention and control require reducing stress and preventing immunodepressive diseases and conditions. Proper cleaning and disinfection can reduce environmental enterococcocal resident flora to minimize external exposure. Treatment can include the use of antibiotics such as penicillin, erythromycin, novobiocin, oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline, tetracycline, or nitrofurans in acute and subacute infections.
Suggested Actions
  • Technical assistance recommended
  • Can be managed with feed additives, off-the-shelf medications

Impact on Egg quality


Impact on Liveability


Impact on Production


Overall Economic Impact


  1. Y.M. Saif.2008.Disease of Poultry. 12th Edition. Page 905
  2. David E. Swayne. 2013. Diseases of Poultry 13th Edition. page 982

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