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Eggshell apex abnormalities caused by two different Mycoplasma synoviae genotypes and evaluation of eggshell anomalies by full-field optical coherence tomography

Kursa, Olimpia, Pakuła, Anna, Tomczyk, Grzegorz, Paśko, Sławomir, Sawicka, Anna
BMC veterinary research 2019 v.15 no.1 pp. 1
Mycoplasma synoviae, bacteria, bird diseases, chickens, egg production, egg shell, eggs, genotype, image analysis, pathogens, scanners, tomography
BACKGROUND: Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) is an important poultry pathogen worldwide. This bacterium may cause eggshell changes including an altered shell surface, thinning, and increased translucency in different areas, which leads to a greater incidence of eggshell cracks and breaks. In the present study the association between experimental infection of birds with two field strains of MS from different genotypes and the production of abnormal eggs is described. The analysis of those eggshells using a full-field optical coherence tomography (FF OCT) scanner is also reported. RESULTS: Eggshell samples were obtained from three experimental groups of chickens: one control and two infected tracheally with field strains of MS which produced abnormal eggs. In both experimental groups infected with MS a reduction of mean daily egg production by 11% was observed compared to the control group, which started at 21 to 42 dpi. Eggshell apex abnormalities increased to 24.5% of eggs and in some cases, soft-shelled eggs were produced. This study provides the first analysis of shells from anomalous eggs carried out using FF OCT, which allows three-dimensional structural imaging of an investigated sample at micrometre scale. FF OCT showed ultrastructural changes in eggshells and a smaller number of pores on the entire surface of the affected shells. CONCLUSIONS: The eggshell pathology and the concomitant egg production losses that result from infections highlight the economic significance of MS in commercial poultry. There are differences in the strains of MS which may induce eggshell apex abnormalities (EAA) and egg production losses. The use of FF OCT, which is a noninvasive measurement method based on analysis of the light backscattered from the measured object, will confer the ability to control the quality of eggshells in flocks infected with MS.