Prevalence of Colibacillosis in Young Broiler Chicks and Antibiogram of Escherichia coli in Different Areas of Hazara Region

Full Length Research Article

Prevalence of Colibacillosis in Young Broiler Chicks and Antibiogram of Escherichia coli in Different Areas of Hazara Region

Aysha Tahir, Muhammad Azam Khan*, Kayanat Bibi, Sana Bibi, Fatima Rauf, Farwa Ayaz

Adv. life sci., vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 238-240, July 2021
*Corresponding Author: Muhammad Azam Khan (Email:
Authors' Affiliations

 Department of Microbiology GPGC Mandain Abbottabad – Pakistan
 [Date Received: 08/03/2019; Date Revised: 14/06/2021; Date Published: 25/07/2021]

Abstractaa download_button



Background: Poultry sector is a vital zone of Pakistan economy and is a feasible source of animal derivative protein.  In term of mortality and morbidity the development of this segment is significantly affected by a lot of problems. Hazara region is well known for poultry in Pakistan. Colibacillosis, caused by Escherichia coli is vital disease among poultry of all ages resulting in huge economic losses. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of colibacillosis in young broiler chickens and antibiogram of E. coli in different areas of Hazara region.

Methods: The current study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of colibacillosis in young broiler chickens and antibiogram of E. coli. This study was done during February 2019 to June 2019; a total of 200 (n=200) liver samples of freshly dead young broiler chicks were randomly collected from the postmortem section of Veterinary research and disease investigation center Abbottabad (VRDICA). The identification of E. coli was confirmed by gram staining and biochemical tests. Susceptibility pattern to 13 antibiotics was also checked.

Results: Total of 200 (n=200) samples were brought to the VRDICA for the diagnosis of disease and antibiotic susceptibility testing. Out of these 130 were positive (Overall prevalence =65%).Area wise prevalence varied from area to area and highest prevalence was recorded in Abbottabad (81.11%) followed by Havelian (75%), Manghal (72.22%), Mansehra (60%), Qalandarabad (50%) and Haripur (28.57%). About age group, highest mortality was found in 11-15 days old chicks (93%) as compared to 6-10days (83.33%) and 1-5 days old chicks (21.42%). Antibiogram showed highest sensitivity to Gentamicin (100%) afterward Colistin Sulphate (92.30%). However, lincomycin (92%) and streptomycin (96%) display highest resistance.

Conclusion:  In this study, the highest prevalence of infection was observed in young chicks that play a crucial role in their mortality. E. coli had showed resistance to commonly recommended antibiotic so care should be taken while prescribing the drugs.

Keywords: Young broiler chicks; E. coli; Colibacillosis; Prevalence; Antibiogram 

Introduction6th button-01

Colibacillosis is a major widespread infection of fowl and it is well thought out to increase the morbidity and mortality in immature (young) chicks as compare to the older ones [1]. Majority of this disease is established among chickens, which are two to ten weeks old [2]. During Colibacillosis plentiful lesions are observed on different organs, usually peritonitis, airsacculitis, perihepatitis, pericarditis, while additional lesions are extra-intestinal [3, 4]. Enterobacteriaceae family contain gram negative bacteria and some of its members chiefly infect broilers in different stages of their life and  Escherichia coli is the most prevalent member among them. Antibiotics are regularly cast-off as therapeutic agents in poultry production and could lead to the development of antimicrobial resistance [5] and bacteria that are diversely opposed to medication carried are competent to infect humans by intervention in foodstuff all the way by utilization of bird meat or any other product of poultry [4,6].

This research anticipated for the isolation and identification of  E. coli from the liver of freshly dead young broiler chicks for the definitive diagnosis of  suspected disease (Colibacillosis), to find out the prevalence of Colibacillosis affected chicks on account of age and area along with verification of Antibiogram summary of E. coli to 13 commonly used antibiotics.

Methods6th button-01

This study was carried out in VRDICA from Feb to June 2019. During postmortem of freshly dead young broiler chicks, in some cases, characteristic necropsy findings of Colibacillosis viz; airsacculitis, perihepatitis, pericarditis and whitish layer on all visceral organs especially liver and heart were observed. After necropsy, 200 liver samples were randomly assembled in sterile plastic bags and were shifted to Microbiology lab of the center in order to isolate, identify the E. coli for the definitive diagnosis of colibacillosis.

A loopful from the liver samples was directly streaked on MacConkey agar plates and incubated at 37ºC for 24 hours for the initial screening of bacteria. After incubation, the specific colony was sub-cultured on Eosin Methylene Blue Agar (EMB) agar, and then incubated for overnight at 37ºC. The suspected E. coli colonies were subjected to characterization by studying their morphological, cultural and biochemical characteristics. Gram staining and IMVIC test were performed for identification or confirmation of E. coli. Then E. coli were inoculated on Muller Hinton agar. Thirteen (13) different antibacterial discs were fixed superficially on the lawn culture, incubated at 37ºC for 24 hours.

Different antibacterial discs were used such as amoxicillin (10µg/disc), doxycycline (30µg/disc), enrofloxacin (5µg/disc), colistin sulphate (10µg/disc), erythromycin (15 µg /disc), gentamicin (10 µg/disc), oxytetracycline (30 µg/disc), penicillin G (10µg/disc), tylosin (30 µg/disc), tilmicosin (15µg/disc), trimethoprim (5µg/disc), lincomycin (10µg /disc) and streptomycin (10µg/disc) by Kirby-Bauer method [7]. The antibiotic susceptibility pattern of the isolates was interpreted according to the standard followed in VRDICA.  

Results6th button-01

The results of the bacteriological studies of 200 liver samples of chicks revealed 130 (65%)   over all prevalence of Colibacillosis caused by E. coli as presented in Table 1. Age wise prevalence is stated in Table 2, acclaimed that it was greater in 11-15 days old chickens which was about 92.85% while 83.33% was noted in 6-10 and 21.42% in 1-5 days old chicks respectively. The Area wise Prevalence of Colibacillosis affected chicks is demonstrated in Table 3, showed that the highest prevalence was observed in Abbottabad (81.11%), followed by (75.00%), (60.00%) and (28.57%) in Havelian, Mansehra, and Haripur respectively.

Antibiogram Pattern of E. coli by Disc Diffusion Method

In the present study, Antibiogram profile of E. coli has been shown in Table 4. Expressively sensitive to Gentamicin completely followed by Colistin sulphate (92.2%) and Tilmicosin (65.38%). However, it was highly resistant to streptomycin (96.15%) followed by lincomycin (92.30%) and doxycycline (69.23%) correspondingly.

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Discussion6th button-01

Our study recorded 65% prevalence of colibacillosis in broiler and it is supported by the findings of Srinivasan et al., [8] which stated that higher prevalence of colibacillosis caused by E. coli was found in broiler chicken (87.5%). The age wise prevalence of colibacillosis affected chicks in the present study was in agreement with the findings of [2] who reported the most common occurrence of this disease among 2 to 10 week-old chicken.  However, the agewise mortality rate due to this disease in young broiler chicks (recorded in this study) may be due to their suppressed immune system.

In this study young broiler chicks were fetched from different geographical areas located in Hazara division and it was found that those broiler chicks were extremely affected with colibacillosis 73(81.11%) in Abbottabad. However it was also distinguished that prevalence of this disease varied greatly area wise. This was in accord with findings of Biswas et al., and Tonu et al., [9, 10] which recorded that prevalence of colibacillosis was affirmed as 28% in Sonali chicken in Bangladesh (on smallholder households) and 32.6% in flock of broiler in South Korea respectively. Hence, Area wise variation in prevalence of colibacillosis may be related to dust in poultry houses, food hygienic conditions and hatchery problems especially fecally contaminated eggs. The antibiogram pattern of E. coli revealed that isolates were sensitive to Colistin sulphate. Similar results were also reported by [11] while our results illustrated divergence with the findings of [12-14] where isolates of E. coli showed 25% sensitivity to Gentamicin while in  present study E. coli isolates showed high level of sensitivity to Gentamicin (100%). Table 4 proclaim that isolates of E. coli showed highest sensitivity to Gentamicin (CN 10µg/disc) and Colistin sulphate (CS 10µg/disc). These results also agreed with findings of [14] who reported that E. coli isolates were sensitive to Gentamicin and Colistin sulphate. Now it is quite clear from Table 4, that many of E. coli isolates showed resistivity while few of them showed intermediate sensitivity to most common antibiotics. So it is strongly recommended to decrease the use of unethical antibiotics to minimize the development of resistant strain.

Author Contributions

Ayesha Tahir: Primary and main author, organized and conducted the experimental work, data mining and write article.

Kayanat Bibi: Conducted the laboratory work, and write article.

Sana Waheed: Conducted the laboratory work.

Muhammad Azam Khan: Reviewed and Supervised.

Farwa Ayaz & Fatma Rauf: Rewrote and reviewed article.

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare no conflicts of interest in this paper.

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