Infectious coryza (IC) is a respiratory disease of chickens, including pullets, layers, and broilers, caused by the bacteria Avibacterium paragallinarum (AP), which was previously known as Hemophilus gallinarum. IC classically causes production decreases and mortality in chickens, frequently paired with swelling of the sinuses, mucoid nasal discharge, and respiratory rales. Although IC is considered an endemic disease of chickens in California, it has been unusual to rare in commercial chickens in Pennsylvania. The last reported IC case in Pennsylvania was in 2002, involving broiler breeders. However, between December 2018 and December 2019, 68 farms were affected by IC in Pennsylvania, involving approximately 14 million birds. Several farms had multiple flocks affected. Most affected farms housed layer chickens (37/68), but a smaller number of broiler farms, pullet farms, and layer breeder farms have been affected. Ages of affected birds and duration of disease were variable between flocks, as were the severity of clinical signs, pathologic lesions, and rates of mortality. PCR testing has greatly aided and sped diagnostic efforts in addition to traditional bacterial culture. In eight layer cases and five broiler cases, bacterial culture of the sinus or choanal cleft proved unrewarding, whereas culture of trachea, air sacs, lungs, heart, or liver were diagnostic. Although cases of IC in commercial Pennsylvania poultry continue, they have been greatly reduced because of implementation of a successful vaccination program. In this case series report we detail epidemiologic, clinical, and pathologic aspects of this outbreak and discuss vaccination as a control measure of IC in the state of Pennsylvania.

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