Staphylococcus aureus-host interactions in poultry

  • Lengeling, Andreas (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


Bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO) – also known as ‘femoral head necrosis’ is the most common cause of lameness in broiler chickens worldwide and is often caused by infection with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. BCO was first reported in 1972 and has subsequently increased in frequency to become the leading cause of lameness in commercially raised broiler chickens. The acute osteomyelitis of BCO is an infection of the bone which results initially from bacteria localized in the growth-plate region of the long bones with subsequent development of an abscess in the metaphyseal bone. In many cases, the bacteria can spread to the adjacent bone causing bone destruction and necrosis of the femoral head. If left untreated the condition is very painful for affected birds, impeding perching and walking, and limiting access to food and water. In collaboration with Prof. Ross Fitzgerald we have established an experimental Staphylococcus aureus infection challenge model in broiler chickens to study the aetiology and pathogenesis of BCO disease. We are planning to use this model to generate new knowledge about mechanisms of S. aureus host colonization, pathogenesis, and disease susceptibility. We are aiming to use new knowledge for the improvement of animal welfare and the development of new strategies for the prevention and treatment of BCO disease in poultry.
Effective start/end date1/01/1031/12/10


  • UK-based charities: £62,651.00


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