The first international conference on the deadly intestinal infection in poultry, necrotic enteritis

150 scientists from around the world gather in Copenhagen to exchange knowledge on the treatment of fatal intestinal infection in chickens

Wednesday 03 Jun 15
by Anette-Bill-Jessen


Karl Pedersen
+45 35 88 62 01
The first international conference on the deadly intestinal infection in poultry, necrotic enteritis, is held in Copenhagen June 10-12. The conference is organised by DTU Vet and brings together the world's leading scientists to discuss the worldwide problem.

A worldwide problem
In Denmark many chickens and turkeys dies because of necrotic enteritis which affects the poultry production. Worldwide however, the disease is a much bigger problem and causes economic losses that can be counted in billions of dollars. In addition to a significant financial burden for the producers it also affects animal welfare negatively and results in a higher consumption of antibiotics.

The EU has prohibited the use of antibiotic growth promoters, but it’s used widely in a large number of poultry-producing countries outside the EU, which is very worrying.

"The idea for the conference isn’t really ours. It originates from Professor John Prescott of the University of Guelph in Canada," explains Karl Pedersen, Professor of Veterinary Bacteriology at DTU Vet and one of the organisers of the conference.

It is a comprehensive program DTU Vet has put together. Through presentations, posters and panel discussions the conference illustrates the different angles on the latest research in: genetics, epidemiology, clinical features, pathology, treatment and prevention.

Participation by the world leading researchers
The conference is primarily aimed at researchers and others with a professional interest in infections caused by the bacterium Clostridium perfringens. Among the participants are several of the world's leading researchers in the poultry field. E.g. John Prescott from the University of Guelph in Canada and Julian Rood, Professor of Microbiology at Monash University in Australia and specialist in bacterial toxins, especially from Clostridium perfringens.

From the University of Georgia participates Professor Charles Hofacre, poultry specialist and Director of Clinical Services for the Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center in Athens, Georgia. From Belgium participates Filip Van Immerseel, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Ghent, speciality in pathogenesis studies of clostridia, salmonella and other essential bacteria in livestock production. And many others.

Also attending the conference are pharmaceutical companies, vaccine companies, and companies that produce poultry feed or feed ingredients.

"The conference gives researchers from around the world an excellent opportunity to network and exchange ideas and latest research. It is the first international conference on the subject, and it is my hope that some of the participating researchers will take initiative to arrange the next international conference", says Ulrike Lyhs, section head of the Section for Bacteriology, Pathology and Parasitology at DTU Vet, the other organiser of the conference.

About necrotic enteritis

Necrotic enteritis is a chronic or acute, fatal disease caused by the highly resistant bacterium Clostridium perfringens, which occurs in the small intestine of chickens, turkeys and other poultry. The disease causes acute death in chicken flocks and inhibits the growth and increases the feed consumption.

Many countries are still using antibiotics in feed or drinking water – antimicrobial growth promoters - to prevent the disease. The EU prohibited the use of growth promoters in 2006 and it has strengthened the research into alternative ways to treat or prevent the disease. E.g. the research in a vaccine based on NetB toxin, which is perhaps the most important factor in the development of the disease in poultry, has shown promising results. The discovery of this toxin was made in Australia by the research group lead by Professor Julian Rood.
21 MARCH 2018