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Olimpia Kursa, Grzegorz Tomczyk and Anna Sawicka


Introduction: Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) is a chicken pathogen of major economic importance.

Material and Methods: Between 2010 and 2016, 906 commercial layer chicken flocks in Poland were examined for MS, and the phylogenetic relationship among the strains was established. Regionally dispersed samples were collected and tested with the use of real-time PCR to detect the 16S–23S intergenic spacer region. Positive samples were also tested with LAMP and conventional PCR to detect the vlhA gene.

Results: MS genetic material was detected in 265 (29%) of the tested flocks by real-time PCR, in 227 by the LAMP method and in 202 (22%) by conventional PCR. The by-year percentage of positive samples began at 34% in 2010, rose to 44% in 2012, and declined to 29% in 2016. A phylogenetic analysis of Polish M. synoviae strains using a partial sequence of the vlhA gene showed nine genotypes (A–I), the most frequently occurring being F and C. Pathogenic Polish MS field isolates (n = 27) collected from chickens with clinical signs of infection were grouped for their characteristic symptoms: respiratory for genotypes C, E, F, and I (n = 13), EAA and a drop in laying for genotypes F, E, and C (n = 12), and synovitis for genotype A (n = 2).

Conclusion: These data showed the country’s isolate diversity. The high prevalence suggests the need to introduce appropriate control programmes. This is the first report of molecular epidemiological data on M. synoviae infection in layer chickens in Poland.