Evaluation of Inactivated Mycoplasma Gallisepticum Oil-Emulsion Bacterins for Protection Against Airsacculitis in Broilers

Avian Dis. Jan-Mar 1984;28(1):224-34.


Broiler chicks were vaccinated subcutaneously in the neck at various ages with a single 0.5-ml dose of beta-propiolactone-inactivated Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) oil-emulsion bacterin. Four weeks later, vaccinated and control chicks were placed in cold environmental cabinets, infected with infectious bronchitis virus intratracheally, and 2 days later challenged by aerosol exposure to live MG broth culture. All chicks were killed 21 days later and scored postmortem for the rate and severity of airsacculitis produced in each group. Broiler chicks vaccinated at 1 day of age had only slight protection against the development of airsacculitis. Results were variable when chicks were vaccinated at 7 days of age, with little evidence of resistance to airsacculitis. However, when broiler chicks were vaccinated with MG bacterins at 11 to 15 days of age, they acquired significant protection against airsacculitis compared with controls. Viable MG organisms were readily isolated from most of the sampled tracheas and air-sac lesions cultured 21 days post-challenge, indicating a lack of protection against infection of the respiratory tract. MG-vaccinated chicks generally produced antibodies readily detectable by the rapid serum-plate test, tube-agglutination, and hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) tests. Some of the vaccinated chicks, but none of the unvaccinated control chicks, developed positive reactions to agar-gel-precipitin tests following challenge. Low HI titers at challenge were not necessarily indicative of lack of protection against the development of airsacculitis, since good protection was often observed in chickens with low to moderate HI titers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Air Sacs
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Chickens / immunology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mycoplasma Infections / immunology
  • Mycoplasma Infections / pathology
  • Mycoplasma Infections / veterinary*
  • Poultry Diseases / immunology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / pathology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / veterinary*
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / administration & dosage


  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Attenuated