19 Apr 2021
Infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) is an acute, highly contagious infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract in chickens and other poultry species that causes significant economic losses in countries worldwide. Between 2017 and 2019, seven outbreaks of mild to severe respiratory disorders with high suspicion of ILT occurred in commercial and backyard poultry flocks in Slovenia. In all submissions, infection with ILT virus (ILTV) was confirmed by PCR, which is the first report of ILT in Slovenia. Circulating ILT strains were characterized by the sequence and phylogenetic analysis of two fragments of the ICP4 gene. Four strains-three detected in non-vaccinated flocks and one in a flock vaccinated against ILT-were identical or very similar to the chicken embryo-origin live virus vaccines, and the other three were closely related to Russian, Chinese, Australian, and American field strains and to tissue culture origin vaccine strains. As in other diseases, coinfections with other respiratory pathogens in confirmed ILT cases may cause a more severe condition and prolong the course of the disease. In our study, coinfections with
(7/7 tested flocks), infectious bronchitis virus (5/5 tested flocks),
(4/7 tested flocks),
(3/4 tested flocks), and avian pox virus (1/2 tested flocks) were confirmed, indicating the importance of these pathogens in the occurrence of ILT infections.