Acta Vet. Brno 2022, 91: 383-390

Impact of commercial and autogenous Escherichia coli vaccine combination on broiler breeder stock performance, gross pathology, and diversity of Escherichia coli isolates

David Šenk1,2, Aneta Papoušková2, Martina Masaříková2, Jana Palkovičová3,4, Alois Čížek2

1Ptácy, s.r.o., Veterinary Service for Poultry, Valašská Bystřice, Czech Republic
2University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Brno, Czech Republic
3University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, CEITEC VETUNI, Brno, Czech Republic
4University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Biology and Wildlife Diseases, Brno, Czech Republic

Received May 20, 2022
Accepted October 10, 2022

Avian colibacillosis is one of the main causes of economic losses in the poultry industry worldwide. Vaccination could help to prevent infection during the laying period on broiler breeder farms. Effective vaccination against avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) may be an essential step for protection of poultry flocks depending on the region where they are raised. The aim of this study was to investigate the additive protective effect of an autogenous E. coli vaccine in broiler breeders pre-vaccinated with a licensed E. coli vaccine (Poulvac®). Our field study was partially blinded and parallel group designed. Group 1 included 24 000 laying hens vaccinated by Poulvac®. Group 2 comprised 12 000 laying hens vaccinated by Poulvac® and additionally, by an autogenous E. coli vaccine via intramuscular application before transfer. The effectiveness of vaccination in both groups was evaluated according to the results of gross pathology, bacteriology (isolation and characterization of E. coli) and utility indicators. Based on the pathology, the occurrence of E. coli polyserositis syndrome (EPS), salpingoperitonitis syndrom (SPS), and haemorrhagic septicaemia was decreased in Group 2 compared to Group 1. The difference in the occurrence of EPS (P < 0.001) and SPS (P = 0.0342) was significant. The proportion of serotype O78 among E. coli isolated from Group 1 and Group 2 was also significant (P = 0.0178). The effective and multi-serotype vaccination program in order to expand heterologous protection of laying hens and combination of commercial and autogenous vaccines seems to be a promising preventive management tool.


Financial support given by NAZV (project no. QK22020066) is highly acknowledged. We thank Jana Hofirkova and Ludmila Kohoutova for their help in the laboratory.


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