The students use chicken (organic) here as a model to study the basics of various disease causing pathogens and parasites. On the first the day of the practical project in the course the students have to dissect chicken to isolate internal bacteria and helminths for further investigations.
Diagnosis of helminth infection in poultry
Course Basic of Infectious Diseases (NEM - 20806)
Students: Dianna Naalden, Britt de Jong, Jenny Vroomen, Renske Brinkhorst,
Linda Duineveld and Christiaan Buitink
On the first the day of the practical project in the course the students have to dissect chicken to isolate internal bacteria and helminths for further investigations.
From the nematodes found in the ceca of the chickens the morphology was studied (see pictures), to determine to which species they belonged using excisting taxonomic keys. Among body length, lips, vulva position, bursa, caudal papillae, a profound morphological characteristic found was that of the non equal length of the spicules (male sexual organ), that lead to the conclusion that these nematodes belonged to the species Heterakis gallinarum.
DNA barcoding of the SSU (ribosomal DNA) DNA of the nematodes confirmed this result.
Heterakis gallinarum is commonly found in chicken, and as such is not very harmfull, however the nematode can act as a vector for Histomonas meleagridis, a flagelated protozoan that causes serious dissease known as "blackhead" in chickens and turkeys.