Fowl cholera

The fowl cholera is caused by Pasteurella multocida epidemic-like bacterial infectious disease of birds. In principle, all types of poultry and many wild birds are sensitive - are most susceptible turkeys, least susceptible pigeons. The fowl cholera is one of Austria notifiable animal diseases of group B.


The causative agent of fowl cholera is Pasteurella multocida. It dominates the capsule type A with the O- antigens 1, 3 and 4, in turkeys of the capsule type F with the O- antigens 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 12

As a source of infection play infected animals including wild birds and rodents play a role.

Clinical picture

The fowl cholera can occur in two forms.

The peracute / acute form is characterized by septicemia, which is characterized in perakutem course in sudden death, in acute fatigue, declining feed intake, blue discoloration, shortness of breath and bloody nasal discharge and diarrhea. The morbidity rate in herds of up to 50%.

The chronic form manifests itself in nose, inflammation of the head attachments (comb, wattles - " Läppchenkrankheit " ), arthritis, paralysis, torticollis, incoordination, and possibly diarrhea.


The treatment of diseased animals is usually unsuccessful. Therefore, the therapy is aimed at a preventive antibiotic Contact endangered animals ( metaphylaxis ). Here, sulfonamides or fluoroquinolones are used. Also penicillins are effective.

Science Historical Significance

The fowl cholera has played in the history of medicine an important role, because Louis Pasteur in 1880 showed in this example that you can prevent disease by vaccination. Until then, it had known only the smallpox vaccination, the operation had not yet understood. Pasteur extended so that the Impfgedanken to a general principle. Used as a vaccine Pasteur the live bacteria. He had attenuated in their virulence, by having inserted month-long cultural breaks in breeding.