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Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory
RD 6, Box 48
Georgetown, DE 19947

Mariano Salem, M.V.Z., M.S.
Senior Scientist and Poultry Pathologist
Andre Ziegler,  D.V.M, M.P.V.M
Associate Scientist and Poultry Pathologist
Colby Smith
Research Technician
Brenda Sample


Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory Submissions

Miscellaneous cases submitted through lab and processed elsewhere. Feed samples for toxicosis: Drug, agricultural chemicals, heavy metals, mycotoxins.


Laboratory Services Offered

Microbiology - Cultures for isolation and identification. Antibiotic sensitivity testing performed

Bacterial organisms frequently isolated

E. Coli Pastuerella sp.
Staph sp. Salmonella sp.
Clostridia sp. Mycoplasma sp.


Virology Criteria

Cases suspected to be of viral etiology or association are sampled for virus isolation. Samples are maintained in frozen tryptose phosphate broth an transported to the Animal Science lab in Newark for virus isolation attempts.

Sources for collection of virus isolation specimens: Cloaca, gut, hock joint, lungs, spleen, trachea, tendon, bursa, brain.

Viruses commonly isolated from poultry:

Newcastle Disease, NDV Reovirus
Infectious Bronchitis, IBV Adenovirus
Infectious Laryngotracheitis, ILTV Infectious Bursal Disease (Gumboro) IBD

Mycology - Molds, fungi isolated



Mold plate counts performed



Agar gel precipitin immunodiffusion tests performed

IBD - infectious bursal disease
AI - avian influenza


Hemagglutination inhibition tests

NDV - Newcastle disease virus

MG, MS - Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Mycoplasma synoviae


Rapid Plate agglutination tests


Salmonella pullorum

ELISA (Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay) - quantitatively measures antibody levels. Attributes: Specificity, sensitivity, speeds of assay, and low cost.

Problem flocks

Processing plant information

Breeder flock monitoring


Coccidiosis (Eimera mitis/mivati, E. acervulina, E. maxima, E. necatrix, E. tenella)
Capillarial worms (capillaria sp.)
Cecal worms (Heterakis gallinae)
Roundworms (Ascardia galli)
Tapeworms (Rallentina cesticillus)



Fluorescent Antibody Procedures

MG, MM, MS - Mycoplasma gallisepticum, M. Meleagridis, M. Synoviae


Histopathology - (Conducted in Animal Science lab, Newark by Dr. Conrad Pope)

Histology - (micro-anatomy)

Histopathology - (micro-pathology) - Determination of microscopic pathological lesions. Must be correlated to clinical disease and gross pathology for maximum effectiveness. Most lesions are not disease specific but must be interpreted considering all available information. Specimens collected and transferred to laboratory for processing and evaluation by out histopathologist.


Designed to evaluate the efficacy of vaccines for research and the commercial poultry industry.

Determine the resistance of susceptibility of chickens to disease agent.

Challenges conducted in colony house and Horsfal isolation units are located in a fence in, secured area away from the diagnostic lab. Horsfal isolation units are located in a remote entry unit of the laboratory.


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