Hemorrhagic Proliferative Proventriculitis and Gizzard Erosion

Hemorrhagic Proliferative Proventriculitis and Gizzard Erosion.

Dr.Kedar Karki


A new disease condition has emerged affecting replacement pullets. It affects the birds

between 2 to 10 weeks of age. The mortality rate varies between 1 to 10% and ultimately the flock is left with creation of several small poorly feathered and pale chicks. Though it has not been possible to establish the exact cause of this condition, following three points has been taken in consideration.

?HPPGE is an illness that involves one or more

infectious agents. ?The digestive tract and endocrine organs may be

primary targets for these agents.?The spectrum of signs or lesions are either caused

by or exacerbated by nutritional, husbandry and

hygienic factors.

The response to the treatment is often poor but the symptomatic treatment has helped in

ameliorating the mortality. Similar condition has been widely reported in broilers

under various names like

Malabsorption syndrome, infectious Proventriculitis, infectious runting syndrome, pale bird syndrome and stunting syndrome.

Review of Litrature:

Etiology: Non Infectious Factors.

Dietary Biogenic Amines (DBA).

High levels of DBA’s like histamine, 3HT, 5HT,histidine, dopamine, gizzerosine and serotonine, can be found in dietary constituents such as tankage fish meal, corn screening, soyabean meal, vitamin premixes, fats, poultry meal, meat and bone meal. The biogenic

amines are decarboxylation breakdown products of amino acid catabolism and these amines are considered toxic to animals. The potential for biogenic amine build-up is real in animal by product meal and is the result of breakdown of the product. Histamine is produced in the poultry feed under proper temperature and moisture conditions by microbial decarboxylation of histidine. Reduced growth, poor feathering and proventricular enlargement have been associated with histamine toxicity in chickens. Histamine toxin problem in chicken generally

has been associated with the intake of fish meal which contain high level of histidine

Gizzerosine is a compound found in overheated fish meal due to interaction of caesine with histidine and acts as a factor causing gizzard erosion or ulceration in chicks. It can also be formed if the temperature of fish meal increases by incorrect handling during transportation or storage particularly in hot weather. Then gizzerosine concentration of burnt fish meal

would be low because of degradation of protein. However it is also likely that fish meal with good colour, odour, taste and physical properties may contain

a large enough quantity of gizzerosine.

Gizzerosine stimulates proventricular gland secretarycells to release excessive hydrochloric acid. Gizzard lesions result from the runway digestive effects of hyperacidity. Opportunistic bacteria may subsequently colonise the nutrient rich biodetrius. The cells of the glandular alveoli of the proventriculus secrete hydrochloric acids and pepsinogen (pepsin) which is a digestive enzyme required for initial digestion of proteins. Any lesion in the preventricular glands will interfere with the secretion of pepsin with subsequent impairment of

protein digestion and utilisation. The results are poor production performance, unthriftiness and poor feed conversion. This could also explain why some of the birds affected with this condition pass undigested or poorly digested feed in faeces.


T2 toxin produced by fusarium is a caustic irritant. It causes necrosis of mucosa of proventriculus, gizzard and feather epithelium. Citrinin which is basically a nephrotoxin can also cause fissures in the gizzard

Oosporein – In oosporein poisoning one may notice that the proventriculus has enlarged circumference at the isthumus and the mucosa is covered with pseudomembranous exudate (necrosis may occur at the isthumus).

Cyclopiazonic acid (CPA) – Lesions occur in proventriculus, gizzard, liver and spleen. The

proventriculus is dialated and the mucosa is thickened by hyperplasia and ulceration. Mucosal necrosis may occur in gizzard.

Infectious Factors

Adenovirus – According to case reports, gizzard erosion is characterised by adenovirus intranuclear inclusion bodies in epithelial cells. Reovirus infection could be a factor in the pathogenesis of histamine associated proventricular enlargement.

A Reo virus strain (SS 412 stain) was isolated from an outbreak of proventriculitis/malabsorption of syndrome; the role of this reovirus strain in that outbreak was proven in

experimental studies. Further studies have demonstrated that chicks from breeder hens which

have been vaccinated with oil imulsion SS 412 virus vaccine were protected against. Proventriculitis following experimental challenge with the SS 412 reovirus strain.

Anaerobic bacteria like clostridia are sometimes found as secondary invaders resulting in either ulcerative enteritis or necrotic hepatitis. It will be interesting to study the effect of viruses also since both of them cause the lesions in the proventriculus.

Other Factors

Rather than ameliorating the effects of MAS, vitamin A caused a further reduction in body weight and bone ash according to a study. Supplementation of vitamin E significantly reduced both mortality and the effects of disease in body weight gain in an outbreak of pale bird syndrome in broiler chicks of 3 weeks. Amino acid imbalance (lysine and

methoinine especially), excess dietary copper sulfate, lack of dietary fibre, deprivation of food and water have also been found to be responsible for the HPPGE.


Proventriculi lose their normal flusiform shape and normal constriction at the junction with gizzard are diffusely enlarged and have a thickened and turgidwall. Thickening of the wall is more marked upon incising the proventriculus.The proventricular glands protrude irregularly from the mucosal surface, lose their normal pattern and contain milky fluid that could be expressed with slight pressure. The gizzard is often smaller than normal and

flabby. The gizzard peels off easily with haemorrhagic ulceration of the gizzard wall.


?Firstly ensure optimum space per bird in the grower house. Remove excess numbers of birds if the flock is overcrowded.

?Change the litter if it is saturated.

?Stop the use of animal protein and substitute with vegetable protein sources.

?Supplementation of antitoxin preparations along with high doses of vitamin E, liver tonics, digestion stimulants, antifungal and toxin binders show remarkable recovery in the flock in 5 to 7 days.

?Use of Anti-degnala liquor in water must be looked into?

?Addition of gut acting antibiotics to check multiplication of anaerobes like clostridial bacteria.

?Control the hyper-acidity with antacids like ranitidine, aluminium hydroxide etc. through water: The result is quite encouraging.

?It is necessary to correct the dietary amino acid balance, crude fiber level, calcium and phosphorus etc.

?Addition of enzymes to the feed since pancreatic activity also seems to be adversely affected in HPPGE.

?It is essential to establish the involvement of Reo- or adenoviruses and do the necessary amendments in the breeder vaccination schedule.


Cause of gizzard erosion and Proventriculitis in broilers. Dr Manuel Contreras and Dr Douglas Zavieso Poultry International July 2006 pp16-20

Cyclopiazonic acid production by Aspergillus flavus and its effects on broiler chickens. J W Dorner, R J Cole, L G Lomax, H S Gosser, and U L Diener Appl Environ Microbiol. 1983 September; 46(3): 698–703.

DISEASES OF POULTRY Martin D. Ficken, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dip. A.C.V.P., A.C.P.V. College of Veterinary Medicine North Carolina State Universit Raleigh, North Carolina

Feed Passage in Broilers – A Complex Problem G. D. Butcher, DVM, Ph.D., A. H. Nilipour, Ph.D., R. D. Miles, Ph.D. University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville, FL., Amir H. Nilipour, PhD, Director of Investigation and Quality Assurance, Grupo Melo, S.A., Panama, Republic of Panama .

http://www.wattnet.com/Archives/Docs/701pi36.pdf?CFID=25710&CFTOKEN=74030876 gizzard erosion Proventriculitis poultry A new disease condition has emerged affecting replacement pullets in India. — By Dr. Avinash Dhawale