Determination of Weight and Biochemical Changes in Layers Experimentally Infected with Escherichia coli

1Joshua Tersue Adeke, 2Hassan Abdulsalam, 2Joseph John Gadzama, 1Erin Juwon Pius, 3Israel Joshua Barde, 4Fatima Adamu Lawan, 1Sani Adamu and 1King Akpofure Nelson Esievo,

1Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria
3Central Diagnostic Laboratory, Nigerian Veterinary Research Institute, VOM, Plateau State, Nigeria
4Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria

*Corresponding author:,


This study determined the effect of experimental exposure of layer chickens to Escherichia coli (E. coli) on weight, egg production and some plasma biochemical parameters. A total of 20 laying chickens (20 weeks old) were acquired and assigned, at random, into infected and control groups, of 10 layers each. Birds in the infected group were challenged with 0.5 ml of bacterial aliquot containing 109 colony forming units (CFU) of the bacteria, administered intra tracheally. Five birds, from each group were selected at random and their live body weights were determined on days 0, 2, 4, 6, 14, 21, 28, 35 and 42. Also, egg production was monitored, and the weekly percentage egg production of birds was calculated. Two (2) ml of blood were collected from each bird in both groups and used for plasma biochemical analyses. Finding from the research showed that E. coli infection caused reduction in feed and water consumption by day 3 post infection (pi); with subsequent reduction in body weight and egg production. The mean plasma aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity in the infected group progressively increased from day 6 pi to reach a significantly higher (p < 0.05) value (66.4 ± 0.93 IU/L) on day 28 pi while the mean plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity progressively increased in the infected group from day 6 pi to attain the highest significant (p < 0.05) value (74.4 ± 2.11 IU/L) on day 21 pi. The mean plasma total protein concentration in the infected group decreased from day 4 pi and reached the lowest significant (p < 0.05) value (5.12 ± 0.28 mg/dl) on day 35 pi. In conclusion, the drop in egg production, loss of body weight, increase hepatic transaminases and decrease plasma protein may be attributed to anorexia or possible impairment of intestinal, renal reabsorption of nutrients from the infection.


Escherichia coli,
Liver transaminase,