A 10-year retrospective study of inclusion body hepatitis in meat-type chickens in spain (2011–2021)

Kateri Bertran*, Angela Blanco, Noelia Antilles, Miquel Nofrarías, Rosa M. Valle, Àlex Cobos, Antonio Ramis, Mar Biarnés, Natàlia Majó

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


A surge in fowl adenovirus (FAdV) causing inclusion body hepatitis (IBH) outbreaks has occurred in several countries in the last two decades. In Spain, a sharp increase in case numbers in broilers and broiler breeder pullets arose since 2011, which prompted the vaccination of breeders in some regions. Our retrospective study of IBH cases in Spain from 2011 to 2021 revealed that most cases were reported in broilers (92.21%) and were caused by serotypes FAdV-8b and-11, while cases in broiler breeder pullets were caused by serotypes FAdV-2,-11, and-8b. Vertical transmission was the main route of infection, although horizontal transmission likely happened in some broiler cases. Despite the inconsistent and heterogeneous use of vaccines among regions and over time, the number of cases mirrored the use of vaccines in the country. While IBH outbreaks were recorded year-long, significantly more cases occurred during the cooler and rainier months. The geographic distribution suggested a widespread incidence of IBH and revealed the importance of a highly integrated system. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of FAdV infection dynamics under field conditions and reiterate the importance of surveillance, serological monitoring of breeders, and vaccination of breeders against circulating serotypes to protect progenies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2170
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Broiler breeder pullets
  • Broilers
  • Epidemiology
  • Fowl adenovirus
  • Inclusion body hepatitis
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Spain


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