Infectious Diseases 2019

Infectious Diseases 2019

Prevalence of Dermanyssus gallinae in commercial laying farms in Portugal

Waap et al (2019) Avian Pathology 29 June, 2019

Dermanyssus gallinae also known as the poultry red mite is an obligate blood-feeding ectoparasite of domestic and wild birds. In Europe, D. gallinae is considered the most serious pest in layer farms. The economic impact is linked to the high treatment and control costs and to production losses caused by a drop in egg laying rates, a higher susceptibility to poultry diseases, and increased mortality. Further financial losses arise from the decline in egg quality due to blood spots caused by the crushing of blood-engorged mites in egg collection belts and increased thinning of shells.
A new research survey assess the prevalence and infestation levels in laying farms in Portugal and evaluate the perception and attitudes of producers regarding D. gallinae. The survey was performed between August 2016-November 2017, and included 24 farms in the NUTS2 regions Centro and Norte.
D. gallinae was detected in 95.8% of farms. The average number of trapped mites among farms was 5200 ± 16,522, with a median of 359 mites. Results from the questionnaire show that insufficient monitoring, under-detection and late and suboptimal treatment may contribute to the maintenance of significant infestation levels.