ILT is an acute, highly contagious herpesvirus infection characterized by severe breathing difficulties and coughing in poultry. It spreads rapidly from bird to bird causing high mortality rates and damaging flock health and performance.
UNDERSTANDING THE THREAT FROM ILT
ILT is a viral infection of the respiratory tract of chickens and is found in all parts of the world where poultry are intensively raised. It is mainly spread through the respiratory tract and conjunctiva and symptoms include coughing and gasping. Causing a drop in egg production and increased morbidity rates, ILT is a major threat to poultry producers.
PROTECTING AGAINST ILT
As there are no current treatments for ILT, preventing an outbreak of the
disease is essential. Layer flocks can be vaccinated with one or two
doses of modified live virus vaccine, but these may cause post-
vaccination reactions. Herpesvirus of turkey (HVT) based vaccines can
be applied in ovo or in the hatchery for long-term protection that is also
reaction-free as HVT removes the need for a live virus and is safe to chickens.