USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., which studied blackhead disease in poultry. The project is part of the association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.

Dr. Robert Beckstead and Dr. Larry McDougald at the University of Georgia found that there are many reservoirs of blackhead disease and that isolates of the causative agent vary widely in their virulence and drug sensitivity. An experimental live attenuated vaccine failed to protect birds against the disease. Studies on the transmission of blackhead disease indicate that spreading of litter from pullet houses in which flocks have had blackhead disease may be an important risk factor for spreading blackhead disease.