The constant threat of bacterial enteritis in poultry flocks is serious, and a new survey by Elanco Animal Health reveals important trends related to bacterial enteritis, including prevalence, producer attitudes and best management practices.

Since 2000, Elanco has conducted the Bacterial Enteritis Global Impact Assessment (BEGIA) every five years to monitor this deadly disease and its impact on Intestinal Integrity. The 2015 survey results confirmed that bacterial enteritis is a still a significant issue in the U.S.

“We learned from this survey that prevention is the preferred way to mitigate bacterial enteritis. Preventative treatments will be needed to align with responsible use due to expected limits on antibiotic access,” said Marcelo Lang, Elanco Poultry Global Marketing Director.

U.S. respondents report that 65 percent of flocks experience bacterial enteritis at some time, and 60 percent believe the bacterial enteritis problem will remain the same or worsen over the next five years.1 Respondents overwhelmingly agree (85 percent) that the severity of bacterial enteritis increases when coccidiosis is present.1

Disease and feed optimization were identified as the two most important factors affecting profitability within their operations. Bacterial enteritis aligns with both factors as it impairs feed conversion, increases mortality, reduces weight gain and increases condemnations at processing. Respondents estimated the on-farm cost of bacterial enteritis at $0.05 or more per bird, or $50,000 for every 1 million birds. Highlighting the importance of bacterial enteritis is the fact that 93 percent of U.S. respondents reported performance losses caused by bacterial enteritis.1

Interestingly, producers say they are able to recognize the signs of bacterial enteritis earlier and have started to initiate treatment and preventative measures sooner to help mitigate their production losses. In 2010, 46 percent of respondents agreed that economic losses begin in the earliest stage of disease, but only 34 percent initiated treatment at this stage, a gap of 12 percent.2 In 2015, this gap had narrowed to 5 percent, with more producers (50 percent) recognizing that economic losses begin at the earliest stage of disease, and 45 percent initiating treatment and preventative measures at this stage.1

“As we look ahead to what the 2020 survey may find, keeping the incidence of bacterial enteritis on its downward trend will require more and better strategies, which in turn will help us deliver Full Value Poultry,” said Lang.

For more results from the 2015 BEGIA, visit

12015 “Bacterial Enteritis Global Impact Assessment.” Elanco Animal Health. Data on file.
22010 “Bacterial Enteritis Global Impact Assessment.” Elanco Animal Health. Data on file.