Groups of 10 birds were obtained from four flocks which had shown evidence of natural salmonella infection. S enteritidis had been isolated from three flocks and S typhimurium from the fourth. Each bird was housed in a separate cage and blood samples and cloacal swabs were taken weekly to follow the course of natural infection. After four weeks the birds were killed and examined post mortem. The isolation of Salmonella species could not be related to the serological results. In individual birds the rapid slide test and tube agglutination test could not be relied upon to detect infection; the microantiglobulin test and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were more sensitive than the other tests and detected some infected birds that were negative by the rapid slide and tube agglutination tests, and also showed high titres in some birds from which Salmonella species could not be isolated post mortem. Sera obtained from two flocks which had a history of natural S enteritidis infection were evaluated by all the tests; evidence of infection was found with the microantiglobulin and ELISA tests but not with the other tests.
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