TUCKER, Ga. – According to animal health officials, LT (infectious laryngotracheitis), a respiratory virus of chickens and pheasants, does not affect humans or other animals, however the virus can be transported on people.

“It is a community disease and must be approached with a community mindset," said Phil Stayer, Ph.D., corporate veterinarian for Sanderson Farms while speaking to live production managers and service techs from in the US poultry industry who attended the 2011 Poultry Production and Health seminar in Charlotte, NC. The annual conference is sponsored by US Poultry & Egg Association's Poultry & Egg Institute.

Stayer provided perspective on attempts to control the LT outbreak in Mississippi in the first half of this year. Initial efforts to control the outbreak were through extensive biosecurity measures, he said. When these efforts failed, poultry producers began using recombinant LT vaccines to protect the flocks, and these vaccines appeared to alleviate some of the effects of LT but did not fulfill the goal of "eradicating LT."

Next, poultry producers resorted to CEO vaccines, which appeared to decrease unplanned LT challenges with the last known case of LT processed in mid-June. "We will know if Mississippi was successful in eradicating LT in 2011 by the spring of 2012. Hot weather may have been the barrier to the spread of LT more so than the disjointed LT vaccination effort," Stayer concluded.