Document Type : Clinical Report


1 Department of Poultry Health and Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

3 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

4 PhD Candidate, Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


The black proventriculus is a necropsy finding sign observed during post-mortem examinations of dead young chicks up to 10 days of age and due to variation in color of the affected proventriculus organ, it may be ignored in some cases, in particular when the disease occurs simultaneously with other well-recognized infections of two weeks old chicks. In late January 2018, several live and dead chicks with a history of an unusual increase in mortality showing no clinical signs but sudden dead were referred to the poultry clinic of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran. General routine postmortem examination revealed color changes (light green to dark green color) in the wall of proventriculus together with some degrees of congestion in the lungs and liver of the dead chicks. Microbiology tests revealed that the causative agent was Escherichia coli strain O142 and histopathological examination indicated that the color changing of the organ was due to necrosis of glandular epithelium with locally extensive or diffuse hypercellularity by lymphocytes and macrophages with hemorrhages. In conclusion, black proventriculus due to E. coli strain O142 was responsible for the sudden death of young chicks and based on antibiogram, selective antibiotics should be used for the treatment of the affected flocks.


  1. Wang X, Cao C, Huan H, et al. Isolation, identification, and pathogenicity of O142 avian pathogenic Escherichia coli causing black proventriculus and septicemia in broiler breeders. Infect Genet Evol 2015; 32:23-29.
  2. Wang XB. Identification of avian pathogenic Escherichia Coli causing black proventriculus of broilers and the biological characterization of its OmpF and MetF Genes. PhD Thesis. Basic Veterinary Science. Yangzhou University, China: 2017.
  3. Gerards LJ, Hennekam RCM, Dijk WCv, et al. An outbreak of gastroenteritis due to Escherichia coli O142 H6 in a neonatal department. J Hosp Infect 2016; 5(3): 283-288.
  4. Zahraei Salehi T, Safarchi A, Rabbani Khorasgani M. Identification of virulence genes in isolated Escherichia coli from diarrheic calves and lambs by multiplex polymerase chain reaction. Pak J Biol Sci 2006; 9(2): 191-196.
  5. Collett SR. Principles of disease prevention, diagnosis, and control. In: Swayne DE (Ed). Diseases of poultry. 13th ed. Ames, USA: Wiley-Blackwell 2013; 3-40.
  6. Nasrin M, Siddigi MNH, Masum MA, et al. Gross and histological studies of digestive tract of broilers during postnatal growth and development. J Bangladesh Agril Univ 2012; 10(1): 69-77.
  7. Svihus B. Function of the digestive system. J Applied Poult Res 2014; 23(2): 306-314.
  8. Denbow DM. Gastrointestinal anatomy and physiology. In: Scanes CG (Ed). Sturkie’s avian physiology. 6th ed. UK: Elsevier 2015; 337-366.
  9. Zhang H, Ge T, Peng S, et al. Microstructure features of proventriculus and ultrastructure of the gastric gland cells in Chinese taihe black‐bone silky fowl (Gallus gallus domesticus Brisson). Anat Histol Embryol 2016; 45(1): 1-8.
  10. Lau CKY, Krewulak KD, Vogel HJ. Bacterial ferrous iron transport: the Feo system. FEMS Microbiol Rev 2016;40(2): 273-298.
  11. Wei H, Donohoe BS, Vinzant TB, et al. Elucidating the role of ferrous ion cocatalyst in enhancing dilute acid pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. Biotechnol Biofuels 2011; 4: 48. doi:10.1186/1754-6834-4-48.
  12. Bautista BC, Venice Ann Lorreine M, Mendoza BC. Serogroup, pathotype and multiple drug resistance of Escherichia coli strains isolated from the cloaca of layer chickens in San Jose, Batangas, Philippines. Philipp Sci Lett 2018; 11: 69-77.
  13. Ask B, van der Waaij EH, Stegeman JA, et al. Genetic variation among broiler genotypes in susceptibility to colibacillosis. Poult Sci 2006; 85(3): 415-421.
  14. Elsayed ME, Shabana II, Esawy AM, et al. Detection of virulence-associated genes of avian pathogenic Escherichia Coli (APEC) isolated from broilers. J J Genetics 2017; 2(1): 004.
  15. Ko KS, Suh JY, Peck KR, et al. In vitro activity of fosfomycin against ciprofloxacin-resistant or extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli isolated from urine and blood. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2007; 58(1): 111-115.