Known by the name of Gumboro or Infectious Disease of the Bag. It is a disease that appears in chickens and mainly affects Fabricio’s bursa, an important organ in young birds with a developing immune system.


Causal agent

This disease is caused by a birnavirus, which is very resistant to unfavorable environmental conditions, making it difficult to eradicate it from infected farms.


Many times, the first symptom of Gumboro disease or Bursitis is a breathing noise. Other symptoms that can be seen are decay, ruffled feathers, tremors, watery diarrhea and prostration. Outbreaks occur most often when birds are 3 to 8 weeks old. Mortality generally does not exceed 10% and in a second infection from the same batch, mortality is even lower.

Fabricio’s Bag (located over the cloaca) will be inflamed and its size can be two or more times its normal size. In healthy animals, Fabricio’s bursa is smaller than the gallbladder. In chronic cases, the bursa will be smaller (it atrophies), so the response to vaccination is lower, increasing the susceptibility to other infections.

Transmission and treatment

The disease is very contagious and is transmitted by direct contact with birds, their droppings; or through the equipment and clothing of the operators.

An adequate treatment is not yet known. Prevention of breeders and young birds through vaccination is the best control of the disease. The most effective method to control Gumboro disease is to induce high immunity in mothers, which is transmitted to their children through the egg.

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