Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization -
International Vaccine Centre

Alternatives to antibiotics - for the control of early chick mortality / yolk sac infection and development / improvement of poultry vaccines

Project Leaders: Arshud Dar, Wolfgang Koester, Brenda Allan

Yolk sac infection (YSI) is the most common cause of early chick mortality and is known to be caused by a wide range of bacteria (e.g. coliform bacteria, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Proteus, Salmonella). Currently the disease is managed by on-farm practices, heavy culling at the farm level, and in come causes through the administration of antibiotics. However, due to the risk and concerns associated with antibiotic use there is an urgent need for non-antibiotic based approaches to control YSI.

Our research will target isolating and studying the virulence of bacterial pathogens from affected broiler farms, and evaluating the efficacy of immune stimulants as an appropriate, non-antibiotic solution for the control of YSI.


  • Identify in ovo non-antibiotics for the prevention of yolk sac disease in broilers
  • Determine if immune stimulants offer an appropriate, non-antibiotic, long-term solution for the control of yolk sac disease and early chick mortality