Pullorum-Typhoid (P-T) is a disease caused by a Salmonella species that infects chickens, turkeys, and other types of poultry. This disease is egg-transmitted and can produce high death loss in the young birds. Birds that survive a P-T infection are carriers for life and can infect other birds. Pullorum disease is usually symptomatic only in young birds. The mortality rate varies, but it can be as high as 100%. Fowl typhoid resembles pullorum disease in young birds, but it is also a serious concern in growing and adult poultry. The control of these diseases is complicated by vertical transmission: hens can become subclinically infected carriers, and pass the infections to their embryos in the egg. Fowl typhoid and pullorum disease have been eradicated from commercial poultry in many developed countries including the United States and Canada, but they may persist in backyard poultry flocks and game birds. Pullorum disease is an increasing concern in pheasant chicks. On rare occasions, these diseases have been reintroduced to commercial chicken or turkey farms.

Thanks to the National Poultry Improvement Program, P-T has been nearly eliminated from poultry flocks in the United States. Blood-testing potential breeding birds and culling infected birds are required to eradicate this egg-borne disease and break the disease cycle. Breeders that test negative produce non-infected hatching eggs, chicks and poults.

All samples collected to meet test requirements for North Dakota or National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) programs must be collected by individuals trained and certified as authorized poultry testing agents.  Authorized testing agents are individuals who have been trained by the Animal Health Division to test poultry for Pullorum-Typhoid (P-T) using the rapid whole blood test. To become certified as a testing agent, interested individuals are required to participate in a one-day training session.

Exhibition and Show Poultry

All poultry, regardless of age, going to shows and/or public exhibit, excluding doves and pigeons must have a safe leg or wing band, and:

  • Come from an NPIP certified Salmonella pullorum- Salmonella typhoid clean flock.
  • Have had a negative Salmonella pullorum- Salmonella typhoid test within 90 days prior to going to a show/exhibition

Birds that have been tested are still at risk to disease exposure by comingling with non-tested birds. Proper biosecurity should be practiced by housing the tested show birds in a separate enclosure and/or flight pen. Show/exhibition birds, that have been tested, should be kept from sharing the same space, feed and water containers with birds that have not been tested.

The rapid plate test can be used in all poultry except for turkeys due to results not being as accurate. Turkeys tested by a testing agent with a 9-2 form is NOT permitted and will not be allowed at the exhibition. Instead a blood test that is sent into an approved NPIP laboratory is required. Turkeys purchased from local feed stores more than likely originated from an NPIP flock. Those chicks from NPIP flocks including turkeys have already been Pullorum tested at the hatchery so all that is needed in such cases is a statement of origin form from the feed store that includes the hatchery's NPIP number.  Please call our office for questions on testing turkeys for P-T.

Pullorum-Typhoid Contacts

Jeanne David

Avian Influenza Coordinator
State Board of Animal Health 600 E Boulevard Ave. Dept. 602 Bismarck, ND 58505-0020
701-328-2655 701-220-0151

North Dakota State Board of Animal Health

600 East Boulevard Ave. Dept. 602 Bismarck, ND 58505-0020
doa-bah@nd.gov https://www.nd.gov/ndda/ndsbah