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erysipelas.jpeg erysipeloid that can get from exposure from poultry

Example of Erysipeloid from the Society for Applied Microbiology


Another zoonotic bacteria birds can carry is Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, which causes the disease Erysipelas. This was more commonly seen in turkeys, but as more birds are being raised outdoors there is an increase in cases in chickens as this bacteria may be naturally in the soil. 

In humans, the bacteria can cause 3 different syndromes:

  • Erysipeloid (local skin rash, most common)

  • Generalized cutaneous form (skin rash and swelling)

  • Septicemia that can lead to endocarditis (bacteria infection of the heart)

The bacteria typically enters through cuts in the skin, so wear protection such as gloves to prevent spread.​

  • High risk individuals typically hand edible or inedible animal matter such as those who work handling fish/shellfish, in a slaughterhouse, a veterinarian or butchers

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