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Pathogen Free Hens


Development of SPF Chickens Growing System in Order to Receive the Embryos

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-FOD/Food & Nutrition/Agriculture
  • AGR-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Agriculture

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Gremyakova T A

Leading Institute
Pokrov Plant of Biopreparations, Russia, Vladimir reg., Pokrov


  • Charles River Laboratories, USA, MA, Wilmington\nCharles River Laboratories / Charles River SPAFAS, USA, CT, North Franklin

Project summary

As for today dozens of live and inactivated vaccines against viral infections are used for poultry as mono- and poly-strain preparations. Dozens of billions of eggs are used annually for these purposes. Up to 70th most of poultry production facilities and all of the former USSR facilities used for vaccine production eggs, have been produced by non-specialized poultry fabrics, which often have been contaminated with pathogens of the unknown ethiology.

It’s quite easy to understand spreading of the variety of the new viral infections. Acute necessity to develop special productions of Special Pathogens Free (SPF) chickens has been realized. Committee on standardization of SPF eggs has been created in 1973 in Lyon in the frame of symposium on poultry. This Committee has developed the list of requirements for control of SPF eggs contamination, which were later introduced in the European Pharmacopoeia. In Russia up for today analogous regulative documents for production of SPF eggs have not been developed. It should be noted that there was no experience in SPF hens breeding in Russia and that was the reason for signing of agreements with a line of foreign companies for purchasing of such products.

Pokrov plant of biopreparations produces all the main vaccines against poultry viral diseases such as New-Castle disease, infection bronchitis, Gambor disease, Syndrome of decreasing of eggs production, etc. In accordance with the requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia and Instruction 91/412/EC the production of such biopreparations should be done with the use of SPF chicken embryos only. It permits to minimize the risk of contamination of the finished products with pathogenic microorganisms. The annual need of the biological industry of Russia constitutes at least 30 million pieces of eggs.

The goal of the given project is to develop the SPF eggs production system to provide the needs of biological industry of Russia, to compile and certify the normative documents for realization of this problem by the other enterprises being interested in.

It is expected to make a reconstruction of the building # 25 for breeder of SPF hens, which will be in accordance with the existing international requirements (purity of air, feeding, bedding), to create the breeder group and develop methodological approaches to growing and maintenance of SPF chickens, to work through the virological and serological methods of control of eggs for the absence of special avian pathogens.

The main goals of the project are:

– To carry out the analysis of the literature available on the questions of growing, maintenance and control of SPF chickens.

– To provide the material-technical basis for the work with SPF chickens.
– To work through the serological and virological methods for control of complience to the requirements used to SPF products.
– To buy in France and Germany 600–800 SPF eggs from pro-parental flock.
– To obtain 400–500 hens from SPF eggs bought and to continue to work on the methodology of SPF chickens maintenance.
– To perform the virological and serological control of SPF chickens and embryos for the absence of pathogens.
– To compile the methodic recommendations on maintenance and control of SPF chickens.
– To prepare the task on the projecting the poultry yard with productivity of 2,000,000 eggs per year.

Expected results:

– reconstruction and renovation of the premises for production of SPF hens;

– methodical instruction on the maintenance and control of SPF chickens;
– breeding hen nucleus in amount of 250–300 chickens;
– laboratory of quality control for evaluation of the produced SPF eggs;
– regulation materials for the quality of SPF eggs agreed with the veterinarian department of Russian Ministry of Agriculture;
– preparing of the necessary document for building of the new SPF eggs production facility.


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