Short Communication

Macroscopic histological, and microbiological characterization of contact lesions in the tibiotarsal region of broilers

Ricardo Cavani1,*, Marcela da Silva Rubio1, Khauston Augusto Pereira Alves2, Lucas José Luduverio Pizauro1, Marita Vedovelli Cardozo3, Paulo Lourenço Silva4, Iran José Oliveira Silva5, Fernando Antônio Avila1
Author Information & Copyright
1São Paulo State University (UNESP), School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, Jaboticabal, São Paulo, Brazil
2Cesumar University, Maringa, Paraná, Brazil
3Minas Gerais State University, Passos, Minas Gerais, Brazil
4Uberlandia Federal University, Uberlandia, Brazil
5São Paulo University, Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil
*Corresponding Author: Ricardo Cavani, São Paulo State University (UNESP), School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences, Jaboticabal, São Paulo 14884-900, Brazil. E-mail:

© Copyright 2022 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Aug 25, 2021 ; Revised: Nov 12, 2021 ; Accepted: Dec 29, 2021

Published Online: Jan 04, 2022


Brazil is considered as a great broiler feet exporter, especially for the Chinese trade. Contact lesions at the tibiotarsal region are responsible for economic losses and there is no model for its classification, thereby this study presents a fast and practical grade system to be used in the poultry industry and proposes these lesion characterizations into three different grades. For this, correlation was made between macroscopic, histological findings and microbiological quantification (Escherichiacoli, Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp. and sulphite-reducing clostridia) from contact lesions in the tibiotarsal region of 112 broiler carcasses, divided in four groups (n=28), accordingly to the lesion’s intensity. It was possible to observe that grade 1 and 2 lesions, because of been in an early stage and per not present significant histopathological alteration such as few or absent ulceration, they obtained similar microbiological quantification (p>0.05) when compared with the control group. In grade 3 lesion group, it was observed bacterial cocci grume and ulceration at the articular region and significant higher microbiological count (p<0.05) for E. coli and Staphylococcus spp. In conclusion, the visual standard proposed in this work, correlated and confirmed by the histopathologic, and microbiologic characterization, allow to precise and fast ascertainment of the contact lesion grade in the tibiotarsal regions of broiler carcasses. Moreover, it should be highlighted that grades 1 and 2 alterations are not caused by an inflammatory process caused by pathogenic agents and should not be considered a public health risk therefore.

Keywords: Hock burn; dermatitis; slaughterhouse; carcass condemnation; inspection line