Mycoplasma infections in turkeys
Posted: January 12th, 2010 - 9:13am
The major mycoplasma infections in turkeys are Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), M. synoviae (MS), M. meleagridis (MM) and M. iowae (MI). In the past these organisms caused major losses in turkeys but over recent years eradication programmes, especially in N. America and N. Europe have successfully eliminated them from the pyramid breeding flocks. Occasionally breakdowns in breeders do occur and this has important implications in the subsequent progeny, as all of these infections can be transmitted vertically via the egg. Normally flocks would be culled but at special times, when poults are being produced for the fresh meat markets around Thanksgiving and Christmas, medication may be a necessary option.
Growing flocks may also become infected, especially by MG and MS from outside sources. Wild birds such as pheasants, partridges, rooks and finches may all be potential reservoirs of infection as well as other neighbouring turkey and chicken farms. MM and MI, which are more host specific to the turkey and are primarily transmitted vertically from the breeding flock, are less frequently encountered but in some countries they remain endemic. Antimicrobial use has been the most common method of control, other than eradication, as vaccination other than killed vaccines for MG and MS have not been developed for turkey use and the live F strain live MG vaccine will actually cause disease in turkeys.
The full, illustrated article: "Treating and Controlling Mycoplasma Infections in Turkeys" is online at: www.octagon-services.co.uk/poultry.htm