A Survey of Parasites and Diseases of Pen-raised Wild Turkeys

Evaluations of health status were made on 119 pen-raised wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) by complete necropsy, serological, and microbiological testing, blood smear examinations, subinoculation trials, and parasite identification. At least 33 species of parasites including 9 protozoans, 14 helminths, and 10 arthropods were found. Infectious disease agents isolated or identified histopathologically were avian pox virus, Mycoplasma gallisepticum. and Aspergillusjumigatus. Serologic testing disclosed antibodies to infectious bursal disease virus-2, M. gallisepticum. M. meleagridis. and Salmonella spp. Based on an epidemiologic evaluation of the disease risks, we conclude that the release of pen-raised wild turkeys without proper consideration for disease prevention should be discouraged or prohibited.

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