From 1981 through 1986, plasma or serum samples were obtained from 322 wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) from Georgia (n = 111), Kentucky (n = 21), Louisiana (n = 22), North Carolina (n = 118), Tennessee (n = 19), Missouri (n = 24) and Iowa (n = 7). These samples were tested for antibodies to Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) and in most instances, M. synoviae (MS), M. meleagridis (MM), and avian influenza (AI) virus. All 322 turkeys were seronegative for MG by the rapid plate agglutination (RPA) test. All of a subsample (n = 147) also were negative (titer ≤ 1:40) for MG by the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test. Five of 253 turkeys (2%) were seropositive ( 4 reaction) for MS by the RPA test; however, HI tests for MS on these five turkeys were negative as were attempts to isolate MS from trachea and homogenized lung tissue. Three of 253 turkeys (1%) were seropositive ( 1 to 3 reactions) for MM by the RPA test. None of 210 turkeys had antibodies to AI by the agar gel precipitation test. These data suggest that populations of native eastern wild turkeys are not important in the epizootiology of MG, MS, MM, or AI.
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Vol. 24 • No. 2