Turkey breeder hens showed an increase in mortality beginning at 38 wk of age with no other clinical signs or changes in egg production. While no respiratory signs were observed in live turkeys, those that died consistently had gross lesions of pneumonia. Histopathology of lungs revealed serofibrinous bronchopneumonia, lymphofollicular reaction, and other features suggesting a bacterial etiology. However, except for incidental findings, bacteria were not visualized in the sections examined, and none were isolated in meaningful numbers on routine bacteriologic media. At 42 wk of age the flock showed serologic evidence of infection with Mycoplasma synoviae (MS), and MS was identified by both mycoplasma culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) procedures in samples from choanal clefts and tracheas. Results of lung histopathology and PCR tests were consistent with a diagnosis of pneumonia caused by MS.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3