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30 January 2020 Surveillance for Heterakis spp. in Game Birds and Cage-Free, Floor-Raised Poultry in Pennsylvania
Denver Greenawalt, Michael J. Yabsley, Lisa Williams, Mary Jo Casalena, Robert Boyd, Erin Debelak, Hanna Wildlicka, Edward Phillips, Eva Wallner-Pendleton, Patricia Dunn, Justin Brown
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Abstract

Histomoniasis is a significant disease of gallinaceous birds caused by Histomonas meleagridis. Transmission of this parasite is dependent on use of the cecal nematode Heterakis gallinarum. To define the host range of this nematode, cecal contents from 399 game birds and poultry, representing eight species, were examined for Heterakis spp. The majority of these species (five of eight) were infected with Heterakis nematodes. Heterakis gallinarum was detected in free-ranging wild turkeys (Meleagridis gallopovo), captive-raised ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus), chukars (Alectoris chukar), and domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus), whereas H. isolonche was found in ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus). No Heterakis species were identified in the domestic turkey (Meleagridis gallopovo), American woodcock (Scolopax minor), and dabbling duck (Anas spp.) samples. Genetic characterization indicated that nematodes identified as H. gallinarum were present in two distinct clades. One clade of H. gallinarum sequenced from this study grouped with chicken-derived sequences from other countries. The other group of sequences consisted of a sister clade to a group of parasites morphologically identified as H. isolonche. Currently it is unknown if this group represents a genetic variant of H. gallinarum, a variant of H. isolonche, or a novel species. These results indicate Heterakis infection varies among poultry and game bird species but is common among select gallinaceous species in Pennsylvania.

Denver Greenawalt, Michael J. Yabsley, Lisa Williams, Mary Jo Casalena, Robert Boyd, Erin Debelak, Hanna Wildlicka, Edward Phillips, Eva Wallner-Pendleton, Patricia Dunn, and Justin Brown "Surveillance for Heterakis spp. in Game Birds and Cage-Free, Floor-Raised Poultry in Pennsylvania," Avian Diseases 64(2), 210-215, (30 January 2020). https://doi.org/10.1637/0005-2086-64.2.210
Received: 28 September 2019; Accepted: 30 January 2020; Published: 30 January 2020
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KEYWORDS
blackhead
game bird
Heterakis
histomoniasis
Pennsylvania
poultry
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