Gleason Basin, a marsh located in the western part of the Rainwater Basin in Nebraska, was selected during the 1980 spring waterfowl migration as a study site to determine the presence and persistence of virulent Pasteurella multocida. Avian cholera mortality in migratory waterfowl using the Basin increased during a 2-wk period of a die-off beginning the first week of March when 2,409 carcasses were collected from the marsh. Study sites within the marsh were established for sampling water associated with and not associated with intact and scavenged carcasses. Isolations of virulent P. multocida were made from five of six study sites associated with either intact or scavenged carcasses for 3 days and from three of five non-carcass-associated study sites for 2 days. Recovery of these bacteria from this environment suggested a possible source of infection for susceptible waterfowl using the contaminated site.
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