A moribund wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) died shortly after it was discovered in Martin County, North Carolina (USA). The 4.3-kg female turkey appeared in good condition with no visible external lesions or evidence of injury. There were 2- to 5-mm yellow-white plaques on the mucosal surfaces of the oral cavity and mid-esophagus. The liver had large, multifocal, irregular pale areas on cut and uncut surfaces. The spleen contained multifocal, pale, hard, nodules. Microscopic changes in the liver consisted of large multifocal coalescing areas of necrosis. Occasional spherical 10 to 15 μm in diameter organisms consistent with Histomonas meleagridis were present in the necrotic areas. Viable hepatic parenchyma contained multifocal infiltrations of numerous mononuclear cells interpreted as neoplastic cells resembling lymphoblasts and plasma cells. Similar neoplastic cell infiltrates, consistent with the lymphoproliferative disease reticuloendotheliosis, were present in spleen, lung, and esophageal and oral mucosa. Reticuloendotheliosis virus, subtype 2, was isolated from samples of liver and spleen.
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Vol. 25 • No. 2