Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection had been confirmed by culture and serology among wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) in close association with domestic fowl on Cumberland Island, Georgia (USA) in 1980. In 1988, wild turkeys were surveyed by serologic and cultural methods for evidence of M. gallisepticum. Chickens (Gallus gallus) and guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) from the site where the disease was originally detected also were tested by serologic and cultural methods for M. gallisepticum infections. There was no conclusive evidence that M. gallisepticum was present in wild turkeys or guinea fowl. In contrast, most chickens were strongly seropositive for M. gallisepticum, suggesting that they had been infected, although the organism was not recovered by cultural or bioassay methods. Other species of Mycoplasma isolated were M. gallopavonis from wild turkeys, M. gallinaceum and M. pullorum from chickens, and M. gallinaceum from guinea fowl. It appears that M. gallisepticum has not persisted or spread in the wild turkey population on Cumberland Island, despite continued contact by some wild turkeys with suspected carrier chickens.
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Vol. 27 • No. 1