Surprise Bacterium Causes Disease in Turkeys

June 18, 2009

Agricultural Research Service (ARS; Washington, DC) scientists have discovered that an avian bacterium, Bordetella hinzii, has been doing more damage to turkeys than previously assumed.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS; Washington, DC) scientists have discovered that an avian bacterium, Bordetella hinzii, has been doing more damage to turkeys than previously assumed.

DNA tests at ARS National Animal Disease Center (NADC; Ames, IA) have concluded that B. hinzii caused respiratory disease in a sample of turkey isolates. The finding came after NADC scientists realized that infected turkeys had been mislabeled as carrying another Bordetella species, B. avium. The confusion is attributed to the difficulty in distinguishing B. avium from B. hinzii.

Results of the tests are published in the March 2009 issue of Avian Diseases.