Molecular epidemiology of Pasteurella multocida in turkeys

Tim E. Carpenter From the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Carpenter, Snipes, Kasten, Hird), and Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Hirsh), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Kurt P. Snipes From the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Carpenter, Snipes, Kasten, Hird), and Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Hirsh), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Rick W. Kasten From the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Carpenter, Snipes, Kasten, Hird), and Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Hirsh), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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David W. Hird From the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Carpenter, Snipes, Kasten, Hird), and Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Hirsh), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Dwight C. Hirsh From the Departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (Carpenter, Snipes, Kasten, Hird), and Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Hirsh), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

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Summary

Pasteurella multocida isolated from turkeys during an outbreak of fowl cholera was characterized by serotype and heterogeneity of genes encoding rrna (ribotype) to investigate the epidemiology of the organism. Isolates were collected between October 1985 and July 1986. The M9 or Clemson University fowl cholera vaccine-like strain was detected in 17% of the flocks with fowl cholera. One particular strain, isolated only from breeder flocks, was recovered from 7 of the 10 breeder flocks examined in this study. Intracompany transmission appeared to be common, implying a failure in biosecurity. Circumstantial evidence indicated that in the field, the incubation period of P multocida in a turkey flock may be between 2 to 7 weeks. Wildlife did not appear to be an important reservoir of P multocida for turkeys during this study period. Ribotyping results tended to discount several of the possible interflock transmissions, as suggested by examination of serotyping results alone; however, serotyping in combination with ribotyping proved helpful in understanding the epidemiology of P multocida in turkeys.

Summary

Pasteurella multocida isolated from turkeys during an outbreak of fowl cholera was characterized by serotype and heterogeneity of genes encoding rrna (ribotype) to investigate the epidemiology of the organism. Isolates were collected between October 1985 and July 1986. The M9 or Clemson University fowl cholera vaccine-like strain was detected in 17% of the flocks with fowl cholera. One particular strain, isolated only from breeder flocks, was recovered from 7 of the 10 breeder flocks examined in this study. Intracompany transmission appeared to be common, implying a failure in biosecurity. Circumstantial evidence indicated that in the field, the incubation period of P multocida in a turkey flock may be between 2 to 7 weeks. Wildlife did not appear to be an important reservoir of P multocida for turkeys during this study period. Ribotyping results tended to discount several of the possible interflock transmissions, as suggested by examination of serotyping results alone; however, serotyping in combination with ribotyping proved helpful in understanding the epidemiology of P multocida in turkeys.

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