Submitted to: American Society of Microbiologists Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Bordetella avium is the etiologic agent of bordetellosis, a highly contagious respiratory disease of young poultry. Anecdotal evidence from veterinarians suggests that its incidence among domestic turkeys is extremely high, but information on occurrence of this bacterium in birds other than infected turkeys is limited. A survey of wild birds is therefore being conducted, using tracheal cultures and serology. Out of 128 swab samples from wild birds, nine strains of B. avium were isolated and identified using the Biolog system. Seven of those isolates were tested by ribotyping and shown to be identical to two different clinical isolates from turkeys. Serum samples from wild birds were obtained from wildlife rehabilitation centers around the continental United States and from birds caught within a few miles of Madison, NJ, by mist netting. Based on a microtiter agglutination test, 40% (of 150 individuals sampled) had antibodies against B. avium in their serum, indicating past infection with B. avium. These individuals represented 54% of 48 species of birds. Birds with positive results include but are not limited to Canada geese, herons, grackles, blue jays, wood thrush, gannets, turkeys and ducks. These results indicate that not only is B. avium present in wild bird populations of many species, but that it may be a common infection. Thus wild birds may serve as a reservoir of B. avium, with possible transmission to domestic turkey flocks.