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Toxoplasmosis in wild turkeys: a case report and serologic survey.

Authors
  • Quist, C F1
  • Dubey, J P
  • Luttrell, M P
  • Davidson, W R
  • 1 Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Publisher
Wildlife Disease Association
Publication Date
April 1995
Volume
31
Issue
2
Pages
255–258
Identifiers
PMID: 8583648
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in a free-ranging wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) from West Virginia (USA) in June 1993. Gross findings included emaciation, splenomegaly, multifocal necrotizing hepatitis and splenitis, and crusting dermatitis on the head and neck. Histologically, multifocal necrosis with mononuclear inflammation was present in kidney, liver, spleen, heart, lungs, and pancreas. Toxoplasma gondii was confirmed in sections of liver by avidin-biotin immunohistochemical analysis. Subsequently, a retrospective serosurvey of wild turkeys for T. gondii antibodies was conducted using turkey sera collected between 1984 and 1989. An antibody prevalence of 10% was detected in 130 birds from 21 locations in the southeastern United States. While wild turkeys in the Southeast have T. gondii antibodies, this is only the second natural case of fatal toxoplasmosis reported; it appears that wild turkeys infrequently develop clinical disease when infected with T. gondii.

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