A survey of infectious diseases in wild turkeys (Meleagridis gallopavo silvestris) from Arkansas

J Wildl Dis. 1990 Oct;26(4):468-72. doi: 10.7589/0090-3558-26.4.468.


Wild turkeys (Meleagridis gallopavo silvestris) trapped as part of a relocation program by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission were tested for selected infectious diseases and parasites. The 45 birds were trapped at four locations in Pope, Scott, and Montgomery counties (Arkansas, USA). Forty-four blood samples for serology, 27 blood smears and 12 fecal samples were collected. Of the serum samples tested, 20 of 44 (45%) were positive for Pasteurella multocida by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), 42 of 44 (95%) were positive for Bordetella avium by ELISA, and 15 of 44 (34%) were positive for Newcastle disease virus antibody by the hemagglutination inhibition test. All serum samples were negative for Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Mycoplasma synoviae, avian paramyxovirus 3, avian influenza, hemorrhagic enteritis, Marek's disease, avian encephalomyelitis, laryngotracheitis, Salmonella pullorum and Salmonella gallinarum. Haemoproteus meleagridis was found in eight of 27 (30%) and Leucocytozoon smithi in nine of 27 (33%) blood smears; all smears were negative for Plasmodium hermani. Enteric parasites included Ascaridia dissimilis, Heterakis gallinarum, Eimeria dispersa and Raillietina spp. This study was an attempt to document the health status and disease exposure of wild turkeys in Arkansas to aid in managing and preventing the spread of disease agents to wild turkeys and other species of birds.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Arkansas / epidemiology
  • Bird Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases / veterinary*
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary
  • Eukaryota / isolation & purification
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Prevalence
  • Turkeys*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Viral