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Outbreak of disease associated with Mycoplasma meleagridis in a free-range mixed poultry farm
  1. Salvatore Catania1,
  2. Stefania Rodio1,
  3. Maria Luisa Moronato1,
  4. Roger D Ayling2 and
  5. Robin A J Nicholas2
  1. 1Laboratorio di Medicina Aviare, Instituto Zooprofilaticco Sperimentale delle Venezie, Legnaro, Veneto, Italy
  2. 2Department of Bacteriology, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Addlestone, Surrey, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robin A J Nicholas, robin.nicholas{at}


Mycoplasma meleagridis is mainly a pathogen of turkeys causing poor growth and skeletal abnormalities. Very few cases have been reported in poultry in Europe over the last 20 years largely because of control measures including selective breeding and strict biosecurity. The authors report here evidence of M meleagridis infection in a flock of free-range turkeys and, for the first time, in guinea fowl presenting decreased growth rate and significant mortality, which were in direct contact with the turkeys. The majority of turkeys were seropositive for M meleagridis but the guinea fowl were seronegative. M meleagridis was isolated by culture and identified by PCR/denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and 16S rDNA sequencing in the cloacae and tracheas of several affected turkeys and the cloacae of guinea fowl.

  • Poultry
  • Mycoplasmas
  • Diagnostics
  • Musculoskeletal
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