Date of this Version
During the 1997-98 fall hunting season, samples from 154 Wild Turkeys were donated by hunters to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) Genetic and Forensic Laboratory. Assistance was provided by the Veterinary Diagnostic Center, and the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, for this survey of infectious diseases and internal parasites. One hundred and thirteen sinus swabs were cultured for pathogenic bacteria, and fecal samples were examined for parasite ova and protozoa. One hundred and six gastrointestinal samples were examined for helminth parasites. Intestinal coccidiosis was present in 42 birds. Salmonella was isolated from fecal samples from four birds. Mycobacterium avium (avian tuberculosis) infection was suspected in one bird. No evidence of Pasteurella multocida (fowl cholera) or Histomonas meleagridis (blackhead) were seen. Thirty-three species of helminth parasites belonging to 4 taxa were identified: 13 species of Cestoda, 12 species of Nematoda, 7 species of Trematoda, and 1 species of Acanthocephala. Four helminths, not previously documented in North American Wild Turkeys, but known to exist in Europe, were identified in these birds.