Upper respiratory tract disease (manifesting itself in rhinitis, tracheitis and conjunctivitis) and mortality associated with Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale infection were observed in four flocks of 2- to 3-week-old turkeys. In a 15- to 16-week-old turkey flock bilateral catarrhal-croupous pneumonia was found in the dead birds. In a further 5-week-old flock and in three 16- to 20-week-old turkey flocks mortality was preceded by nervous signs (motor disturbances, recumbency, abnormal carriage of the head) and was found to be associated with fibrinopurulent inflammation of the cranial bones and meningitis. The bacterium O. rhinotracheale was isolated from the affected organs in the different disease conditions. The isolated strains did not differ markedly in cultural, morphological and biochemical properties. This is the first report of a turkey disease manifesting itself in nervous signs associated with O. rhinotracheale infection.
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