Lab Contact: 919.513.6249
Mycoplasmas are bacteria known to cause important diseases in commercial and non-commercial poultry and other birds worldwide. Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) causes airsacculitis and chronic respiratory disease in chickens, infectious sinusitis in turkeys, and conjunctivitis in house finches and some other wild birds. M. synoviae (MS) causes respiratory infections and synovitis in chickens and turkeys. M. meleagridis (MM) is specific to turkeys and causes decreased hatchability, and egg-transmitted airsacculitis, skeletal abnormalities, and poor growth performance. Mycoplasma spp. infections are often exacerbated in association with other pathogens (polymicrobial disease).
Clinical signs and lesions caused by these infections are often uncharacteristic and non-specific, resulting in a complex differential diagnosis. Mycoplasmas are difficult to identify by culture, but definitive diagnosis can be facilitated by serology and molecular methods. Control of MG, MS, and MM in commercial poultry is possible under provisions of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP). In North Carolina, MG and MS are reportable diseases in commercial and non-commercial poultry.
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