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Publication type: Journal Article
Document type: Full Paper

Year: 2019

Author(s): Sulejmanovic, T; Turblin, V; Bilic, I; Jaskulska, B; Hess, M

Title: Detection of Histomonas meleagridis DNA in dust samples obtained from apparently healthy meat turkey flocks without effect on performance.

Source: Avian Pathol. 2019; 48(4):329-333

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Bilic Ivana
Hess Michael
Jaskulska Barbara
Sulejmanovic Tarik

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Poultry and Fish Medicine, Clinical Unit of Poultry Medicine

Environmental dust samples obtained from 65 turkey flocks in France, of which six suffered from histomonosis whereas the rest remained apparent healthy until the end of production, were tested for the presence of Histomonas meleagridis DNA by recently developed real-time PCR based on the 18S rRNA locus. In order to determine the genotype of detected histomonads, positive samples were further subjected to conventional 18S PCR and sequencing. Additionally, production data of all tested flocks, such as average daily gain, feed conversion ratio and production index, were statistically evaluated and compared to see the effect of positive dust samples in apparently healthy flocks. Histomonad DNA was detected in the dust obtained from all six clinically affected and, surprisingly, in nine apparent healthy flocks. Sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene resulted in only one DNA sample homologous to H. meleagridis whereas 11 others revealed the presence of several other flagellates. Average daily gain and production index were negatively affected in flocks with clinical histomonosis, resulting in significant difference in comparison with the data obtained from clinically healthy flocks independent of the presence of histomonad DNA in the dust. Overall, there was no significant difference following statistical analysis of production parameters between the two last mentioned groups of tested flocks. Altogether, this is the first investigation demonstrating the presence of H. meleagridis DNA in environmental dust samples obtained from clinically unaffected turkey flocks. However, this finding could not be correlated with impact on production based on analysis and comparison of selected production data.

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