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J Wildl Dis. 1975 Jul;11(3):376-81.

The wild turkey as a host for Heterakis gallinarum and Histomonas meleagridis.


Freshly embryonated eggs of Heterakis gallinarum gathered from naturally infected domestic turkeys and chickens developed the first 4 weeks essentially as well in young wild turkeys as in domestic poults, but then became progressively retarded and failed in most birds to result in females with fertile eggs. There was no significant difference in the prevalence or progress of infections with Histomonas meleagridis in the two kinds of turkeys, both of which differed from chickens only in that the latter had neither liver involvement nor mortality. In a second test, heterakids hatched from eggs stored 5-6 months at 4 C (comparable to overwintering) sustained very heavy losses in all birds, with greatly accelerated liberations of H. meleagridis, Few worms reached maturity and still fewer produced fertile eggs. In turkeys, and especially in wild turkeys, replacement of infective stages was so poor, that these birds were of no importance in contaminating the soil.

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