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Aust Vet J. 1989 Mar;66(3):65-72.

Virulence and transmissibility of Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

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Department of Veterinary Paraclinical Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria.


The virulence of 4 low passage strains of Mycoplasma gallisepticum obtained from different sources within Australia was studied by experimental infection of chickens. Strain Ap3AS, originally isolated from the air sac of a broiler chicken, produced severe air sac lesions following injection into the abdominal air sacs of 2-week or 3-week-old chickens, and adult hens. Strain 80083 which was isolated from a clinically normal broiler breeder hen was also capable of producing gross air sac lesions following intra-abdominal (IA) injection, although it did so less consistently than strain Ap3AS. Strain 82078 isolated from a layer hen and strain QXO which was isolated from a turkey were also moderately pathogenic in terms of the incidence and severity of lesions elicited following IA injection. Strains Ap3AS and 80083 both caused a substantial loss of egg production over a 5 week period after IA infection of 27-week-old hens. Neither strain Ap3AS nor 80083 caused gross lesions or loss of egg production when administered alone into the upper respiratory tract. However, when inoculated into the conjunctival sac in combination with the Vic S strain of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) strains Ap3AS and 80083 produced identical clinical signs of conjunctivitis. The mean numbers of M. gallisepticum in tracheal washings were significantly higher 2 weeks after infection in the group receiving strain 80083 in combination with IBV than in the group infected with strain Ap3AS and IBV (p less than 0.01).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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