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Pathogenicity of Mycoplasma synoviae in Broiler Chickens
- Lockaby, S. B., Hoerr, F. J., Lauerman, L. H., Kleven, S. H.
- broiler chickens, histopathology, strain differences, respiratory system, virulence, Mycoplasma synoviae, animal tissues
- Six isolates of Mycoplasma synoviae, identified as WVU 1853, K1968, K1858, 92D8034, F10–2AS, and FMT, were compared for pathogenicity in broiler chickens. Specific-pathogen-free chickens were inoculated, in two groups of 20, with each isolate by footpad or eyedrop inoculation at 1 day of age and were examined at necropsy 7, 14, 28, and 42 days postinoculation. Specimens were taken for histopathology, culture, polymerase chain reaction assay, and hemagglutination-inhibition serology. Isolates were grouped according to pathogenicity on the basis of differences in lesion development and tissue distribution in the respiratory system, other viscera, and the skeletal system. K1968 (pathogenic) induced lesions in all sites examined in both the footpad and eyedrop inoculation groups. It was detected in all sites following footpad inoculation and in all sites except viscera following eyedrop inoculation. WVU 1853, K1858, and 92D8034 (moderately pathogenic) induced lesions and were detected in all sites following footpad inoculation. With eyedrop inoculation, lesions were identified only in upper and lower respiratory sites, and organisms were detected only in upper respiratory sites. F10–2AS (moderately pathogenic) was similar; however, footpad inoculation failed to induce visceral lesions or permit organism detection in any site. F10–2AS was detected in upper and lower respiratory tissues following eyedrop inoculation. FMT (mildly pathogenic) induced only upper respiratory lesions when either footpad or eyedrop inoculation was used, and detection was restricted to upper respiratory sites following eyedrop inoculation. These results are useful in comparative evaluations of the virulence of other M. synoviae isolates and form a basis for characterization of virulence factors of M. synoviae.