The aim of the present study was to investigate the genetic diversity of Gallibacterium isolates recovered from lesions in turkeys. Gallibacterium has been isolated from various bird species including turkeys, but no large investigations have yet been made to characterize isolates from turkeys genetically. We therefore genotyped 53 Gallibacterium isolates obtained from turkeys between 1998 and 2004. Fifty isolates originated from 29 different flocks in California and the remaining three came from three German turkey flocks. All were recovered from birds with lesions, mainly in the upper respiratory tract. Five chicken isolates from California and five Gallibacterium reference strains were also included. Amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis demonstrated substantial genetic diversity among the Gallibacterium isolates. However, we also demonstrated that some Gallibacterium clones were present in consecutive rotations at the same farm during the entire 6-year observation period and were present in different flocks from different farms. Similarly, the same clone was identified from two of the three German flocks. Further investigation of the spread of Gallibacterium between turkey flocks, including infections acquired from chickens or wild birds, should be carried out.
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