Mycotic pododermatitis and mycotic pneumonia in commercial turkey poults in northern California

Simone Stoute, Arthur A. Bickford, Richard L. Walker, Bruce R. Charlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Seven 5-week-old broad-breasted white commercial meat turkeys were submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety laboratory in Turlock with a history of respiratory illness. The primary diagnostic findings were mycotic pododermatitis and mycotic pneumonia. The unique feature of this case was the colonization of footpad epidermis and subcutis by fungal hyphae in commercial turkey species. No fungal cultures were undertaken at the time of the necropsy; therefore, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of lung and footpads were used to extract, amplify, and sequence mycotic DNA. A mixed population of fungi was identified in both lung and footpads by polymerase chain reaction amplification of part of the large subunit ribosomal RNA gene using broad-range fungal primers and DNA sequencing. In footpads, sequences matching Cryptococcus saitoi and Cladosporium and Cudoniella species were identified. It is believed that these fungi were opportunistic pathogens originating from the litter. The fungi identified from lungs were Aspergillus species, most closely matching Aspergillus flavus and Arxiozyma telluris (most likely a contaminant). Mycotic pododermatitis in avian species is considered a rare pathologic finding, and few documented reports are available. The on-farm prevalence of footpad lesions was estimated at 3%, and there was no associated increase in the incidence of lameness or weight depression in affected birds. Microscopically, a granulomatous inflammatory reaction associated with fungal hyphae was observed in lung parenchyma. Disruption of keratinized epidermis, encrustations, and acute inflammation were also noted in footpads invaded with fungal hyphae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-557
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009


  • Fungal hyphae
  • Granulomatous inflammation
  • Hyperkeratosis
  • Mycosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Pododermatitis
  • Poults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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