Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Richard D. Andrews
Viscera from 69 wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) collected from Jackson, Union and Alexander counties, Illinois, were examined for helminth and coccidian parasites. A total of eight species of parasites was found, all in the alimentary tract. The coccidian parasite Eimeria sp. was found in 9.6% of birds examined. The nematodes Heterakis gallinarum, Ascaridia galli and Ascaridia dissimilis were found in 13.2%, 27.9% and 48.5% respectively of all birds examined. Three species of cestodes, Raillietina williamsi, Metroliasthes lucida and Hymenolepis sp., were recovered from 41.1%, 27.9% and 1.4% respectively of birds examined. One species of trematode, possibly of the genus Cotylurus, was recovered from 2.9% of the birds. Infection rates of Eimeria sp. and Ascaridia galli were higher in juveniles than in adults. Heterakis gallinarum may be related to turkey mortality since it is responsible for transmitting the protozoan Histomonas meleagridis, the causative organism of blackhead disease in turkeys.
Jackson, James W., "Helminth Parasites of Illinois Wild Turkeys" (1974). Masters Theses. 3689.
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