Transmission of acute respiratory disease (rhinotracheitis) of turkeys.
Clinical signs of an acute respiratory disease of turkeys of unknown aetiology were produced in susceptible day-old poults by direct contact, litter contact, and drinking water. Attempts failed to transmit the disease by air (cage-to-cage) or by oral and nasal inoculation with faeces, nasal exudates, or nasal turbinate extracts. The disease was not transmitted by inoculation with white blood cells. Chicks were not affected by the disease, but young quail developed signs of respiratory disease when exposed to contaminated drinking water. Thus, acute respiratory disease in turkeys appears to be of an infectious nature, and the infective agent(s) probably exist in the heavily contaminated environment used to house young commercial turkey poults. [Other workers have attributed this disease to avian adenovirus infection: see VB 46, abst. 5049; 48, abst. 3446 and 4884].