Bordetella avium antibiotic resistance, novel enrichment culture, and antigenic characterization.
Bordetella avium continues to be an economic issue in the turkey industry as the causative agent of bordetellosis, which often leads to serious secondary infections. This study presents a broad characterization of the antibiotic resistance patterns in this diverse collection of B. avium strains collected over the past thirty years. In addition, the plasmid basis for the antibiotic resistance was characterized. The antibiotic resistance pattern allowed the development of a novel enrichment culture method that was subsequently employed to gather new isolates from diseased turkeys and a healthy sawhet owl. While a healthy turkey flock was shown to seroconvert by four weeks-of-age, attempts to culture B. avium from healthy turkey poults were unsuccessful. Western blot of B. avium strains using pooled serum from diseased and healthy commercial turkey flocks revealed both antigenic similarities and differences between strains. In sum, the work documents the continued exposure of commercial turkey flocks to B. avium and the need for development of an effective, inexpensive vaccine to control spread of the disease.