Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


avian bordetellosis



avian bordetellosis


  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Animal Disease
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • avian bordetellosis
  • Pathogens
  • Bordetella avium
  • Overview
  • Bordetella avium is a respiratory pathogen of birds (Kersters et al., 1984). The bacterium primarily affects turkeys...

  • There are no pictures available for this datasheet

    If you can supply pictures for this datasheet please contact:

    CAB International
    OX10 8DE
  • Distribution map More information

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • avian bordetellosis

International Common Names

  • English: bordetellosis, bordetella avium, coryza; turkey coryza


Top of page Bordetella avium


Top of page

Bordetella avium is a respiratory pathogen of birds (Kersters et al., 1984). The bacterium primarily affects turkeys, causing a disease known as turkey coryza or bordetellosis, and is responsible for substantial economic losses to the turkey industry (Beach et al., 2012). Morbidity often approaches 100% in young turkeys, but mortality is usually low. Damage to the upper respiratory tract can lead to secondary infections with Escherichia coli or other pathogens, which can increase the severity of the disease (van Alstine and Arp, 1987; Pierson et al., 1996). Quail are also susceptible to B. avium (Odugbo et al., 2006), and the bacterium is an opportunistic pathogen in chickens (Jackwood et al., 1995). 

Host Animals

Top of page

Systems Affected

Top of page respiratory diseases of poultry


Top of page

Bordetellosis has been identified in most regions of the world where turkeys are intensively reared (Kersters et al., 1984).

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


TurkeyPresentTürkyılmaz et al. (2009)


HungaryPresentSzabó et al. (2015)
PolandPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: Smiaek et al. (2015)

North America

United StatesPresentRaffel et al. (2002)

List of Symptoms/Signs

Top of page
SignLife StagesType
Digestive Signs / Anorexia, loss or decreased appetite, not nursing, off feed Sign
General Signs / Increased mortality in flocks of birds Sign
General Signs / Lack of growth or weight gain, retarded, stunted growth Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Chemosis, conjunctival, scleral edema, swelling Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Conjunctival, scleral, injection, abnormal vasculature Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Conjunctival, scleral, redness Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Lacrimation, tearing, serous ocular discharge, watery eyes Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Purulent discharge from eye Sign
Respiratory Signs / Abnormal breathing sounds of the upper airway, airflow obstruction, stertor, snoring Sign
Respiratory Signs / Abnormal lung or pleural sounds, rales, crackles, wheezes, friction rubs Sign
Respiratory Signs / Change in voice, vocal strength Sign
Respiratory Signs / Dyspnea, difficult, open mouth breathing, grunt, gasping Sign
Respiratory Signs / Increased respiratory rate, polypnea, tachypnea, hyperpnea Sign
Respiratory Signs / Mucoid nasal discharge, serous, watery Sign
Respiratory Signs / Purulent nasal discharge Sign
Respiratory Signs / Sneezing, sneeze Sign

Disease Course

Top of page

B. avium binds preferentially to ciliated tracheal epithelial cells (Arp and Cheville, 1984). Subsequent death of the ciliated cells is thought to contribute to the clinical signs associated with bordetellosis (e.g. coughing and oculonasal discharge).


Top of page

Mortality associated with uncomplicated bordetellosis in turkeys is low (generally <5%), but morbidity is usually 80-100% in young turkeys (Noguera et al., 2001). Mortality can increase if young turkeys infected with B. avium also become infected with other agents, such as E. coli (van Alstine and Arp, 1987; Pierson et al., 1996) or when environmental conditions are not optimum. B. avium is highly transmissible and may be spread either through exposure to contaminated litter or water or by direct contact with infected birds (Simmons and Gray, 1979).

Disease Treatment

Top of page

Treatment with antimicrobial agents is not very effective. Resistance to antibiotics can be carried on plasmids (Beach et al., 2012). Antimicrobial therapy may be helpful for secondary colibacillosis.

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Developing effective vaccines has proved difficult and these are not commonly used. Good husbandry is the main way of preventing the disease, with adequate ventilation and decreased stress. Removal of dirty litter and thorough disinfection should be carried out after depopulation.


Top of page

Alstine WGvan; Arp LH, 1987. Influence of Bordetella avium infection on association of Escherichia coli with turkey trachea. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 48(11):1574-1576.

Arp LH; Cheville NF, 1984. Tracheal lesions in young turkeys infected with Bordetella avium. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 45(10):2196-2200.

Beach NM; Thompson S; Mutnick R; Brown L; Kettig G; Puffenbarger R; Stockwell SB; Miyamoto D; Temple L, 2012. Bordetella avium antibiotic resistance, novel enrichment culture, and antigenic characterization. Veterinary Microbiology, 160(1/2):189-196.

Jackwood MW; McCarter SM; Brown TP, 1995. Bordetella avium: an opportunistic pathogen in leghorn chickens. Avian Diseases, 39(2):360-367.

Kersters K; Hinz K-H; Hertle A; Segers P; Lievens A; Siegmann O; Ley Jde, 1984. Bordetella avium sp. nov., isolated from the respiratory tracts of turkeys and other birds. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology, 34(1):56-70.

Noguera Cde; Infante D; León AJ; Fernández JG; Rolo Mde; Avila I; Herrera A, 2001. First identification and isolation of the causal agent of avian Bordetellosis and disease reproduction in Venezuela. (Primer aislamiento e identificación del agente causal de bordetelosis aviar y reproducción de la enfermedad en Venezuela.) Veterinaria Tropical, 26(1):35-46.

Odugbo MO; Musa U; Ekundayo SO; Okewole PA; Esilonu J, 2006. Bordetella avium infection in chickens and quail in Nigeria: preliminary investigations. Veterinary Research Communications, 30(1):1-5.

Pierson FW; Larsen CT; Domermuth CH, 1996. The production of colibacillosis in turkeys following sequential exposure to Newcastle disease virus or Bordetella avium, avirulent hemorrhagic enteritis virus, and Escherichia coli. Avian Diseases, 40(4):837-840.

Raffel TR; Register KB; Marks SA; Temple L, 2002. Prevalence of Bordetella avium infection in selected wild and domesticated birds in the Eastern USA. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 38(1):40-46.

Simmons DG; Gray JG, 1979. Transmission of acute respiratory disease (rhinotracheitis) of turkeys. Avian Diseases, 23(1):132-138.

Smiaek M; Tykaowski B; Pestka D; Stenzel T; Koncicki A, 2015. Epidemiological situation of turkey coryza (bordetellosis) in Poland. Polish Journal of Veterinary Sciences, 18(3):659-661.

Szabó R; Wehmann E; Magyar T, 2015. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Bordetella avium and Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale strains from wild and domesticated birds in Hungary. Acta Veterinaria Hungarica, 63(4):413-424.

Türkyilmaz S; Kirdar S; Ocak F; Hazimoglu S, 2009. Detection of Bordetella avium by polymerase chain reaction in the lungs and tracheas of turkeys with pneumonia. Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, 33(2):147-150.

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map