Avian Mycoplasmosis is a highly contagious disease of chickens and turkeys caused by the Mycoplasma gallisepticum bacteria. The disease can spread rapidly through a flock by inhalation of airborne droplets expelled by coughing or sneezing poultry. The bacteria may also be spread by contaminated equipment or clothing. Although the disease is not typically fatal, Mycoplasmosis causes significant economic losses from chronic respiratory disease in the birds leading to poor production. Furthermore, concurrent infection with E. coli can lead to airsacculitis (respiratory infection involving the air sacs) and downgrading of the carcass at slaughter.
The United States currently has a surveillance and eradication program in place for M. gallisepticum.
M. gallisepticum bacteria are found worldwide.
Although the disease may be treated with antibiotics, birds infected with Mycoplasmosis are carriers for life. Any bird suspected of having Mycoplasmosis should be reported to the State Veterinarians or USDA Area Veterinarian in Charge immediately.
Vaccine is available in the United States but may only be used under strict veterinary supervision. The disease may be prevented from entering the flock by purchasing Mycoplasmosis-free birds and following USDA-APHIS Biosecurity for the Birds program.
Avian Mycoplasmosis is not a public health threat.
Avian Mycoplasmosis -Iowa State University