A Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) isolate from an atypically mild outbreak in turkey breeders was found to be similar to house finch isolates by DNA analyses. A preliminary study in turkeys showed that this isolate (K5054) caused very mild lesions and protected turkeys against subsequent challenge with a virulent MG strain. In this study, K5054 was further evaluated as a potential vaccine strain in commercial layer-type chickens and turkeys. The safety of K5054 was evaluated by aerosol challenge followed by evaluation of gross and histopathologic lesions as well as serologic reactions and isolation of MG from the trachea and air sacs. Infection of chickens (trial 1) and turkeys (trial 2) with K5054 resulted in little evidence of MG lesions. There was weak seroconversion, and K5054 was consistently reisolated from the tracheas of chickens and turkeys. The efficacy of K5054 as a vaccine was evaluated by aerosol challenge of vaccinated chickens (trial 3) and turkeys (trial 4) with virulent R strain. There was evidence of protection from lesions associated with MG.
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Vol. 48 • No. 1