Otitis interna was diagnosed in five 9-to-21-day-old turkey poults with clinical signs of paralysis, opisthotonus, torticollis, blindness, and increased mortality. Gross and microscopic lesions in the poults included omphalitis, typhlitis, hepatitis, meningoencephalitis, ophthalmitis, neuritis and ganglionitis of the vestibulocochlear nerve, and otitis interna. Salmonella enterica arizonae was isolated from the brains, eyes, intestines, yolk sacs, and livers of poults. Birds with otitis interna also had meningoencephalitis. It is most likely that the S. enterica arizonae infection spread from the brain to the internal ears through the vestibulocochlear nerve. This is the first documentation of otitis interna caused by bacteria in an avian species.
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Vol. 50 • No. 1