Two experiments were conducted to examine the interactive effects of two disease agents of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), turkeypox virus and the malarial organism, Plasmodium hermani, on the health of turkey poults. Groups of domestic broad-breasted white turkey poults of 1 and 10 wk of age were infected with either turkeypox virus, P. hermani, both turkeypox virus and P. hermani, or were maintained as uninfected controls. The strains of turkeypox virus and P. hermani had been isolated from wild turkeys in southern Florida (USA). The goals of these experiments were two-fold and included both an examination of age differences in response to infections, and an examination of the effects of dual versus singular infections with the two agents. Both singular and concomitant infections of turkeypox virus and P. hermani were more detrimental to poults infected at 1 wk of age than to those infected at 10 wk, based on mortality, weight gain, and parasitemia. Dual infections of turkeypox virus and P. hermani were found to be slightly more harmful to 1-wk-old poults than were singular infections. No such interactive effects were noted in the poults infected at 10 wk of age.
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Vol. 41 • No. 1