A Merriam's Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo merriami) with periocular swelling and periocular skin crusting in Pueblo County, Colorado, USA, was diagnosed with severe catarrhal and fibrinous sinusitis and conjunctivitis. A novel clade of Avibacterium was detected in the exudate from this bird. Although eight additional turkeys culled from the affected flock did not have clinical signs or gross lesions, histologically all had mild-to-moderate chronic sinusitis, and infraorbital cultures yielded the same novel clade of Avibacterium that was found in the symptomatic turkey. The presence of this Avibacterium species in the absence of significant disease in some birds suggested that other factors might have been involved in the development of severe sinusitis and conjunctivitis in the symptomatic Wild Turkey. Negative culture results from a distant flock of Wild Turkeys, acquired with similar methods to the affected flock, suggested that this novel species of Avibacterium was not widespread throughout Wild Turkeys in Colorado.
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Vol. 58 • No. 4