Incidence of clostridial dermatitis (cellulitis) and factors for development of the disease in turkeys

Megan E. Lighty, François Elvinger, Robert D. Evans, Nammalwar Sriranganathan, Tanya Leroith, F. William Pierson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Clostridial dermatitis, also referred to as cellulitis, is a disease of serious concern in Turkeys in the United States whose incidence appears to have increased since its emergence in the early 1990s. The disease leads to increased mortality with the presence of fluid- and gas-filled lesions in the subcutaneous tissues of the breast, thigh, and tail-head. Management factors may contribute to the development of clostridial dermatitis. An analysis of mortality and health records of Turkey flocks conducted over a one-year period for one commercial Turkey operation indicates that breed, flock type, weight at processing, and stocking density affected the incidence of clostridial dermatitis. Season of placement, season of onset, prior health events, and prior vaccination and/or medication did not affect the incidence of clostridial dermatitis. Development of clostridial dermatitis, flock type, season of placement, and season of onset of clostridial dermatitis affected livability. Breed did not affect livability. In a survey of 8 commercial Turkey companies, 639 of 3,398 market Turkey flocks (18.8%) had developed clostridial dermatitis, and 239 of 967 farms (24.7%) raising market Turkeys had at least one flock develop clostridial dermatitis over the course of a calendar year, with an estimated increase in the cost of production for flocks that developed clostridial dermatitis of 0.031 to 5.5 cents per kilogram of meat produced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Poultry Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 6 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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