Observations on colonial phenotypic variation in Bordetella avium.

M. W. Jackwood, D. A. Hilt, Patricia Dunn

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Two forms of Bordetella avium colonial morphology on artificial media were observed. The smooth colonial morphology is convex, with an entire edge, and has a glistening mucoid appearance when cultured on 5% bovine blood agar or tryptic soy agar. On the same media, the rough morphology has a crenated edge, a flat surface, and sometimes a wrinkled or ground-glass appearance to the surface. Colonial morphology remained stable when cultures were passaged at 37 C every 48 hours. When different salts or crystal violet were added to the media, the colonial morphology of seven different isolates did not change. Following storage at 4 C on agar, B. avium isolates switched between the smooth and rough colonial morphology, indicating that this is a reversible process. Generally, bacteria with the smooth colonial morphology were motile on sulfide indole motility (SIM) media, whereas bacteria with the rough colonial morphology were non-motile. Only the isolates with the smooth colony type colonized the upper respiratory tract of turkeys, caused clinical signs of the disease, and elicited an agglutinating antibody titer by 21 days postexposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-504
Number of pages9
JournalAvian Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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