Hemorrhagic enteritis in Turkeys
The viral etiology in turkey poults showing sudden death was first described in1930 and thereafter reported in most turkey-producing areas. The condition is known as Marble Spleen disease and is similar to that found in pheasants. It is caused by Type II Adenovirus, distinct from classical avian adenovirus. Viral transmission is by oro- fecal route. The affected birds show depression, with bloody droppings and sudden death. The mortality may go up to 60%. In 'marble spleen disease' in pheasants it may be very low. Grossly the carcass is pale, but in good condition. There is hemorrhagic enteritis and friable and marbled or mottled spleen with enlargement.
Apart from the observations on the clinical symptoms and lesions, final diagnosis can be made by experimental inoculation (oral or cloacal) of minced spleen tissue from infected birds into 5 to 10 week old susceptible turkey poults, demonstration of viral antigens by agar gel diffusion test and by detecting the antibodies by ELISA. Proper biosecurity should be practiced.