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Respiratory And Gut Microbiota In Commercial Turkey Flocks With Disparate Weight Gain Trajectories Display Differential Compositional Dynamics

Kara J. M. Taylor, John M. Ngunjiri, Michael C. Abundo, Hyesun Jang, Mohamed Elaish, Amir Ghorbani, Mahesh KC, Bonnie P. Weber, Timothy J. Johnson, Chang-Won Lee

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Turkey meat is an important source of animal protein, and the industry around its production contributes significantly to the agricultural economy. The microorganisms present in the gut of turkeys are known to impact bird health and flock performance. However, the respiratory microbiota in turkeys is entirely unexplored. This study has elucidated the microbiota of respiratory tracts of turkeys from two commercial flocks raised in parallel throughout a normal flock cycle. Further, the study suggests that bacteria originating in the gut or in poultry house environments influence respiratory communities; consequently, they induce poor performance, either directly or indirectly. Future attempts to develop microbiome-based interventions for turkey health should delimit the contributions of respiratory microbiota and aim to limit disturbances to those communities.