Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

W. W. Smith


W. W. Smith


Staphylococcal synovitis is a pathological condition of birds involving primarily the wing and leg joints. It is frequently referred to as arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis, hock disease, staphylococcosis, and weak leg.

The disease has been reported throughout various parts of the world as having been found in a great variety of avian hosts including pheasants, chickens, pigeons, canaries, geese, ducks, grouse, and turkeys.

Miner (1945) presented results of a survey made on turkey diseases in Sanpete County, Utah, which indicated staphylococcal synovitis to be responsible for the greatest numbers of deaths. His report cites this infection as having been found in 39% of the flocks in this county. This disease is still prevalent throughout the state; it usually claims from 3% to 5% of a flock (Miner, 1957). Since the disease usually appears between the ninth and twelfth week of age and persists until marketing, it proves to be a considerable detriment to the grower.

After several years of research, the vector if any, and the natural portal of entry of the etiologic agent still remain a complete mystery. The disease appears first as a septicemia, followed by a localization in the joints involved (Hinshaw and McNeil, 1952).

Evidence has accumulated which tends to incriminate blood sucking arthropods as possible vectors. As yet, the role of insects in relation to the disease has not been studied.

It is therefore proposed to study the role of one species of mosquito as a possible vector of staphylococcal synovitis.