Article

Mycobacteriosis in naturally infected ring-neck doves (Streptopelia risoria): investigation of the association between feather colour and susceptibility to infection, disease and lesions type.

The Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843-4467, USA.
Avian Pathology (Impact Factor: 2.04). 09/2008; 37(4):443-50. DOI: 10.1080/03079450802210655
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Prevalence of infection and disease, the degree of organ involvement and the nature of the lesions were investigated in 11 white and 18 non-white ring-neck doves coming from a flock naturally infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium. Lesions were common in the liver, spleen, lung, kidney, intestines, ovary and bone marrow. Overall, 18 out of 29 (62%) birds were considered infected with a sequevar of M. avium subsp. avium that contains serotypes 2, 3, 4 and 9. The prevalence of infection in the white doves (36.4%) was significantly lower than in the non-white morphs (77.7%). White doves had on average fewer organs affected (mean =3.1) than the non-white doves (mean =5.9). A diffuse pattern of inflammation in the liver and spleen was observed mainly in non-white doves. Focal or multifocal granulomatous inflammation of the liver and spleen was predominant in white doves. Genetic mechanisms of immunity to mycobacteriosis may be contributing or determining these differences. There are three basic colour morphs in ring-neck doves--dark or wild type, blond and white--and the alleles coding for colour are sex-linked and located on the sex (Z) chromosome. Female's single sexual chromosomed (ZW) and homozygous males (ZZ) can be white if they carry the white alleles. It is very probable that the gene or genes modulating the immune response to M. avium subsp. avium infection in these doves could be associated to these loci or at least located in the same (Z) chromosome, as the association with white colour suggests.

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