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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    ABSTRACT: Even when different diagnostic modalities are available, mycobacteriosis is difficult to diagnose in a live bird. To investigate the diagnostic value of sampling different tissues and using different diagnostic methods, we evaluated results of mycobacterial culture, Ziehl-Neelsen (ZN) staining, and single-amplification polymerase chain reaction assay (PCR) of 18 ring-neck doves (Streptopelia risoria) with confirmed natural infection with Mycobacterium avium avium. Results of testing liver biopsy, duodenal aspirate, and bone marrow aspirate samples and liver and spleen samples collected at necropsy were compared. Results showed the use of one single technique did not allow identification of all infected birds. In liver biopsy and bone marrow aspirate samples, culture had the highest sensitivity, whereas PCR assay and ZN staining had low sensitivity, and their combination was less sensitive than culture alone. Examination of ZN staining of the intestinal aspirate samples failed to detect infection in most birds. More splenic lesions contained acid-fast organisms than did liver lesions, suggesting that splenic biopsy may have the greatest potential for diagnosis of mycobacterial infection antemortem. Sensitivity was higher for postmortem examination of multiple liver sections than of a single biopsy section; therefore, obtaining multiple liver biopsy sections may increase detection of mycobacteria. Examination of multiple tissues and the use of several different diagnostic techniques significantly increases the probability of diagnosis of mycobacteriosis.
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