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: 1.64). 09/2008; 37(4):443-50. DOI: 10.1080/03079450802210655
Source: PubMed


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.

  • Source
    • "This observation indicated sensitivity to infection. Whether the involved strains of MAA in this study show higher infectivity in the particular environment under study needs further investigation (27). Nevertheless, while all 34 collected isolates carried IS901 element, a determinant of pathogenicity,22 genotyped isolates also carried the IS1245 locus. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pigeons are extensively kept for homing and racing purposes in Iran. The main objective of this study was to investigate dissemination of M. avium subsp. avium (MAA) in pigeon aviaries in Tabriz, North-western Iran. Postmortem pathologic specimens from thirty-nine out of 140 birds collected from private flocks (n=3), were subjected to bacterial culture out of which 3-4 mycobacterial isolates were recovered. Applying a five-PCR diagnostic algorithm targeting short but definitive stretches of 16S rRNA and RV0577 genes, IS6110, IS901 and IS1245 genomic loci, proved all the isolates were MAA. They were either IS901+/IS1245+(n=22) or IS901+/IS1245- (n=12). When four healthy cattle sensitized against Mycobacterium bovis AN5 and Mycobacterium avium D4 were tuberculinated, the results confirmed the observed skin reactions against bovine tuberculin in animals sensitized with M. avium were large enough to complicate test interpretation. We believe the extent of such epidemiological impact deserves further investigation if progress in control of bovine tuberculosis is intended.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Iranian Journal of Microbiology
  • Source
    • "predation or thermoregulation) in other bird species [58; see however 12] and also in mammals [59,60] and insects [15]. Some reports indicate that birds of the more eumelanized morph are more vulnerable to bacterial infections [61] and ectoparasites [27; but see 62]. Therefore, perhaps individuals belonging to the melanic morph pay a fitness cost, despite the lower oxidative damage that we observed in melanic nestling booted eagles as compared to light nestlings. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Colour polymorphism results from the expression of multiallelic genes generating phenotypes with very distinctive colourations. Most colour polymorphisms are due to differences in the type or amount of melanins present in each morph, which also differ in several behavioural, morphometric and physiological attributes. Melanin-based colour morphs could also differ in the levels of glutathione (GSH), a key intracellular antioxidant, because of the role of this molecule in melanogenesis. As GSH inhibits the synthesis of eumelanin (i.e. the darkest melanin form), individuals of darker morphs are expected to have lower GSH levels than those of lighter morphs. We tested this prediction in nestlings of two polymorphic raptors, the booted eagle Hieraaetus pennatus and the Eleonora's falcon Falco eleonorae, both of which occur in two morphs differing in the extent of eumelanic plumage. As expected, melanic booted eagle nestlings had lower blood GSH levels than light morph eagle nestlings. In the Eleonora's falcon, however, melanic nestlings only had lower GSH levels after controlling for the levels of other antioxidants. We also found that melanic female eagle nestlings had higher levels of antioxidants other than GSH and were in better body condition than light female eagle nestlings. These findings suggest an adaptive response of melanic nestlings to compensate for reduced GSH levels. Nevertheless, these associations were not found in falcons, indicating species-specific particularities in antioxidant machinery. Our results are consistent with previous work revealing the importance of GSH on the expression of melanic characters that show continuous variation, and suggest that this pathway also applies to discrete colour morphs. We suggest that the need to maintain low GSH levels for eumelanogenesis in dark morph individuals may represent a physiological constraint that helps regulate the evolution and maintenance of polymorphisms.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To characterize infection patterns and identify factors associated with avian mycobacteriosis among zoo birds that were housed with infected enclosure mates. Matched case-control study. 79 birds with avian mycobacteriosis (cases) and 316 nondiseased birds (controls) of similar age and taxonomic group that were present in the bird collection of the Zoological Society of San Diego from 1991 through 2005. Inventory and necropsy records from all eligible, exposed birds (n = 2,413) were examined to determine disease incidence and prevalence in the exposed cohort. Cases were matched in a 1:4 ratio to randomly selected controls of similar age and taxonomic grouping. Risk factors for mycobacteriosis (demographic, temporal, enclosure, and exposure characteristics as well as translocation history) were evaluated with univariate and multivariable conditional logistic regression analyses. Disease prevalence and incidence were estimated at 3.5% and 8 cases/1,000 bird-years at risk, respectively. In the multivariable model, cases were more likely to have been imported into the collection, exposed to mycobacteriosis at a young age, exposed to the same bird species, and exposed in small enclosures than were controls. Odds for disease increased with an increasing amount of time spent with other disease-positive birds. The low incidence of mycobacteriosis and the risk factors identified suggested that mycobacteria may not be easily transmitted through direct contact with infected enclosure mates. Identification of risk factors for avian mycobacteriosis will help guide future management of this disease in zoo bird populations.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Show more