Trichomonad parasite infection in four species of Columbidae in the UK

Lennon, Rosie J. and Dunn, Jenny C. and Stockdale, Jennifer E. and Goodman, Simon J. and Morris, Antony J. and Hamer, Keith C. (2013) Trichomonad parasite infection in four species of Columbidae in the UK. Parasitology, 140 (11). pp. 1368-1376. ISSN 0031-1820

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Abstract

Trichomonas gallinae is an emerging pathogen in wild birds, linked to recent declines in finch (Fringillidae) populations across Europe. Globally, the main hosts for this parasite are species of Columbidae (doves and pigeons); here we carry out the first investigation into the presence and incidence of Trichomonas in four species of Columbidae in the UK, through live sampling of wild-caught birds and subsequent PCR. We report the first knownUKcases of Trichomonas infection in 86% of European Turtle Doves Streptopelia turtur sampled, along with 86% of Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto, 47% of Woodpigeons Columba palumbus and 40% of Stock Doves Columba oenas. Birds were more likely to be infected if the farm provided supplementary food for gamebirds. We found three strains of T. gallinae and one strain clustering within the Trichomonas tenax clade, not previously associated with avian hosts in the UK. One T. gallinae strain was identical at the ITS/5.8S/ITS2 ribosomal region to that responsible for the finch trichomonosis epizootic. We highlight the importance of increasing our knowledge of the diversity and ecological implications of Trichomonas parasites in order further to understand the sub-clinical impacts of parasite infection.

Keywords:supplementary food, emerging diseases, farmland birds, population declines, wildlife management
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C170 Population Biology
C Biological Sciences > C111 Parasitology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:25334
Deposited On:26 Dec 2016 12:50

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