The protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae causes adult and nestling mortality in a declining population of European turtle doves, Streptopelia turtur

Stockdale, Jennifer E., Dunn, Jenny C., Goodman, Simon J. , Sheehan, Antony J., Sheehan, Danae K., Grice, Philip V. and Hamer, Keith C. (2015) The protozoan parasite Trichomonas gallinae causes adult and nestling mortality in a declining population of European turtle doves, Streptopelia turtur. Parasitology, 142 (03). pp. 490-498. ISSN 0031-1820

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

Studies incorporating the ecology of clinical and sub-clinical disease in wild populations of conservation concern are rare. Here we examine sub-clinical infection by Trichomonas gallinae in a declining population of free-living European Turtle Doves and suggest caseous lesions cause mortality in adults and nestlings through subsequent starvation and/or suffocation. We found a 100% infection rate by T. gallinae in adult and nestling Turtle Doves (n = 25) and observed clinical signs in three adults and four nestlings (28%). Adults with clinical signs displayed no differences in any skeletal measures of size but had a mean 3·7% reduction in wing length, with no overlap compared to those without clinical signs.We also identified T. gallinae as the suggested cause of mortality in one Red-legged Partridge although disease presentation was different. A minimum of four strains of T. gallinae, characterized at the ITS/5·8S/ITS2 ribosomal region, were isolated from Turtle Doves. However, all birds with clinical signs (Turtle Doves and the Red-legged Partridge) carried a single strain of T. gallinae, suggesting that parasite spill over between Columbidae and Galliformes is a possibility that should be further investigated. Overall, we highlight the importance of monitoring populations for sub-clinical infection rather than just clinical disease

Keywords:disease, feeding ecology, supplementary food, necropsy, PCR, NotOAChecked
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:25336
Deposited On:20 Dec 2016 15:30

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