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Relationships Between Metals Exposure and Epidemiological Parameters of Two Pathogens in Urban Pigeons
- Gasparini, J., Jacquin, L., Laroucau, K., Vorimore, F., Aubry, E., Castrec-Rouëlle, M., Frantz, A.
- Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2014 v.92 no.2 pp. 208-212
- Chlamydiaceae, blood, chemical concentration, cities, epidemiology, feathers, humans, hydrocarbons, lead, parasites, pathogens, pesticides, pigeons, zinc
- Human activities often generate or increase concentration of chemical compounds including pesticides, hydrocarbons and metals that can potentially affect ecological interactions. We found that elevated levels of zinc in pigeon feathers were associated with both low prevalence of Chlamydiaceae (ornithosis disease) and low intensity of blood pathogens (Haemosporidian parasites). In contrast, high levels of lead in pigeon feathers were associated with high blood pathogens intensities. Our results suggest that metals linked to human activities in cities such as zinc and lead may play a significant role in the ecology of host–parasite interactions and could potentially affect the epidemiology of diseases in the urban environment.