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Humoral response to Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium in naturally infected ring-neck doves (Streptopelia risoria)

Gray, P.L., Saggese, M.D., Phalen, D.N., Tizard, I.
Veterinary immunology and immunopathology 2008 v.125 no.3-4 pp. 216-224
doves, Streptopelia, bird diseases, mycobacterial diseases, Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium, disease detection, necropsy, screening, serodiagnosis, Western blotting, in vitro culture, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, validity, humoral immunity, wild birds, zoo animals, captive animals
Creation of a reliable and easy to use serologic test would greatly improve ante mortem diagnosis of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium and aid in the control of avian mycobacteriosis, particularly in captive birds. In order to determine whether serodiagnostics could be of value in testing ring-neck doves (Streptopelia risoria) for M. a. avium infection, Western blot analysis was used to assess the humoral response of ring-neck doves exposed to M. a. avium, and to evaluate whether an association could be made between the humoral response and necropsy findings, histopathology, culture, and PCR testing. Western blot results were examined for reactivity patterns associating humoral response with infection status, severity and type of lesions (diffuse vs. multifocal granulomatous inflammation) and phenotype (white vs. non-white). A sensitivity of 88.24% and a specificity of 100% were achieved utilizing Western blot analysis to detect M. a. avium infection in ring-neck doves, offering a negative predictive value of 93% and a positive predictive value of 100%. While Western blot analysis results did not reflect lesion severity, lesion type did partially correspond with the humoral response. The findings of the present study indicate that serologic testing can be used as a valuable ante mortem screening tool for identifying ring-neck doves infected with M. a. avium.