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6 September 2012 The Seroprevalence of Avipoxvirus and Its Association with Avian Malaria (Plasmodium spp.) Infection in Introduced Passerine Birds in the Southern Regions of the North Island of New Zealand
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Blood samples were collected from 65 free-ranging birds from six species in the southern North Island of New Zealand. Sera from the birds were tested for the presence of avipoxvirus (APV) antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and blood cells from 55 birds were also tested for Plasmodium spp. by PCR. Forty-five birds (69.2%) tested seropositive to APV. Song thrushes (Turdus philomelos) presented the highest seroprevalence at 100% (4/4), followed by Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus merula) (96.86%, 31/32), chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) (54.55%, 6/11), starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) (25%, 3/12), greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) (25%, 1/4), and European goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) (0%, 0/2). Plasmodium spp. DNA was detected in 15/55 birds (27.3%), including 11 Eurasian blackbirds, one song thrush, and three starlings. Eight Eurasian blackbird isolates (73%) grouped within the subgenus Novyella. Two Eurasian blackbird isolates and the song thrush isolate clustered within a different group with previously reported lineages LINN1 and AFTRU5. In addition, all three starling isolates clustered within the well-characterized lineage Plasmodium (Huffia) elongatum GRW06. All Plasmodium-positive Eurasian blackbirds and the song thrush were seropositive to APV, whereas only 67% of Plasmodium-positive starlings showed evidence of previous exposure to APV. A significant relationship between birds seropositive to APV and birds infected by Plasmodium spp. was observed (χ2  =  5.69, df  =  1, P  =  0.0086). To the authors' knowledge this is the first report describing the seroprevalence of APV and its association with Plasmodium spp. infection in introduced bird species in New Zealand.

Nota de Investigación—Seroprevalencia de avipoxvirus y su asociación con malaria aviar (Plasmodium spp.). Infección en aves paseriformes introducidas en la región del sur de la Isla Norte de Nueva Zelanda.

Se recolectaron muestras de sangre de 65 aves de seis especies mantenidas en libertad de la parte sur de la Isla Norte de Nueva Zelanda. Los sueros de las aves fueron analizados para detectar la presencia de anticuerpos contra avipoxvirus (APV) mediante la prueba de inmunoabsorción con enzimas ligadas (ELISA), y también se analizaron las células sanguíneas de 55 aves para detectar la presencia de Plasmodium spp. por PCR. Cuarenta y cinco aves (69.2%) dieron un resultado positivo para avipoxvirus. Los zorzales comunes (Turdus philomelos) presentaron la mayor seroprevalencia con un 100% (4/4), seguidos de los mirlos comunes (Turdus merula) (96.86%, 31/32), pinzones vulgares (Fringilla coelebs) (54.55%, 6/11), estorninos pintos (Sturnus vulgaris) (25%, 3/12), verderones comunes (Carduelis chloris) (25%, 1/4) y jilgueros (Carduelis carduelis) (0%, 0/2). Se detectó ADN de Plasmodium spp. en 15 aves de un total de 55 (27.3%), incluyendo 11 mirlos comunes, un zorzal común, y tres estorninos pintos. Ocho aislamientos de mirlos comunes (73%), se agruparon en el subgénero Novyella. Dos cepas de mirlos y el aislam

American Association of Avian Pathologists
H. J. Ha, M. Banda, M. R. Alley, L. Howe, and B. D. Gartrell "The Seroprevalence of Avipoxvirus and Its Association with Avian Malaria (Plasmodium spp.) Infection in Introduced Passerine Birds in the Southern Regions of the North Island of New Zealand," Avian Diseases 57(1), 109-115, (6 September 2012).
Received: 20 June 2012; Accepted: 1 August 2012; Published: 6 September 2012

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