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Tubercle. 1991 Jun;72(2):105-9.

Susceptibility of captive wildfowl to avian tuberculosis: the importance of genetic and environmental factors.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Pathology, University College and Middlesex School of Medicine, London, UK.


This study reports the findings of an epidemiological survey of death due to avian tuberculosis in the captive collection of wildfowl at The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. Both genetic and environmental factors have been shown to affect the incidence of, and the birds' susceptibility to, the disease. Seasonal body condition was related to the occurrence of death due to the disease in both males and females. Birds from either hot or cold climates appeared to have a higher incidence than those from temperate climates. What the birds ate did not affect incidence but the method they used for obtaining their food did. Higher susceptibility was found in those species evolved for marine or arboreal habitats. Anomalies in susceptibility which suggest a higher level of genetic immunity in some groups have also been found. Reasons are put forward to explain these findings.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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