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Molecular epidemiologic investigations of Mycoplasma gallisepticum conjunctivitis in songbirds by random amplified polymorphic DNA analyses.
  • Published Date:
    1997 Jul-Sep
  • Source:
    Emerg Infect Dis. 3(3):375-380.
Filetype[PDF-101.66 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Emerg Infect Dis
  • Description:
    An ongoing outbreak of conjunctivitis in free-ranging house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) began in 1994 in the eastern United States. Bacterial organisms identified as Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) were isolated from lesions of infected birds. MG was also isolated from a blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) that contracted conjunctivitis after being housed in a cage previously occupied by house finches with conjunctivitis, and from free-ranging American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis) in North Carolina in 1996. To investigate the molecular epidemiology of this outbreak, we produced DNA fingerprints of MG isolates by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD). We compared MG isolates from songbirds examined from 1994 through 1996 in 11 states, representing three host species, with vaccine and reference strains and with contemporary MG isolates from commercial poultry. All MG isolates from songbirds had RAPD banding patterns identical to each other but different from other strains and isolates tested. These results indicate that the outbreak of MG in songbirds is caused by the same strain, which suggests a single source; the outbreak is not caused by the vaccine or reference strains analyzed; and MG infection has not been shared between songbirds and commercial poultry.

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