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Old 09-12-2013, 06:37 PM   #1
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Default Deposition of pathogenic Mycoplasma gallisepticum onto bird feeders:host pathology is more important

Deposition of pathogenic Mycoplasma gallisepticum onto bird feeders: host pathology is more important than temperature-driven increases in food intake
Biology Letters
James S. Adelman1,
Amanda W. Carter2,3,
William A. Hopkins2 and
Dana M. Hawley1

1 Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2 Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
3 School of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790, USA

Deposition of pathogenic Mycoplasma gallisepticum onto bird feeders: host pathology is more important than temperature-driven increases in food intake
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Abstract

Although ambient temperature has diverse effects on disease dynamics, few studies have examined how temperature alters pathogen transmission by changing host physiology or behaviour. Here, we test whether reducing ambient temperature alters host foraging, pathology and the potential for fomite transmission of the bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), which causes seasonal outbreaks of severe conjunctivitis in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We housed finches at temperatures within or below the thermoneutral zone to manipulate food intake by altering energetic requirements of thermoregulation. We predicted that pathogen deposition on bird feeders would increase with temperature-driven increases in food intake and with conjunctival pathology. As expected, housing birds below the thermoneutral zone increased food consumption. Despite this difference, pathogen deposition on feeders did not vary across temperature treatments. However, pathogen deposition increased with conjunctival pathology, independently of temperature and pathogen load, suggesting that MG could enhance its transmission by increasing virulence. Our results suggest that in this system, host physiological responses are more important for transmission potential than temperature-dependent alterations in feeding. Understanding such behavioural and physiological contributions to disease transmission is critical to linking individual responses to climate with population-level disease dynamics.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:41 AM   #2
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Deposition of pathogenic Mycoplasma gallisepticum onto bird feeders: host pathology is more important than temperature-driven increases in food intake
Biology Letters
James S. Adelman1,
Amanda W. Carter2,3,
William A. Hopkins2 and
Dana M. Hawley1

1 Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2 Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
3 School of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790, USA

Deposition of pathogenic Mycoplasma gallisepticum onto bird feeders: host pathology is more important than temperature-driven increases in food intake

Ha ha! Abstract indeed! Does a report on this issue exist that is written in English? It's amazing how some scientists are totally unable to communicate an idea with any clarity. This writer must have skipped all of his English classes.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:29 PM   #3
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Here's the "meat" of the abstract... "host physiological responses are more important for transmission potential than temperature-dependent alterations in feeding". In plain English.... it's a real good idea if we all keep up with cleaning and disinfecting our birdfeeders and birdbaths weekly. The very act of putting them out for our enjoyment means we're encouraging birds to congregate unnaturally. I use a 10% solution of bleach and a scrub brush. A coupla times over summer and fall, I submerge my feeders in a rubbermaid garbage can that's got a 10% solution of bleach in it for a half hour or so. I toss gardening tools in with the bird feeders too.... no sense wasting a good bleach solution. I haven't seen any diseased looking finches or any other diseased looking birds lately but.... better safe than sorry.
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