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Campylobacter colonization is not associated with proventricular dilatation disease in psittacines

Authors Bulbow H, Wu J, Turner D, McEntire M, Tizard I

Received 16 March 2017

Accepted for publication 2 May 2017

Published 3 August 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 37—40


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Young Lyoo

Holden Bulbow, Jing Wu, Debra Turner, Michael McEntire, Ian Tizard

Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

Abstract: Psittacine proventricular dilatation disease (PDD) is a neurological disease caused by parrot bornaviruses. A competing theory suggests that intestinal colonization by Campylobacter species may also be a potential cause of PDD or that their presence may be required for disease development. This theory proposes that PDD results from the activities of antiganglioside antibodies on enteric neurons in a manner similar to the pathogenesis of Guillain–Barré syndrome in humans. We therefore cultured feces from domestic chickens as well as from multiple parrot species to determine whether Campylobacter spp. could be detected in the latter. We failed to detect Campylobacter in a flock of cockatiels known to be highly susceptible to experimental parrot bornavirus-induced PDD. Even in naturally infected psittacines suffering from clinical PDD, no Campylobacter species were detected. Conversely, Campylobacter was readily cultured from domestic poultry samples and confirmed by using matrix-associated laser desorption ionization mass spectroscopy/real-time polymerase chain reaction. We conclude that not only are Campylobacter infections of psittacines uncommon, but also that infection by Campylobacter species is not related to the etiology of PDD.

Keywords: bornavirus, campylobacter, proventricular dilatation disease, parrots, chickens

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