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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

What's new for 'birdRS_week' in PubMed: December Week 1, 2014

This message contains My NCBI what's new results from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Search: (bird[TIAB] OR songbird[TIAB]) NOT (flu[TIAB] OR influenza[TIAB] OR bird[AUTH]) AND (2014/04/01[PDAT]:2020/01/01[PDAT])

View complete results in PubMed (results may change over time).

PubMed Results

1. Ecol Evol. 2014 Sep;4(18):3689-3702. Epub 2014 Sep 5.

Spatial patterns, ecological niches, and interspecific competition of avian brood parasites: inferring from a case study of Korea.

Lee JW1, Noh HJ1, Lee Y2, Kwon YS3, Kim CH2, Yoo JC1.
Author information:
1Department of Biology, Korea Institute of Ornithology, Kyung Hee University Seoul, 130-701, Korea.
2Bureau of Basic Ecological Research, National Institute of Ecology Seocheon, 325-813, Korea.
3Migratory Birds Centre, Korea National Park Research Institute Shinan, 535-917, Korea.


Since obligate avian brood parasites depend completely on the effort of other host species for rearing their progeny, the availability of hosts will be a critical resource for their life history. Circumstantial evidence suggests that intense competition for host species may exist not only within but also between species. So far, however, few studies have demonstrated whether the interspecific competition really occurs in the system of avian brood parasitism and how the nature of brood parasitism is related to their niche evolution. Using the occurrence data of five avian brood parasites from two sources of nationwide bird surveys in South Korea and publically available environmental/climatic data, we identified their distribution patterns and ecological niches, and applied species distribution modeling to infer the effect of interspecific competition on their spatial distribution. We found that the distribution patterns of five avian brood parasites could be characterized by altitude and climatic conditions, but overall their spatial ranges and ecological niches extensively overlapped with each other. We also found that the predicted distribution areas of each species were generally comparable to the realized distribution areas, and the numbers of individuals in areas where multiple species were predicted to coexist showed positive relationships among species. In conclusion, despite following different coevolutionary trajectories to adapt to their respect host species, five species of avian brood parasites breeding in South Korea occupied broadly similar ecological niches, implying that they tend to conserve ancestral preferences for ecological conditions. Furthermore, our results indicated that contrary to expectation interspecific competition for host availability between avian brood parasites seemed to be trivial, and thus, play little role in shaping their spatial distributions and ecological niches. Future studies, including the complete ranges of avian brood parasites and ecological niches of host species, will be worthwhile to further elucidate these issues.
PMID: 25478158 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

2. Ecol Evol. 2014 Sep;4(18):3583-3595. Epub 2014 Sep 2.

Variation in clutch size in relation to nest size in birds.

Møller AP1, et al
Author information:
1Laboratoire Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, UMR 8079 CNRS-Université Paris-Sud XI-AgroParisTech Batiment 362 Université Paris-Sud XI, Orsay Cedex, F-91405, France.


Nests are structures built to support and protect eggs and/or offspring from predators, parasites, and adverse weather conditions. Nests are mainly constructed prior to egg laying, meaning that parent birds must make decisions about nest site choice and nest building behavior before the start of egg-laying. Parent birds should be selected to choose nest sites and to build optimally sized nests, yet our current understanding of clutch size-nest size relationships is limited to small-scale studies performed over short time periods. Here, we quantified the relationship between clutch size and nest size, using an exhaustive database of 116 slope estimates based on 17,472 nests of 21 species of hole and non-hole-nesting birds. There was a significant, positive relationship between clutch size and the base area of the nest box or the nest, and this relationship did not differ significantly between open nesting and hole-nesting species. The slope of the relationship showed significant intraspecific and interspecific heterogeneity among four species of secondary hole-nesting species, but also among all 116 slope estimates. The estimated relationship between clutch size and nest box base area in study sites with more than a single size of nest box was not significantly different from the relationship using studies with only a single size of nest box. The slope of the relationship between clutch size and nest base area in different species of birds was significantly negatively related to minimum base area, and less so to maximum base area in a given study. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that bird species have a general reaction norm reflecting the relationship between nest size and clutch size. Further, they suggest that scientists may influence the clutch size decisions of hole-nesting birds through the provisioning of nest boxes of varying sizes.
PMID: 25478150 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

3. Braz J Microbiol. 2014 Oct 9;45(3):1065-73. eCollection 2014.

Identification and adhesion profile of Lactobacillus spp. strains isolated from poultry.

Rocha TS, Baptista AA, Donato TC, Milbradt EL, Okamoto AS, Andreatti Filho RL.
Author information:
Laboratório de Ornitopatologia Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia Universidade Estadual Paulista BotucatuSP Brazil Laboratório de Ornitopatologia, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Botucatu, SP, Brazil.


In the aviculture industry, the use of Lactobacillus spp. as a probiotic has been shown to be frequent and satisfactory, both in improving bird production indexes and in protecting intestine against colonization by pathogenic bacteria. Adhesion is an important characteristic in selecting Lactobacillus probiotic strains since it impedes its immediate elimination to enable its beneficial action in the host. This study aimed to isolate, identify and characterize the in vitro and in vivo adhesion of Lactobacillus strains isolated from birds. The Lactobacillus spp. was identified by PCR and sequencing and the strains and its adhesion evaluated in vitro via BMM cell matrix and in vivo by inoculation in one-day-old birds. Duodenum, jejunum, ileum and cecum were collected one, four, 12 and 24 h after inoculation. The findings demonstrate greater adhesion of strains in the cecum and an important correlation between in vitro and in vivo results. It was concluded that BMM utilization represents an important technique for triage of Lactobacillus for subsequent in vivo evaluation, which was shown to be efficient in identifying bacterial adhesion to the enteric tract.
PMID: 25477944 [PubMed - in process]

4. J Neurophysiol. 2014 Dec 4:jn.00611.2014. doi: 10.1152/jn.00611.2014. [Epub ahead of print]

Neural Responses in Songbird Forebrain Reflect Learning Rates, Acquired Salience and Stimulus Novelty after Auditory Discrimination Training.

Bell BA1, Phan ML2, Vicario DS2.
Author information:
1Rutgers University
2Rutgers University.


How do social interactions form and modulate the neural representations of specific complex signals? This question can be addressed in the songbird auditory system. Like humans, songbirds learn to vocalize by imitating tutors heard during development. These learned vocalizations are important in reproductive and social interactions and in individual recognition. As a model for the social reinforcement of particular songs, male zebra finches (n=11) were trained to peck for a food reward in response to one song stimulus (GO) and to withhold responding for another (NoGO). After performance reached criterion, single and multi- unit neural responses to both trained and novel stimuli were obtained from multiple electrodes inserted bilaterally into two songbird auditory processing areas (caudomedial mesopallium, CMM, and caudomedial nidopallium, NCM) of awake, restrained birds. Neurons in these areas undergo stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA) to repeated song stimuli, and responses to familiar stimuli adapt more slowly than to novel stimuli. The results show that auditory responses differed in NCM and CMM for trained (GO and NoGO) stimuli versus novel song stimuli. When subjects were grouped by the number of training days required to reach criterion, fast learners showed larger neural responses and faster SSA to all stimuli than slow learners in both areas. Further, responses in NCM of fast learners were more strongly left-lateralized than in slow learners. Thus, auditory responses in these sensory areas not only encode stimulus familiarity, but also reflect behavioral reinforcement in our paradigm, and can potentially be modulated by social interactions.
Copyright © 2014, Journal of Neurophysiology.
PMID: 25475353 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

5. Ecol Evol. 2014 Aug;4(16):3279-3289. Epub 2014 Jul 29.

Visualization of species pairwise associations: a case study of surrogacy in bird assemblages.

Lane PW, Lindenmayer DB, Barton PS, Blanchard W, Westgate MJ.
Author information:
Fenner School of Environment and Society, ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, National Environmental Research Program, The Australian National University Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 0200, Australia.


Quantifying and visualizing species associations are important to many areas of ecology and conservation biology. Species networks are one way to analyze species associations, with a growing number of applications such as food webs, nesting webs, plant-animal mutualisms, and interlinked extinctions. We present a new method for assessing and visualizing patterns of co-occurrence of species. The method depicts interactions and associations in an analogous way with existing network diagrams for studying pollination and trophic interactions, but adds the assessment of sign, strength, and direction of the associations. This provides a distinct advantage over existing methods of quantifying and visualizing co-occurrence. We demonstrate the utility of our new approach by showing differences in associations among woodland bird species found in different habitats and by illustrating the way these can be interpreted in terms of underlying ecological mechanisms. Our new method is computationally feasible for large assemblages and provides readily interpretable effects with standard errors. It has wide applications for quantifying species associations within ecological communities, examining questions about particular species that occur with others, and how their associations can determine the structure and composition of communities.
Free Article
PMID: 25473480 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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6. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Jan 22;282(1799). pii: 20142405. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2405.

Does coping style predict optimization? An experimental test in a wild passerine bird.

Nicolaus M1, Mathot KJ2, Araya-Ajoy YG2, Mutzel A2, Wijmenga JJ2, Kempenaers B3, Dingemanse NJ4.
Author information:
1Evolutionary Ecology of Variation Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Straße 7, Seewiesen (Starnberg) 82319, Germany Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Straße 7, Seewiesen (Starnberg) 82319, Germany
2Evolutionary Ecology of Variation Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Straße 7, Seewiesen (Starnberg) 82319, Germany Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Straße 7, Seewiesen (Starnberg) 82319, Germany.
3Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Straße 7, Seewiesen (Starnberg) 82319, Germany.
4Evolutionary Ecology of Variation Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Straße 7, Seewiesen (Starnberg) 82319, Germany Department of Behavioural Ecology and Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Eberhard-Gwinner-Straße 7, Seewiesen (Starnberg) 82319, Germany Behavioural Ecology, Department Biologie der LMU, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (LMU), Großhadener Straße. 2, Planegg-Martinsried 82152, Germany.


A number of studies have suggested that avian brood size is individually optimized. Yet, optimal reproductive decisions likely vary owing to among-individual differences in environmental sensitivity. Specifically, 'proactive' individuals who do not track environmental changes may be less able to produce optimal brood sizes than 'reactive' individuals who have more precise local environmental knowledge. To test this, we quantified exploratory behaviour (a proxy for proactivity) in a great tit (Parus major) population, manipulated brood sizes (reduced, control, enlarged) and evaluated whether individuals of dissimilar coping style differed in their level of optimization. If reactive females behaved optimally, any deviation from their original brood size should lower fitness, whereas this should not be the case for proactive females. Reactive females indeed performed best at their natural brood size, whereas proactive females performed best when raising an enlarged brood. These findings imply that proactive females produced sub-optimal brood sizes. We speculate that proactive females might (i) take decisions based on biased perception of their environment, (ii) face energetic constraints in offspring production and/or (iii) be more willing to invest into current reproduction when given the option. Our findings provide experimental evidence for coping style-related differences in optimal reproductive decisions and life-history strategies.
© 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25473018 [PubMed - in process]
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7. Nature. 2014 Dec 4;516(7529):18-9. doi: 10.1038/516018a.

Rival species recast significance of 'first bird'.

Callaway E.
PMID: 25471860 [PubMed - in process]
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8. Virol J. 2014 Dec 4;11(1):211. [Epub ahead of print]

Surveillance of avirulent Newcastle disease viruses at live bird markets in Eastern China during 2008-2012 reveals a new sub-genotype of class I virus.

Zhu J, Xu H, Liu J, Zhao Z, Hu S, Wang X, Liu X.


Background: The strains of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) can be divided into two distinct clades: class I and class II. At present, limited molecular epidemiological data are available for the class I virus at live bird markets (LBMs). Knowing the genomic and antigenic characteristics of class I NDVs might provide important insights into the evolution dynamics of these viruses. In this study class I NDVs isolated from LBMs in Eastern China between 2008 and 2012 were characterized.
Results: We characterized 34 class I NDVs genetically and 15 of the 34 NDVs pathologically which originated from geese, chickens and ducks at live bird markets. Based on the older classification system, twelve of fourteen strains isolated from 2008 to 2010 belonged to sub-genotype 3b. However, the rest 22 strains formed a separate novel cluster in genotype 3, which was designated as sub-genotype 3c. When based on the new classification system, sub-genotype 3b was classified into sub-genotype 1a and the sub-genotype 3c was classified into sub-genotype 1b. Over 62% (21/34) of the viruses were chicken-origin and only 13 isolates were waterfowl-origin. The Cross-neutralization reactions between CK/JS/05/11, CK/JS/06/12 and the vaccine strain LaSota showed significant antigenic differences between them.
Conclusions: Currently, sub-genotype 3c (or 1b) NDVs are the most frequently isolated classI strains at LBMs in Eastern China., and the class I NDVs has transferred from waterfowls to chickens and circulated in chicken flocks extensively.
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PMID: 25471313 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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9. BMC Evol Biol. 2014 Dec 4;14(1):242. [Epub ahead of print]

Genetic and environmental variation in condition, cutaneous immunity, and haematocrit in house wrens.

Sakaluk SK, Wilson AJ, Bowers E, Johnson L, Masters BS, Johnson B, Vogel LA, Forsman AM, Thompson CF.


BackgroundLife-history studies of wild bird populations often focus on the relationship between an individual¿s condition and its capacity to mount an immune response, as measured by a commonly-employed assay of cutaneous immunity, the PHA skin test. In addition, haematocrit, the packed cell volume in relation to total blood volume, is often measured as an indicator of physiological performance. A multi-year study of a wild population of house wrens has recently revealed that those exhibiting the highest condition and strongest PHA responses as nestlings are most likely to be recruited to the breeding population and to breed through two years of age; in contrast, intermediate haematocrit values result in the highest recruitment to the population. Selection theory would predict, therefore, that most of the underlying genetic variation in these traits should be exhausted resulting in low heritability, although such traits may also exhibit low heritability because of increased residual variance. Here, we examine the genetic and environmental variation in condition, cutaneous immunity, and haematocrit using an animal model based on a pedigree of approximately 2,800 house wrens.ResultsEnvironmental effects played a paramount role in shaping the expression of the fitness-related traits measured in this wild population, but two of them, condition and haematocrit, retained significant heritable variation. Condition was also positively correlated with both the PHA response and haematocrit, but in the absence of any significant genetic correlations, it appears that this covariance arises through parallel effects of the environment acting on this suite of traits.ConclusionsThe maintenance of genetic variation in different measures of condition appears to be a pervasive feature of wild bird populations, in contradiction of conventional selection theory. A major challenge in future studies will be to explain how such variation persists in the face of the directional selection acting on condition in house wrens and other species.
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PMID: 25471117 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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10. Nature. 2014 Dec 3. doi: 10.1038/nature13998. [Epub ahead of print]

Experimentally induced innovations lead to persistent culture via conformity in wild birds.

Aplin LM1, Farine DR2, Morand-Ferron J3, Cockburn A4, Thornton A5, Sheldon BC6.
Author information:
11] Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK [2] Department of Evolution, Ecology and Genetics, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600, Australia.
21] Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK [2] Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA [3] Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Ancon 9100, Panama.
3Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa K1N 9B2, Canada.
4Department of Evolution, Ecology and Genetics, Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600, Australia.
5Department of Biosciences, Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn TR10 9EZ, UK.
61] Edward Grey Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK [2] Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.


In human societies, cultural norms arise when behaviours are transmitted through social networks via high-fidelity social learning. However, a paucity of experimental studies has meant that there is no comparable understanding of the process by which socially transmitted behaviours might spread and persist in animal populations. Here we show experimental evidence of the establishment of foraging traditions in a wild bird population. We introduced alternative novel foraging techniques into replicated wild sub-populations of great tits (Parus major) and used automated tracking to map the diffusion, establishment and long-term persistence of the seeded innovations. Furthermore, we used social network analysis to examine the social factors that influenced diffusion dynamics. From only two trained birds in each sub-population, the information spread rapidly through social network ties, to reach an average of 75% of individuals, with a total of 414 knowledgeable individuals performing 57,909 solutions over all replicates. The sub-populations were heavily biased towards using the technique that was originally introduced, resulting in established local traditions that were stable over two generations, despite a high population turnover. Finally, we demonstrate a strong effect of social conformity, with individuals disproportionately adopting the most frequent local variant when first acquiring an innovation, and continuing to favour social information over personal information. Cultural conformity is thought to be a key factor in the evolution of complex culture in humans. In providing the first experimental demonstration of conformity in a wild non-primate, and of cultural norms in foraging techniques in any wild animal, our results suggest a much broader taxonomic occurrence of such an apparently complex cultural behaviour.
PMID: 25470065 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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11. Evol Appl. 2014 Aug;7(7):765-773. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

No selection on immunological markers in response to a highly virulent pathogen in an Arctic breeding bird.

Legagneux P1, Berzins LL2, Forbes M3, Harms NJ4, Hennin HL5, Bourgeon S6, Gilchrist HG7, Bêty J1, Soos C8, Love OP5, Foster JT9, Descamps S6, Burness G10.
Author information:
1Département de biologie & Centre d'études nordiques, Université du Québec à Rimouski Rimouski, QC, Canada.
2Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University Peterborough, ON, Canada.
3Department of Biology, Carleton University Ottawa, ON, Canada.
4Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
5 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Windsor Windsor, ON, Canada.
6Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre Tromsø, Norway.
7National Wildlife Research Centre, Environment Canada Ottawa, ON, Canada.
8Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon, SK, Canada ; Environment Canada Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
9Center for Microbial Genetics & Genomics, Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ, USA.
10Department of Biology, Trent University Peterborough, ON, Canada.


In natural populations, epidemics provide opportunities to look for intense natural selection on genes coding for life history and immune or other physiological traits. If the populations being considered are of management or conservation concern, then identifying the traits under selection (or 'markers') might provide insights into possible intervention strategies during epidemics. We assessed potential for selection on multiple immune and life history traits of Arctic breeding common eiders (Somateria mollissima) during annual avian cholera outbreaks (summers of 2006, 2007 & 2008). We measured prelaying body condition, immune traits, and subsequent reproductive investment (i.e., clutch size) and survival of female common eiders and whether they were infected with Pasteurella multocida, the causative agent of avian cholera. We found no clear and consistent evidence of directional selection on immune traits; however, infected birds had higher levels of haptoglobin than uninfected birds. Also, females that laid larger clutches had slightly lower immune responses during the prelaying period reflecting possible downregulation of the immune system to support higher costs of reproduction. This supports a recent study indicating that birds investing in larger clutches were more likely to die from avian cholera and points to a possible management option to maximize female survival during outbreaks.
PMCID: PMC4227857 Free PMC Article
PMID: 25469158 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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12. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Dec 2. pii: 201409913. [Epub ahead of print]

Regulatory modulation of the T-box gene Tbx5 links development, evolution, and adaptation of the sternum.

Bickley SR1, Logan MP2.
Author information:
1Division of Developmental Biology, Medical Research Council-National Institute for Medical Research, London NW7 1AA, United Kingdom; and.
2Division of Developmental Biology, Medical Research Council-National Institute for Medical Research, London NW7 1AA, United Kingdom; and Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics, King's College London, Guy's Campus, London SE1 1UL, United Kingdom


The sternum bone lies at the ventral midline of the thorax where it provides a critical attachment for the pectoral muscles that allow the forelimbs to raise the body from the ground. Among tetrapods, sternum morphology is correlated with the mode of locomotion: Avians that fly have a ventral extension, or keel, on their sterna, which provides an increased area for flight muscle attachment. The sternum is fused with the ribs attaching on either side; however, unlike the ribs, the sternal precursors do not originate from the somites. Despite the crucial role of the sternum in tetrapod locomotion, little attention has been given to its acquisition, evolution, and embryological development. We demonstrate an essential role for the T-box transcription factor gene Tbx5 in sternum and forelimb formation and show that both structures share an embryological origin within the lateral plate mesoderm. Consistent with this shared origin and role of Tbx5, sternum defects are a characteristic feature of Holt-Oram Syndrome (OMIM 142900) caused by mutations in TBX5. We demonstrate a link between sternum size and forelimb use across avians and provide evidence that modulation of Tbx5 expression underlies the reduction in sternum and wing size in a flightless bird, the emu. We demonstrate that Tbx5 is a common node in the genetic pathways regulating forelimb and sternum development, enabling specific adaptations of these features without affecting other skeletal elements and can also explain the linked adaptation of sternum and forelimb morphology correlated with mode of locomotion.
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PMID: 25468972 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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13. Vet Parasitol. 2014 Oct 24;206(3-4):123-128. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.10.009. [Epub ahead of print]

Gallus gallus domesticus are resistant to infection with Neospora caninum tachyzoites of the NC-1 strain.

Munhoz AD1, Amaral TF2, Gonçalves LR2, Moraes VM3, Machado RZ4.
Author information:
1Departamento de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC), Campus Soane Nazaré de Andrade Rodovia, Ilhéus Itabuna, Km 16, Salobrinho, Ilhéus, Bahia 45662-000, Brazil. Electronic address:
2Departamento de Patologia Animal, Universidade Estadual Julio Mesquita Filho, UNESP/Jaboticabal, Rod. Paulo Castelanne s/n, Jaboticabal, São Paulo 14884-900, Brazil.
3Departamento de Zootecnia, Universidade Estadual Julio Mesquita Filho, UNESP/Jaboticabal, Rod. Paulo Castelanne s/n, Jaboticabal, São Paulo 14884-900, Brazil.
4Departamento de Patologia Animal, Universidade Estadual Julio Mesquita Filho, UNESP/Jaboticabal, Rod. Paulo Castelanne s/n, Jaboticabal, São Paulo 14884-900, Brazil. Electronic address:


The aim of this study was to experimentally evaluate infection in Gallus gallus domesticus with Neospora caninum tachyzoites of the NC-1 strain. Experimental infection was conducted in 90-day-old chickens, embryonated eggs and bioassays in dogs. In the first experiment, poults were randomly divided into four groups. Groups I and II were provided feed with coccidiostat, whereas groups III and IV received feed without coccidiostat. When the poults from groups I and III reached 90 days of age, they received a subcutaneous inoculation of N. caninum. Once the hens entered their egg-laying period, during the following 30 days, the eggs were collected, identified, weighed and placed in an incubator. On the 70th day after inoculation, all animals, including the chicks, were euthanized. Tissue samples from the adult poultry and chicks were collected for histopathology, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and PCR. Brain tissue and pectoral muscle samples from infected birds were fed to two dogs. Notably, the average weight of the group III eggs was lower than that of the group IV eggs (p<0.05). No changes consistent with infection in adult poultry or chicks were detected by histopathology or IHC; moreover, no amplified parasite DNA was detected in the birds' tissues or dogs' feces. No dog eliminated oocysts. In the second experiment, the embryonated chicken eggs were inoculated with 1×102N. caninum tachyzoites, on the 10th day of incubation, and chicks born from these eggs were housed in boxes suitable for the species and received commercial feed and distilled water ad libitum. On the 30th day after infection (DAI), the poultry were euthanized, and their organs were processed as described in experiment I. The amplification of parasite DNA was observed in the spleen and pectoral muscles of one of the birds. The ingestion of bird tissues by dogs did not result in oocyst elimination. These results indicate that the parasite may have been eliminated by the host and that the use of tachyzoites to induce chronic disease might be a poor source for hens.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25468016 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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14. Animal. 2014 Dec 3:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Trade-offs between pasture production and farmland bird conservation: exploration of options using a dynamic farm model.

Sabatier R1, Teillard F1, Rossing WA2, Doyen L3, Tichit M1.
Author information:
11INRA,UMR 1048 SAD APT,F-75005 Paris,France.
23Farming Systems Ecology group,Wageningen Centre for Agro-ecology and Systems Analysis,Wageningen University,Droevendaalsesteeg 1,6708 PB Wageningen,The Netherlands.
34CNRS,Gretha,University of Bordeaux,Avenue Léon Duguit,33608 Pessac Cedex,France.


In European grassland landscapes, grazing and mowing play a key role for the maintenance of high-quality habitats that host important bird populations. As grasslands are also key resources for cattle feeding, there is a need to develop management strategies that achieve the double objective of production and biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to use a modelling approach to generate recognisable patterns of bird dynamics in farms composed of different land use proportions, and to compare their production and ecological dimensions. We developed a dynamic model, which linked grassland management to bird population dynamics at the field and farm levels. The model was parameterised for two types of suckling farms corresponding to contrasting levels of grassland intensification and for two bird species of high conservation value. A viability algorithm was used to define and assess viable management strategies for production and ecological performance so as to draw the shape of the relationship between both types of performances for the two types of farms. Our results indicated that, at the farm level, there was a farming system effect with a negative and non-linear relationship linking performance. Improving bird population maintenance was less costly in extensive farms compared with intensive farms. At the field level, the model predicted the timing and intensity of land use, maximising either production or ecological performance. The results suggested that multi-objective grassland management would benefit from public policies that consider levels of organisation higher than the field level, such as the farm or the landscape.
PMID: 25466165 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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15. Vet Microbiol. 2014 Oct 31;174(3-4):584-590. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.10.020. [Epub ahead of print]

Survey of bornaviruses in pet psittacines in Brazil reveals a novel parrot bornavirus.

Philadelpho NA1, Rubbenstroth D2, Guimarães MB1, Piantino Ferreira AJ 3.
Author information:
1Department of Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
2Institute for Virology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Hermann-Herder-Str. 11, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany.
3Department of Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:


Avian bornaviruses are the causative agents of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), a fatal neurological disease considered to be a major threat to psittacine bird populations. We performed a survey of the presence of avian bornaviruses and PDD in pet psittacines in Brazil and also studied PDD's clinical presentation as well as the genomic variability of the viruses. Samples from 112 psittacines with clinical signs compatible with PDD were collected and tested for the presence of bornaviruses. We found 32 birds (28.6%) positive for bornaviruses using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Twenty-one (65.6%) of the 32 bornavirus-positive birds presented neurological signs, seven (21.9%) presented undigested seeds in feces, four (12.5%) showed proventricular dilatation, six (18.8%) regurgitation, three (9.4%) feather plucking and three (9.4%) sudden death. The results confirm that avian bornaviruses are present in pet psittacines in Brazil, and sequence analysis identified a distinct virus, named parrot bornavirus 8 (PaBV-8).
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25465670 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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16. Chemosphere. 2014 Nov 17;118C:357-360. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.10.017. [Epub ahead of print]

Variation in concentrations of organochlorines and brominated flame retardants among eggs in abandoned clutches of a terrestrial raptor.

Bustnes JO1, Bangjord G2, Yoccoz NG3.
Author information:
1Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, FRAM - High North Research Centre on Climate and the Environment, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway. Electronic address:
2Oddatunet, NO-7057 Jonsvatnet, Norway.
3Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, FRAM - High North Research Centre on Climate and the Environment, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway; Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway.


Bird eggs are often used to measure various pollutants in monitoring programs. In protected species, however, it might only be possible to collect eggs abandoned by the parent birds. In order to assess the appropriateness of abandoned eggs for contaminant monitoring we examined intra-clutch variation in concentrations of 24 halogenated organic pollutants (16 organochlorines [OCs] and 8 brominated flame retardants) in six abandoned tawny owl (Strix aluco) clutches from central Norway. The variation among eggs within a clutch was low for nearly all compounds (intra-class correlation >0.9 both for lipid- and wet weight). This study suggests that abandoned eggs provide a relatively reliable measurement of lipophilic pollutants in clutches of terrestrial raptors such as the tawny owl.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25463262 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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17. Infect Genet Evol. 2014 Nov 25. pii: S1567-1348(14)00439-0. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2014.11.022. [Epub ahead of print]

RstA is required for the virulence of an avian pathogenic Escherichia coli O2 strain E058.

Gao Q1, Ye Z1, Wang X1, Mu X1, Gao S2, Liu X1.
Author information:
1Animal Infectious Disease Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225009, PR China.
2Animal Infectious Disease Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu 225009, PR China. Electronic address:


Certain strains of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) cause severe extraintestinal infections in poultry, including acute fatal septicemia, subacute pericarditis, and airsacculitis. These bacteria contain an RstA/RstB regulatory system, a two-component system that may help APEC strains adapt to the extra-intestinal environment and survive under stressful conditions. Whether RstA correlates with APEC pathogenesis or acts as a APEC virulence factor has not been established. Here we provide the first evidence for an important role of rstA in APEC virulence. We generated an rstA-deficient mutant from the highly virulent APEC strain E058. Virulence of the mutant strain was evaluated in vivo and in vitro through bird infection assays, a cytotoxicity assay on chicken macrophage cell line HD-11, and a bactericidal assay to serum complement. Based on lethality assays in 1-day-old birds, rstA deletion from APEC E058 reduced the bacterial virulence in birds. The deletion also deeply impaired the capacity of APEC E058 to colonize deeper tissues of 5-week-old specific pathogen free chickens. No obvious gross or histopathological lesions were observed in the visceral organs of chickens challenged with the rstA-deficient strain. Also, rstA inactivation reduced the survival of APEC E058 within chicken macrophages. However, no significant differences were observed between the mutant and the wild-type strain in resistance to serum. Our data collectively show that the rstA gene functions in the pathogenesis of diseases caused by avian pathogenic E. coli.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.
PMID: 25461694 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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18. Sci Total Environ. 2014 Oct 14;505C:180-188. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.10.008. [Epub ahead of print]

Corticosterone, prolactin and egg neglect behavior in relation to mercury and legacy POPs in a long-lived Antarctic bird.

Tartu S1, Angelier F2, Wingfield JC3, Bustamante P4 , Labadie P5, Budzinski H5, Weimerskirch H2, Bustnes JO6, Chastel O2.
Author information:
1UMR 7372, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, Villiers-en-bois, France. Electronic address:
2UMR 7372, CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, Villiers-en-bois, France.
3Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, University of CA, Davis, USA.
4Littoral Environnement et Sociétés (LIENSs), UMR 7266 CNRS-Université de la Rochelle, La Rochelle, France.
5Université de Bordeaux, EPOC/LPTC, UMR 5805, F-33400 Talence, France; CNRS, EPOC/LPTC, UMR 5805, F-33400 Talence, France.
6Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, FRAM - High North Research Centre on Climate and the Environment, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway.


Seabirds often have high loads of contaminants. These contaminants have endocrine disrupting properties but their relationships with some endocrine mechanisms are still poorly investigated in free-living organisms. This is the case for the stress response which shifts energy investment away from reproduction and redirects it towards survival. In birds, this stress response is achieved through a release of corticosterone and is also accompanied by a decrease in circulating prolactin, an anterior pituitary hormone widely involved in regulating parental cares. We measured blood concentrations of some legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury (Hg) and examined their relationships with the corticosterone and prolactin responses of known-age (9-46years old) incubating snow petrels (Pagodroma nivea) to a standardized capture/handling stress protocol. In this Antarctic seabird, we also investigated whether high contaminant burden correlates with a higher occurrence of egg neglect, a frequently observed behavior in snow petrels. POPs and Hg were unrelated to age. Stress-induced corticosterone concentrations were positively related to POPs in both sexes, and stress-induced prolactin concentrations were negatively related to Hg in males. Egg-neglect behavior was not related to POPs burden, but males with higher Hg concentrations were more likely to neglect their egg. This suggests that in birds, relationships between age and contaminants are complex and that even low to moderate concentrations of POPs and Hg are significantly related to hormonal secretion. In this Antarctic species, exposure to legacy POPs and Hg could make individuals more susceptible to environmental stressors such as ongoing disturbances in Polar Regions.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
PMID: 25461020 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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