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Open Access Prevalence of mycoplasmas in eggs from birds of prey using culture and a genus-specific mycoplasma polymerase chain reaction

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Mycoplasmas are commensals and pathogens of different avian species, especially poultry and passeriforms. The role of mycoplasmas in raptors has not yet been completely determined, and especially not the possibility of vertical transmission. Therefore 424 raptor eggs were examined for the occurrence of mycoplasmas using culture, and 155 of these eggs with a Mycoplasma genus-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. This PCR was tested for its sensitivity and specificity, especially for use in a bird population of unknown mycoplasma status (prevalence and species). The size of the amplified PCR product was large (1013 base pairs) to enable use of the product for species differentiation by sequencing. Culture and PCR yielded only one positive result, in an egg of a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis). The isolate was identified as Mycoplasma lipofaciens using an immunobinding assay, as well as by sequencing part of its 16S rRNA gene.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Poultry Diseases, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany 2: Veterinary Practice, Crab Lane, Harrogate, UK 3: Department of Small Animal Medicine & Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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