Studies on infectious etiologies associated with neurological disorders in pigeons in Kerala
Rani Maria Thomas, P.M Deepa and Prejit
Pigeons are reared as a symbol of peace, love, gentleness and spirit messengers and now-a-days also for meat, as ornamental pet bird or as an experimental animal. There are about 400 varieties of fancy pigeons and little is known about the diseases and management of these birds. Heavy mortality has been observed in the pigeons that shows neurological manifestations. The present study is aimed at diagnosis of infectious diseases causing neurological signs in pigeons. The study was conducted in the different pigeon lofts of four districts in Kerala and a total of 44 pigeons comprising 21 fancy breeds were included. These birds were screened for major infectious etiologies causing neurological signs like paramyxoviral infection, salmonellosis and Haemoproteus infection. The birds were also screened for presence of ectoparasites by visual examination. The study showed 63.63 per cent positive for paramyxoviral infection using antigen NDV kits. The occurrence of Haemoproteus infection was 54.7 per cent in Giemsa-stained blood smears and 63.63 per cent in PCR amplifying cyt b gene. Pseudolynchia canariensis could be detected in pigeons. Isolation and identification of Salmonella from faecal samples were done by culture and biochemical tests and found to be 22.2 per cent. Combined infections of paramyxovirus infection with Haemoproteus, paramyxovirus infection with Salmonella, Haemoproteus with Salmonella and infection of all the three etiologies were the interesting finding of the study. The present study is one of its kind in Kerala and also in India. The study warrants the prevention and control of these infectious diseases which has great zoonotic potential.
Keywords: Pigeon, Paramyxovirus, Salmonella, Haemoproteus