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Characterisation of Mycoplasma gallisepticum strains involved in respiratory disease in pheasants and peafowl
  1. D. Benčina, DVM, MSc, PhD1,
  2. I. Mrzel, DVM, MSc, PhD2,
  3. O. Zorman Rojs, DVM, MSc, PhD2,
  4. A. Bidovec, DVM, MSc, PhD2 and
  5. A. Dovč, DVM, MSc, PhD2
  1. 1 Department of Animal Science, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, 1230 Domzale, Slovenia
  2. 2 Veterinary Faculty, Uiniversity of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljaina, Slovenia


Two cases of Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection in different avian species in backyard gamebird operations in Slovenia were investigated. In the first case, M gallisepticum was associated with severe respiratory disease with almost 20 per cent mortality in pheasants, whereas the infection was less pathogenic for chickens and turkeys reared at the same site. The M gallisepticum isolates from pheasants had a unique pMGA gene sequence containing a repeat of 12 nucleotides, and they contained only small amounts of the cytadhesins MGC1 and MGC3 and no PvpA protein. However, they expressed some typical M gallisepticum proteins and several proteins which were immunogenic for pheasants, chickens and turkeys. A strain of M gallisepticum isolated from the sinus of a pheasant was highly pathogenic for chicken embryos. In the second case, the M gallisepticum strain that was associated with respiratory disease and mortality in peafowl also affected chickens. M gallisepticum strain ULB 992 was isolated from the infraorbital sinus of a dead peafowl. The ULB 992 strain synthesised a small amount of MGC3, a truncated form of MGC1 and lacked PvpA. However, it expressed several proteins which were immunogenic for the birds infected with M gallisepticum at both gamebird operations.

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