Due to a lack of data in regard to the spread of viral infections in Polish pigeon populations, studies were undertaken to assess the frequency of adeno-, circo- and herpesvirus infections in flocks of pigeons across the entire country. In total, 107 flocks were examined, of which 61 per cent consisted of racing and 39 per cent of fancy pigeons. The flocks were divided into groups according to breed (racing and fancy pigeons) as well as physical condition (healthy and sick). In the studied pigeon flocks, the pigeon circovirus (PiCV) genetic material was the most frequently detected (44.5-100 per cent depending on the group), pigeon herpesvirus genetic material was second in frequency (0-30 per cent depending on the group), while genetic material of pigeon adenovirus was found only in two flocks of young birds with clinical symptoms of Young Pigeon Disease Syndrome (YPDS). The presence of fowl adenovirus (FAdV) genetic material was not detected in any of the studied flocks. Results obtained demonstrate a wide spread of circovirus in pigeon flocks in Poland, and substantiate earlier theories proposed by other authors, that immunosuppression evoked by PiCV infection is one of the main causative agents of YPDS.
- Accepted September 21, 2012.
- British Veterinary Association