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  • Author: Wojciech Kozdruń x
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Birds are one of the most interesting and most colourful groups of animals, but they can also be a source of zoonotic factors dangerous for humans. This paper describes the threats to human health from contact with birds. The most vulnerable occupational groups associated with birds are veterinarians, owners of poultry farms, breeders of ornamental birds, zoo personnel, and poultry slaughterhouse workers. Ornithosis is the most dangerous zoonosis of the avian bacterial diseases. Among other hazardous bacterial factors, Salmonella and Campylobacter are responsible for gastrointestinal diseases. Avian influenza is the most dangerous of the viral diseases. It should be noted, however, that avian influenza is a disease of birds, not humans. The recent threat which has appeared is infection with West Nile virus. The results of serological examinations of birds and humans indicate that the virus exists in our ecosystem. Allergic alveolitis connected with the pigeon tick and the Dermanyssus gallinae mite also merits mention. In any case, where people have contact with birds or their droppings and secretions, special precautions should be taken. This way the negative effects of birds on human health can be minimised or eliminated


Neoplastic changes characteristic of Marek’s disease (MD) in the geese flock were described. The investigations were performed on White Italian reproductive geese kept on a farm where MD was previously diagnosed in broilers. Neither antibodies against MD virus (MDV) were detected by AGID method, nor MDV antigen was found by RID. The histopathological examination revealed the presence of lymphoid infiltrations characteristic of MD in all examined tissues. No lesions typical for avian leukosis or reticuloendotheliosis were observed. PCR products characteristic of meq, and ICP4 and pp38 genes were not observed, but real-time PCR for gB gene of MDV were positive in DNA samples from visceral organs. The realtime PCR results may indicate the presence of a new MDV variant or a new herpesviral infection among geese.


Introduction: The aim of the study was to investigate the occurrence of goose haemorrhagic polyomavirus (GHPV) in wild birds inhabiting Poland.

Material and Methods: Samples from 508 birds of different species were obtained between 2010 and 2015. The internal organ sections were homogenised and then total cellular DNA was isolated. The study was performed by means of PCR assay using primers complementary to the VP1 gene of the GHPV.

Results: The presence of genetic material of GHPV was detected in 22 (4.33%) samples.

Conclusion: It was the first such study in Poland to emphasise the role of wild birds as a potential source of GHPV infection for farmed geese.


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to determine the occurrence of avian reovirus (ARV) infections in wild birds in Poland and attempt to propagate the selected ARV strains in chicken embryo kidney (CEK) cells or chicken SPF embryos. Material and Methods: The study included 192 wild birds representing 32 species, collected between 2014 and 2016. A part of the S4 segment encoding the σNS protein of avian reoviruses (ARVs) isolated from different species of wild birds from that period was amplified. Results: The presence of ARV was demonstrated in 58 (30.2%) wild birds belonging to nine orders. The isolated strains were propagated in chicken embryos by yolk sac inoculation, and CPE was induced in the infected CEK monolayer. Agar gel precipitation showed that two ARV isolates from rock pigeon and mute swan shared a common groupspecific antigen with chicken reovirus S1133. Specific products of predicted size were found in two ARV isolates from the chicken embryo passage and 13 ARVs isolated from CEK cells. Conclusion: The study indicates the high prevalence of ARV among wild birds in Poland and its possible transmission to farmed birds.



Viral infections are the greatest threat to waterfowl and cause significant economic losses. Diagnosis and differentiation of three goose viruses is difficult in the field and often requires laboratory confirmation. Therefore, the aim of the study was to develop a triplex PCR and optimise its parameters for simultaneous detection of DNA of goose parvovirus (GPV), goose polyomavirus (GHPV), and goose circovirus (GoCV).

Material and Methods

The DNA of viruses isolated from field cases from the National Veterinary Research Institute’s own collection was used for the study. The primer attachment temperature, the number of reaction cycles, and the Taq DNA polymerase and Mg2+ concentrations were optimised. The sensitivity and specificity of this triplex PCR was also determined.


Based on the obtained results, triplex PCR parameters were optimised for simultaneous detection of DNA of GPV, GHPV, and GoCV in one sample. The following PCR products of the expected size were obtained: GPV DNA of 806 bp, GoCV DNA of 571 bp, and GHPV DNA of 180 bp.


The developed triplex PCR method proved to be useful for simultaneous detection of infections with three waterfowl viruses and will be used in relevant laboratory diagnostics.


Introduction: Avian reovirus (ARV) infections in poultry populations are reported worldwide. The reovirus belongs to the genus Orthoreovirus, family Reoviridae. The aim of the study was to evaluate the incidence of ARV infections in the poultry population based on diagnostic tests performed in 2010–2017.

Material and Methods: Samples of the liver and spleen were collected from sick birds suspected of ARV infection and sent for diagnostics. Isolation was performed in 5–7-day-old SPF chicken embryos infected into the yolk sac with homogenates of internal organs of sick birds. Four primer pairs were used to detect the σNS, σC, σA, and µA ARV RNA gene fragments. A nested PCR was used for the detection of the σNS and σC genes.

Results: In 2010–2017, ARV infection was found in birds from 81 flocks of broiler chickens and/or layers, 8 flocks of slaughter turkeys, and in 4 hatchery embryos at 17–20 days of incubation. The primers used in RT-PCR and nested PCR did not allow effective detection of ARV RNA in all virus-positive samples.

Conclusion: The problem of ARV infections in the poultry population in Poland still persist. The primers used for various ARV segments in RT-PCR and nested PCR did not allow effective detection of RNA in the visceral organs of sick birds. The presented results confirm the necessity of using classical diagnostic methods (isolation in chicken embryos, AGID).


Introduction: Avian poxvirus infections are widespread in the domestic poultry population but are also reported in wild birds. In poultry, these infections cause significant economic losses, while wild birds may be a reservoir for poxvirus which affects breeding poultry. However, wild birds may also exhibit characteristic anatomopathological changes. This study concerns the infection of wild-living great tits (Parus major) with the avian poxvirus in Poland.

Material and Methods: Samples of internal organs and skin collected from great tits were homogenised and total cellular DNA was isolated. In PCR, the primers complementary to gene encoding the core protein 4b of the HP44 strain of fowl poxvirus (FPV) were used.

Results: After electrophoresis in 2% agarose gel, the PCR product of 578 bp characteristic for FPV was obtained in DNA samples isolated from skin lesions and the heart. The analysis of the nucleotide sequence of the virus strain showed 99% similarity to many poxviruses previously isolated from great tits and other free birds at various sites in the world.

Conclusions: This paper is the first clinically documented evidence obtained in laboratory conditions of avian poxvirus cases in great tits in Poland.