Avian Bacterium More Dangerous Than Believed

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					  Science Update
Know Your USDA Watersheds                       between tracts of furrow-diked cotton and       pathogens had initially been labeled as
   Information collected over the past 40       traditionally tilled cotton. Results indicat-   B. avium.
years from large watersheds across the          ed that in 1 of 3 years, cotton yield and net      The scientists then tested the bacterium’s
country is available online for the first       return were higher with furrow diking over      pathogenicity by trying to infect turkeys
time on a Web-based system called STEW-         four irrigation regimes, including dryland.     with six genetically distinct strains of B.
ARDS (Sustaining the Earth’s Watersheds,        Russell C. Nuti, National Peanut Research       hinzii. Four of the strains were able to
Agricultural Research Data System). The         Laboratory, Dawson, GA 39842; (229)             grow and persist in the trachea and cause
site (http://129.186.109.10/stewards.1)         995-7449, russell.nuti@ars.usda.gov.            clinical disease, though none demonstrated
allows users to download watershed data,        Clinton C. Truman, Southeast Watershed          100 percent morbidity, and the severity of
view watershed topography, and see where        Research Unit, Tifton, GA 31793; (229)          clinical signs of disease varied.
monitoring instruments are located.             386-7174, clint.truman@ars.usda.gov.               This is the first study to show that some
   Users can also obtain information on                                                         strains of B. hinzii can cause disease in
pesticides, nitrogen, phosphorus, and           Avian Bacterium More Dangerous                  turkeys. Karen B. Register and Robert A.
other pollutants in streams, rivers, lakes,     Than Believed                                   Kunkle, National Animal Disease Center,
and drinking-water reservoirs. Data on             Bordetella avium is a pathogenic             Ames, IA 50010; (515) 337-7700 [Reg-
daily stream discharge levels, air and soil     bacterium that causes upper respiratory         ister], (515) 337-7190 [Kunkle], karen.
temperature, and weather measurements           disease in poultry and wild birds. Until        register@ars.usda.gov, robert.kunkle@
is also posted.                                 recently, B. hinzii, which is very similar to   ars.usda.gov.
   STEWARDS was developed because               B. avium, was believed to be nonpathogenic
Conservation Effects Assessment Project         in poultry. Scientists used highly specific,    Conservation Tillage and Cotton:
researchers, who study how private              DNA-based tests to examine several              The Bottom Line
landowners benefit the environment when         Bordetella isolates, including some that           From 2000 to 2004, scientists examined
they participate in USDA conservation           had caused 100 percent morbidity in             the economic returns for five different cot-
programs, wanted to make the watershed          turkey poults. They found that the isolates     ton tillage practices in the Mississippi Del-
data available for nationwide analyses.         were actually B. hinzii, even though the        ta, including conventional tillage, no-till,
STEWARDS data can be valuable for                                                               low-till sub-soiling, no-till with a winter
other hydrological analyses and to              SCOTT BAUE
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Bordetella avium is a pathogenic bacterium that causes upper respiratory disease in poultry and wild birds. [...] recently, B. hinzii, which is very similar to B. avium, was believed to be nonpathogenic in poultry.
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