Oropharyngeal swab samples were collected from 438 live racing pigeons (Columba livia), with and without signs of respiratory disease, that were housed in 220 lofts in 3 provinces in the western part of the Netherlands. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to identify Mycoplasma species and pigeon herpesvirus-1 (PHV-1) from the samples. In 8.6% of the pigeon lofts tested, signs of respiratory disease were present in pigeons at sampling, and in 30.9% of the sampled pigeon lofts, respiratory signs were observed in pigeons during the 6-month period immediately before sampling. A total of 39.8% of tested pigeons (54.5% of tested lofts) were positive for Mycoplasma species, and 30.6% of tested pigeons (48.6% of tested lofts) were positive for PHV-1. In 15.8% of the tested pigeons (26.8% of tested pigeon lofts), coinfection by Mycoplasma species and PHV-1 was identified. The number of pigeon lofts having pigeons coinfected by Mycoplasma species and PHV-1 was higher than that where only one of the infections was identified. Neither the presence of Mycoplasma species, PHV-1, nor the co-occurrence of both infections was significantly associated with signs of respiratory disease.
in Racing Pigeons (Columba livia)," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 31(4), 351-355, (1 December 2017). https://doi.org/10.1647/2016-243