We assessed prevalence of the bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum and virus Avipoxvirus in seven species of raptors admitted to the Illinois Raptor Center from 1 January 2014 to 1 September 2015. We used visual identification of pathology to diagnose current infections and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) for avian IgY antibodies against each pathogen to determine infection history of the birds. Seroprevalence of IgY against each pathogen differed significantly among species. Species that commonly prey upon birds had a greater prevalence of antibodies against each pathogen. Our finding of infrequent physical signs of disease, but frequent antibody presence, suggests that although exposure to each of these pathogens is not a rare occurrence, these raptors are capable of mounting an effective adaptive immune response and preventing development of pathology in most cases.
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Vol. 50 • No. 3