Mycoplasma gallisepticum, an important pathogen of poultry, especially chickens and turkeys, emerged in 1994 as the cause of conjunctivitis in house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in their eastern range of North America. The resulting epidemic of M. gallisepticum conjunctivitis severely decreased house finch abundance and the continuing endemic disease in the eastern range has been associated with repeating seasonal peaks of conjunctivitis and limitation of host populations. Mycoplasma gallisepticum conjunctivitis was first confirmed in the western native range of house finches in 2002 in a Missoula, Montana, population. Herein, we report further western expansion of M. gallisepticum conjunctivitis in the native range of house finches based on positive polymerase chain reaction results with samples from birds captured in 2004 and 2005 near Portland, Oregon.
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Vol. 42 • No. 2