Evidence of spread of emerging infectious disease, finch trichomonosis, by migrating birds

Chaffinch. Photograph by Jill Pakenham.

Author(s): Lawson, B., Robinson, R.A., Neimanis, A., Handeland, K., Isomursu, M., Agren, E.O., Hamnes, I.S., Tyler, K.M., Chantrey, J., Hughes, L.A., Pennycott, T.W., Simpson, V.R., John, S.K., Peck, K.M., Toms, M.P., Bennett, M., Kirkwood, J.K. & Cunningham, A.A.

Published: January 2011  

Journal: Ecohealth Volume: 8 ( part 2 )

Digital Identifier No. (DOI): 10.1007/s10393-011-0696-8

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 Since its emergence in 2005, the parasitic disease trichomonosis has caused epidemic mortality and significant population declines in British Greenfinches and Chaffinches. This began in western England and Wales, but spread to eastern England, and more recently, southern Fennoscandia.

An international team of experts, including BTO scientists, has used molecular, epidemiological and ringing data, to show that the parasitic strain is identical in all cases, and that migration, primarily of Chaffinches, has been responsible for its spread. This is the first documented case of a protozoal parasitic infection being transmitted in this way.


Read more about the spread of the disease.

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