Many Bird Species Exposed to “Eye Disease,” New Study Finds

World of Birds

“The results were shocking,” says André Dhondt, director of Bird Population Studies at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “More than half the bird species we tested have been exposed to the bacteria responsible for House Finch eye disease.” A paper recently published in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE shows that a bacterial parasite previously thought to infect only a few species of feeder birds is actually infecting a surprisingly wide range of species, though most do not show signs of illness.

“This organism, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, is much more widespread than anyone thought,” Dhondt explains, “although in most species there are no signs of conjunctivitis.”

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