Re: Bird viruses

Subject: Re: Bird viruses
From: Shane Raidal <>
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 12:05:31
At 08:27 AM 9/21/1998 +1000, you wrote:
>Trouble with viruses as agents of biological control is that they are never
>100% efficient; they are often 99%, but then what you are doing is selecting
>the 1% of the population with a natural resistance to the disease, which can
>then breed up again afterwards. With small populations you could 'send the
>marines in' afterwards to 'mop up pockets of resistance', but with a
>widespread pest like rabbits there would be no chance of that, even if the
>virus is much more effective than calici (spelling?) has been.
>Also the chance of getting a family-specific virus in birds would be rather
>small I should think.
>John Leonard


Viral infections might also confer a biological advantage of one species
over another. Newcastle disease is a good example.  When one carrier
species of waterfowl spreads a highly pathogenic strain of the infection to
a dense population of a susceptible species the latter can suffer
dramatically but usually (as John points out) only temporarily. Infectious
diseases can be potent weapons for colonisation by both man and animals.  

Shane Raidal BVSc PhD MACVSc
Lecturer in Veterinary Pathology
Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Murdoch University
South Street Murdoch WA 6150

ph: +61 8 9360 2418
fx: +61 8 9310 4144

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