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Evaluation of FTA® card for the molecular detection of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in wild birds from North Georgia

Authors: Magan Free, Neil Patel, *Dr. Linda B. Purvis, and *Dawn E. Drumtra

Abstract: This study was carried out to determine the effectiveness of Flinders Technology Associates filter paper (FTA® card) sampling verses tissue sampling, to detect Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) infection in wild birds. MG is a bacterial pathogen affecting wild and domestic birds worldwide. This disease targets the respiratory organs, can cause conjunctivitis, as well as infectious sinusitis in a variety of birds. In wild birds, disease transmission has been documented to occur at communal foraging areas, such as bird feeders. Although wild birds do not usually show MG symptoms (with the notable exception of the house finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)), they remain potential reservoirs for the disease. Current detection techniques focus on swabbing mucus tissue of living or recently deceased birds. The swabbed sample is analyzed by serum plate agglutination (SPA) tests, hemagglutination inhibition tests (HI), or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which can be time consuming and not always convenient. The use of FTA® cards for sampling has been shown to be effective in previous studies for other avian species. However, no published work exists on its use for MG detection within songbirds. Through a partnership with Atlanta Audubon Project Safe Flight, we have access to a variety of native and migrating birds in North Georgia. Bird tissues from possibly infected organs were imprinted on FTA® cards and compared to traditional tissue sampling. All sample types were molecularly analyzed. Our research aims to show that FTA® cards are an efficient and dependable alternative collection method for molecular detection of MG in songbirds.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
261 MB
19 Jul 2022
13.5 MB



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event date
    • 17 April 2020

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Linda Purvis