A Serological and Ectoparasite Survey of Migratory Birds in Northeast Africa
Final rept. 15 May 1966-31 Jan 1971
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY WASHINGTON DC DEPT OF VERTEBRATE ZOOLOGY
Pagination or Media Count:
A survey of migratory birds, their ectoparasites and the viruses they carry, was conducted in the eastern Mediterranean from 1966 to 1971. The primary operation site has been in northern Egypt, with one year of operation in Cyprus and two years bird banding and tick collection only in Israel. Nearly 100,000 birds have been handled the records from eighty per cent have been computerized and are under study. More than 4,400 individual ticks were collected including two new species. Between 1966 and 1968, 3,890 individual and pooled blood samples were collected from 6,152 birds. Fifty four mouse pathogenic agents representing 7 groups have been isolated from them demonstrating that migrating birds can transport live virus between continents. At least four strains are new. One, Bahig in the Tete Group, has been characterized the others, including Matruh in the same group, are under continuing study. Blood samples from later seasons are frozen awaiting study but passages of 14 mouse pathogens from 646 erythrocyte specimens collected in fall, 1969 are frozen for definitive characterization. No viruses were isolated from ticks during the study. Serological tests revealed prior infection of migratory and resident birds with a number of viruses.