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Journal Article

Health monitoring in birds using bio‑loggers and whole blood transcriptomics

MPS-Authors
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Jax,  Elinor
Department of Migration, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS for Organismal Biology, Radolfzell, Seewiesen, Max Planck Institut für Ornithologie, Max Planck Society;

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Mueller,  Inge
Department of Migration, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Max Planck Society;

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Börno,  Stefan
Sequencing (Head: Bernd Timmermann), Scientific Service (Head: Christoph Krukenkamp), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Timmermann,  Bernd
Sequencing (Head: Bernd Timmermann), Scientific Service (Head: Christoph Krukenkamp), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Fiedler,  Wolfgang
Department of Migration, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Max Planck Society;

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Wikelski,  Martin
Department of Migration, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Max Planck Society;

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Kraus,  Robert H. S.
Department of Migration, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Jax, E., Mueller, I., Börno, S., Borlinghaus, H., Eriksson, G., Fricke, E., et al. (2021). Health monitoring in birds using bio‑loggers and whole blood transcriptomics. Scientific Reports, 11: 10815. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-90212-8.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-BCC9-2
Abstract
Monitoring and early detection of emerging infectious diseases in wild animals is of crucial global importance, yet reliable ways to measure immune status and responses are lacking for animals in the wild. Here we assess the usefulness of bio-loggers for detecting disease outbreaks in free-living birds and confirm detailed responses using leukocyte composition and large-scale transcriptomics. We simulated natural infections by viral and bacterial pathogens in captive mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), an important natural vector for avian influenza virus. We show that body temperature, heart rate and leukocyte composition change reliably during an acute phase immune response. Using genome-wide gene expression profiling of whole blood across time points we confirm that immunostimulants activate pathogen-specific gene regulatory networks. By reporting immune response related changes in physiological and behavioural traits that can be studied in free-ranging populations, we provide baseline information with importance to the global monitoring of zoonotic diseases.