Avian cholera (Pasteurella multocida) is a major disease of wild waterfowl, but its epizootiology remains little understood. Consequently, we examined whether chemical ions affected survival of avian cholera organisms in water collected from the Nebraska Rainwater Basin where avian cholera is enzootic. We tested the response of P. multocida to ammonium (NH4), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), nitrate (NO3), and ortho-phosphate (PO4) ions individually and in combination using a fractional factorial design divided into 4 blocks. High concentrations of Ca and Mg, singly or in combination, increased survival of P. multocida organisms (P < 0.001). We developed a survival index to predict whether or not specific ponds could be "problem" or "nonproblem" avian cholera sites based on concentrations of these ions in the water.
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Chemical ions affect survival of avian cholera organisms in pondwater