Tag Archives: carpodacus mexicanus
It has been discovered that the rate at which evolves a bacterium capable of causing fatal infections in a wide variety of birds, is exceptionally high. This is a unique case, since it is not known so far any other bacteria with an equal evolutionary rate.
It all began when thousands of birds of the species Carpodacus mexicanus, known popularly as Mexican sparrow began to drop dead because of a mysterious eye infection in the Washington DC area during the winter of 1994. Scientists baffled, they found the cause of the epidemic: a bacterium called Mycoplasma gallisepticum, responsible common respiratory infections in chickens and turkeys, which were believed to infect only poultry.