QUANTIFICATION OF HETEROPHIL: LYMPHOCYTE RATIO IN THE BLOOD SAMPLES OF NOISY MINER
Alriyah, Salwa Almahdi
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Many biologists have used heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (HLR) cells from peripheral blood as an indicator of stress in many animals, including both wild and captive birds. However, there has been little research on Australian native birds to date, so the purpose of this study was to see if HLR could be used as a stress indicator in the Noisy Miner (Manorinamelanocephala), and to ensure that HLR could be equated to other likely stress indicators. For that, we investigated how leukocytes responded to some different indicators of stress that might affect these birds, such as age, sex, and season. Blood samples of 48 Noisy Miner birds were collected from the regions of Sydney and Armidale (New South Wales, Australia), and the correlation of body condition and HLR in this bird species was tested. The result indicated that there was no significant relationship between body condition and HLR (R2 = 0.001, F1, 46 = 0.031, P = 0.86), but there was a significant relationship between location and HLR. The result showed that bird colonies in Sydney had lower HLR and thus were less stressed than those in the Armidale colonies. This difference may be a result of factors such as night temperature, climate, and food availability differing for the Armidale samples. The result of Spearman's correlation analysis between HLR age, sex, moult, location, season and the presence of blood parasites indicated that there was no significant relationship. However, blood parasites were detected in blood samples (1.04%; n = 48), including Haemoproteus (n = 10), only one Plasmodium was found, and none of the microfilaria worms or Leukocytozoan were found. The study concluded that the HLR method can not be used to detect stress indicators in this bird species. This is maybe because HLR is a variable measure and a finer-scale measure of likely stress indicators was likely needed for this particular study.