Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Walter Fredricks

Second Advisor

Nickolas Calvanico

Third Advisor

Stephen Munroe

Fourth Advisor

Peter Abramoff

Fifth Advisor

Vernon Moore


Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a disease involving primarily the interstitial tissue of the walls of respiratory bronchioles and alveoli. Sensitization to airborne organic dust antigens, and involvement of an inflammatory and immune response to the inhaled material are important aspects in the development of the disease. In the case of pigeon breeder's disease, components of pigeon sera and pigeon dropping material have been implicated as important sources, of antigens.

Inhalation of materials in pigeon dropping extract (PDE) or sera (PS) results in the recurrence of clinical symptoms of the disease in symptomatic pigeon breeders. Hence, the identification and characterization of the offending components in PDE (or pigeon sera) is critical to the understanding .of the pathogenesis of the disease. It is in\portant to define whether one or several antigens are potentially harmful to sensitized breeders, and to fully characterize any other components in PDE that may be relevant.

The existence of highly stable protease activities in whole and fractionated components of PDE was described by several investigators. It was further suggested that the proteolytic activities in PDE could be responsible for several pathological aspects of pigeon breeder's disease. This study was initiated, therefore, in order to fully define and characterize the hydrolytic components in PDE, and to determine which components (if any) are relevant in the development of pigeon breeder's disease.



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