British Pigeons Fancier Study: looking at the genetics of interstitial lung disease (ILD)

Upcoming study
Expected to open January 2019
This study is currently recruiting
Expected to close January 2024
This study is closed
This study closed in January 2024
We will update this page with study results when available.
Information on study results are included below
This study closed in January 2024
Ask your healthcare team about taking part in research

What next?

Original listing:

What next?

Original listing:

About this study

Genetics can play a crucial role in the development and then progression of interstitial lung disease (ILD). This area of research is not fully understood and it is not known why some people who are exposed to pigeons, develop the disease, whilst others do not.

The British Pigeons Fancier genetics of ILD study aims to find out more about the role that genetics plays in disease development of people with ILD who are regularly exposed to pigeons. This exposure is a known cause of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which is a form of ILD.

Pigeon fanciers use their knowledge of pigeon genetics to breed winning pigeons. Researchers will use their knowledge of human genetics to investigate why some pigeon fanciers get pigeon lung. They will then compare genetic differences between pigeon fanciers with and without pigeon lung, to understand more about the disease.

Researchers would like to recruit people with regular racing pigeon exposure at national and regional pigeon fancier meetings.


What is involved?

Researchers will request 30 minutes of your time to ask you questions about your general health and how long you have kept pigeons for. You will be asked to have a simple blood tests to find out more about how your genetics plays a role in the disease. They will look into if there are any potential causes or reasons why some people develop the disease, whilst others don't. Breathing tests will also be carried out.

Researchers will write to you over a 5 year timeframe to get any updates about any changes in your breathing.

Summary of involvement

Up to 5 years


Blood Tests

Lung Function Tests

Can I take part?

You may be able to take part in the BPF GILD study if you have a diagnosis of ILD and had regular exposure to pigeons.

In research studies, there are lots of different reasons why you may or may not be able to take part. These are known as inclusion and exclusion criteria (see list below). Only the research team will be able to fully determine whether you are able to take part in the study. You can withdraw at any point.

If you are not able to take part in this research study, there may be other opportunities for you to take part in different studies.

To find our more about other research opportunities visit our research finder main page.

You may be able to join this study if all of these apply:

Aged 18 to 80 years

Any gender

Diagnosis of either:

ILD with fibrosis


Bird's Fancier's Lung

Interstitial Pneumonias

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Regular exposure to racing pigeons

You will not be able to join the study of any of the following applies:

People who do not wish to take part

What difference could taking part make?

The study will provide useful insight to the role of genetics, which will be of use to clinicians and patients. Taking part will help researchers to discover why some people develop pigeon lung but others do not.

Taking part in research studies has the potential to not only help you to understand more about how your disease affects you, but it also has the potential to help other people affected by the disease both now and in the future.

Where does the study take place?

Study locations

Royal Pigeon Racing Association Meeting, Blackpool

Scottish Homing Union, Lanark

You may be able to take part of you live in other areas of the UK

How to take part

Please speak to you healthcare professionals team and contact the lead researcher, Mark Spears.

Further information

This page is a summary which provides information about an opportunity to participate in research. More detailed information about the study can be found via the following the links and through contacting the research team.

If you have any questions about this research study, please speak to your medical team.

This study is supported by

Study ID number:

APF does not endorse or recommend any specific study. All responsibility for the study remains with the sponsors and investigators.

Every effort is made to keep these details up to date. If you are aware of any inaccuracies, please email