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9 September 2019 Clinical and Pathological Aspects of Systemic Isospora Infection in Blue-crowned Laughing Thrushes (Garrulax courtoisi) at Jersey Zoo
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Abstract

Based on a review of species mortalities, systemic Isospora species was identified as the primary cause of death in 22% (19 of 87) of blue-crowned laughing thrushes (BCLTs; Garrulax courtoisi) at the Jersey Zoo between 1997 and 2016. Fifty-eight percent of the affected birds were between 1 and 2 years old, and in 89% of cases, death occurred between August and December. Abnormal clinical findings in BCLTs with Isospora species infections included hepatomegaly and pectoral muscle myositis in 79% of the cases. The results of diagnostic blood testing in 90% of infected BCLTs 30 days before death were consistent with a severe leukocytosis with greater than 20% of mononuclear cells infected by merozoites. The most common lesions identified during gross necropsy examination were splenomegaly (100%), hepatomegaly (95%), and multifocal, raised, white foci in pectoral (84%) and heart (79%) muscle. Lymphohistiocytic inflammation was identified in the liver, heart, spleen, lung, striated muscle, and kidney tissue of birds with positive results for Isospora species. Merozoites were often observed in spleen, liver, pectoral muscle, and hearts of infected BCLTs. Polymerase chain reaction diagnostic testing that targeted the cytochrome c oxidase subunit, followed by Sanger sequencing, was used to confirm Isospora species in all 14 birds tested. Of samples tested, the highest genetic correlation was with GenBank accession number KT203397 (Isospora species JRB-2016 mitochondrion).

© 2019 by the Association of Avian Veterinarians
Alberto Rodriguez Barbón, Javier López, Jan Jamriška, Ann Thomasson, Josephine Braun, and Mark F. Stidworthy "Clinical and Pathological Aspects of Systemic Isospora Infection in Blue-crowned Laughing Thrushes (Garrulax courtoisi) at Jersey Zoo," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 33(3), 265-277, (9 September 2019). https://doi.org/10.1647/2018-377
Published: 9 September 2019
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