Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Fatal toxoplasmosis in endemic NZ birds

Howe, L., Hunter, S., Burrows, E., & Roe, W. (2013). Four cases of fatal toxoplasmosis in three species of endemic New Zealand birds. Avian Diseases.  58(1): 171-175

Four cases of fatal toxoplasmosis in three endemic avian species are reported. Between 2009 and 2012, two kereru, one North Island brown kiwi, and one North Island kaka were submitted for necropsy examination. On gross post mortem the kiwi had marked hepatosplenomegaly while the kaka and two kereru had swollen, slightly firm deep red lungs. Histologically, there was extensive hepatocellular necrosis in the liver of the kiwi while the kaka and kereru showed severe fibrinous bronchointerstitial pneumonia. In the kiwi, protozoal organisms were present within both hepatocytes and Kupffer cells of the liver and within the epithelial cells and macrophages of the interstitium of the lung in the kaka and two kereru. The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis was confirmed with immunohistochemistry and PCR on the liver and/or lung of paraffin embedded formalin-fixed tissue. Genotyping of up to seven markers revealed an atypical Type II isolate of T. gondii was present in at least three of the cases. This study provides evidence that T. gondii can cause mortality in these endemic species and suggests further research is needed to determine that full extent of morbidity and mortality caused by this parasite in New Zealand's unique avifauna.

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