Outbreak of mortality in psittacine birds in a mixed-species aviary associated with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae infection

I Galindo-Cardiel, T Opriessnig, L Molina, C Juan-Salles

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Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae septicemia, associated with an increased mortality of captive psittacines in a mixed-species aviary, was diagnosed by histopathology, Gram staining, bacterial culture and sequencing, immunohistochemistry, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Over a period of 23 days with no premonitory signs, 2 rainbow lorikeets and an eclectus parrot died. Of these birds, one lorikeet and the eclectus were submitted for necropsy. The main pathologic findings were thrombosis (2/2), bacterial embolism/thromboembolism (2/2), necrotizing hepatitis (2/2), necrohemorrhagic myocarditis (1/2), fibrinohemorrhagic and heterophilic visceral coelomitis (1/2), submandibular necrosuppurative dermatitis with necrotizing vasculitis and bacterial and fungal thromboembolism (1/2), and locally extensive rhabdomyonecrosis with bacterial embolism (1/2). Intralesional bacteria were positive by Gram staining and immunohistochemistry in both cases. E. rhusiopathiae was isolated by routine bacterial culture from the liver of the lorikeet, which was also positive by real-time PCR. This report is one of the rare descriptions of erysipelas in psittacines, and to the authors' knowledge, it appears to be the first in the described species using immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR on avian paraffin-embedded tissues for the diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-502
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo
  • Base Sequence
  • Bird Diseases
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Erysipelothrix
  • Erysipelothrix Infections
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Histological Techniques
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Psittaciformes
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spain


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