A flock of 810 pheasants experienced 6.2% mortality over 6 days. Affected birds were weak and lethargic for up to 24 hr before death. Examined birds were thin, and gross lesions consisted of thick opaque crops and cecal cores. Histologically, there was capillariasis of the crop and multifocal ulcerative typhlitis with Heterakis spp. infection, and numerous systemic intravascular monocytes were filled with clusters of blue rod-shaped organisms. The organisms were gram-positive bacilli by Brown and Brenn staining and ultrastructural analysis. Liver bacterial cultures were negative for pathogenic bacteria. Erysipelas septicemia was diagnosed by an Erysipelothrix species-specific polymerase chain reaction method with the substrate DNA isolated from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded liver.
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Vol. 46 • No. 2