Avian tuberculosis was diagnosed via histopathology, microbiology, and molecular biology in two of six pheasants from a local sanctuary bird house in Taiwan. Swinehoe's pheasant (Lophura swinhoii) is a near-threatened species in Taiwan. The infected birds showed clinical signs such as fatigue, inappetence, diarrhea, and fluffing of feathers. On postmortem, nonmineralized caseogranulomas were present in the brain, heart, lung, liver, spleen, costal membranes, and intestinal tracts. The presence of granulomas in the lungs of the infected pheasants may suggest that exposure to the infective agent was via the respiratory route rather than the alimentary route. Histopathologic findings were typical of avian tuberculosis, including acid-fast bacilli and centrally located caseous necrosis surrounded by epitheloid macrophages, lymphocytes, and multinucleated giant cells. Laboratory confirmation was made based on lesions and via Ziehl-Neelsen acid-fast stain, polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid sequencing, and a reliable assay protocol for identification of diseases bioactive amplification with probing assay.
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Vol. 53 • No. 4