A captive yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) and 2 free-living tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides), both native Australian species, were presented with neurologic signs including depression and pelvic limb paresis and paralysis. Despite supportive treatment, all 3 birds died or were euthanatized. On histologic examination, sections of metastrongyloid nematode larvae were found in the central nervous system of all 3 birds, whereas intact larvae, identified as Angiostrongylus cantonensis, were recovered from the brain and spinal cord of 2 birds. Angiostrongylus cantonensis, the rat lungworm, has an obligatory migratory phase through the host's central nervous system, which can cause severe pathologic lesions. Natural infections in accidental hosts have been documented only in mammals, and to our knowledge, angiostrongyliasis in avian hosts has not been previously reported.
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Vol. 19 • No. 4