A juvenile male Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), found dead at a bird feeding station in central Norway in September 2011, was examined postmortem. Its lungs were consolidated and edematous, and its spleen was enlarged. The main histopathologic diagnoses included acute protozoal necrotizing interstitial pneumonia, splenitis, and hepatitis. Toxoplasma gondii parasites were identified with immunohistochemistry in all examined organs: lung, heart, liver, kidney, and spleen. Direct multilocus genotyping of the parasites revealed that the woodpecker was killed by a T. gondii strain belonging to genotype II. This is the first report of naturally acquired fatal generalized toxoplasmosis in a Dendrocopos species.
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Vol. 50 • No. 1