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1 June 2017 PULMONARY LESIONS CAUSED BY THE LUNGWORM (DIDELPHOSTRONGYLUS HAYESI) IN THE OPOSSUM (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA) IN COLIMA, MEXICO
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Abstract

Didelphostrongylus hayesi is an important and prevalent pulmonary nematode in the opossum (Didelphis virginiana). An in-depth description of the pulmonary lesions caused by this nematode is lacking. The objective of this investigation was to make a detailed account of the gross, subgross, and microscopic changes that occur in the lungs of opossums naturally infected with D. hayesi. Forty-four opossums trapped in the state of Colima, Mexico, were euthanized by an overdose of barbiturates. Following a postmortem examination, the right lung was cut from the main bronchi and placed in a Petri dish containing a saline solution for the detection and identification of live parasites. The left lung was fixed and cut serially for subgross microscopic examination and sections of lung were cut and stained for histopathologic examination. The most remarkable gross change in parasitized lungs was a poorly collapsible pulmonary parenchyma and mild emphysema. The right lung tested positive for lungworms on gross examination in 20/44, and 11/44 (25%) of the left lungs showed tan nodules on the pleural surface. Microscopically, the bronchi of 20/44 animals harbored adult and larval stages of D. hayesi (left lung), the same 20 opossums from which nematodes were grossly evident at necropsy (right lung). Adults and larvae were present in bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli mixed with desquamated cells and many eosinophils, and to a lesser extent neutrophils, alveolar macrophages, and giant cells. Bronchi and bronchioles exhibited goblet cell hyperplasia and metaplasia respectively, and infiltration of lymphoplasmacytic cells in the interstitium and lamina propria. The tan nodules consisted of focal alveolar endogenous lipidosis, which likely resulted from parasitic airway obstruction. The lungs of 3/20 parasitized opossums also showed alveolar bronchiolization (Lambertosis). The absence of Eucoleus aerophilus or bacterial pneumonia incriminates D. hayesi as the putative cause of pulmonary lesions in these opossums.

Copyright 2017 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Rubén A. López-Crespo, Alfonso López-Mayagoitia, Rafael Ramírez-Romero, Julio Martínez-Burnes, Omar F. Prado-Rebolledo, and Luis J. García-Márquez "PULMONARY LESIONS CAUSED BY THE LUNGWORM (DIDELPHOSTRONGYLUS HAYESI) IN THE OPOSSUM (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA) IN COLIMA, MEXICO," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 48(2), 404-412, (1 June 2017). https://doi.org/10.1638/2016-0156R1.1
Accepted: 1 December 2016; Published: 1 June 2017
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