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1 March 2018 INVESTIGATIONS INTO CAUSES OF NEUROLOGIC SIGNS AND MORTALITY AND THE FIRST IDENTIFICATION OF SARCOCYSTIS CALCHASI IN FREE-RANGING WOODPECKERS IN GERMANY
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Abstract

Between June and November 2015, 25 woodpeckers (Picidae) with neurologic signs or unknown cause of death were admitted to a veterinary clinic. Alive birds were clinically examined. Birds that were found dead or died despite intensive care treatment were forwarded to a pathologic examination. Necropsy and subsequent tests included screening for several infectious agents and toxins. Three birds tested positive for Sarcocystis calchasi. Toxoplasma gondii was detected in one bird demonstrating intracerebral cysts. Mycoplasma gypis was detected in one woodpecker in the absence of respiratory signs. Several microbial pathogens (eg, Aspergillus fumigatus, Clostridium perfringens, and Escherichia coli) were isolated from single individuals. However, there was no consistent finding in all birds that could explain nervous signs and mortality of the woodpeckers examined. To the authors‘ knowledge, M. gypis and S. calchasi were detected in a woodpecker for the first time in this study.

Copyright 2018 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Luisa Ziegler, Sylvia Lieselotte Parmentier, Dominik Fischer, Julia Heckmann, Robert Klopfleisch, Olivia Kershaw, Ute Ziegler, Hartmud Neurath, Volker Schmidt, and Michael Lierz "INVESTIGATIONS INTO CAUSES OF NEUROLOGIC SIGNS AND MORTALITY AND THE FIRST IDENTIFICATION OF SARCOCYSTIS CALCHASI IN FREE-RANGING WOODPECKERS IN GERMANY," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 49(1), 247-251, (1 March 2018). https://doi.org/10.1638/2017-0087R.1
Accepted: 1 October 2017; Published: 1 March 2018
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