Avian mycobacteriosis is an important disease in companion, captive, exotic, and wild birds worldwide. Mycobacterium avium is the most widely distributed and pathogenic organism causing tuberculous lesions in birds. Multiple factors including age, stress, immune status, and preexisting disease determine the pathogenicity of M. avium, and the disease can manifest itself in a variety of forms. Mycobacteriosis can cause severe losses in zoo aviaries, including the loss of rare and endangered bird species. We report a case of systemic avian mycobacteriosis in an adult, free-living male American bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) that presented to the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health in November 2003.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2