Two adult ostriches developed anorexia, prostration, and severe hemorrhagic diarrhea, dying 24 hr after the onset of clinical signs. On postmortem examination, the cecal mucosa showed locally extensive areas of hemorrhages and fibrino-necrotic typhlitis with a white-yellowish material covering the mucosal surface. Multiple serosal petequial hemorrhages and fibrinous peritonitis were present. Histologic examination revealed an intense mononuclear infiltration in the lamina propria and submucosa of the cecum and extensive superficial necrosis associated with fibrin and serocellular deposits. Several gram-negative bacterial colonies were observed within the necrotic areas. Samples from intestinal lesions were collected, and pure growth of Escherichia fergusonii was obtained. Escherichia fergusonii is a member of Enterobacteriaceae, closely related to Escherichia coli and Shigella sp., established as a new species of the genus Escherichia in 1985. In veterinary medicine, E. fergusonii has been reported in calves and sheep from clinical cases suggestive of salmonellosis. To our knowledge, this report represents the first description of E. fergusonii associated with enteritis in ostrich.
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Vol. 49 • No. 1