Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae septicemia was diagnosed in three of four moose found dead in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, in the spring of 1989. Type 17 E. rhusiopathiae was isolated from liver, lung, kidney, and lymph nodes of affected animals, which were in poor body condition, and suffering hair loss associated with tick (Dermacentor albipictus) infestations. Microscopic lesions consisted of mild, multifocal, necrotizing myocarditis, sarcocystosis, and lymph node atrophy. The bacterium may have gained entry to these animals via ingestion of, or percutaneous exposure to, contaminated water, or possibly by the bites of ticks. Malnutrition and tick infestation may have predisposed the animals to infection by this opportunistic pathogen.
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