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Feces around the anus, diarrhea in three budgerigars which died from combined infection coccidiosis and megabacteriosis. 

Feces around the anus, diarrhea in three budgerigars which died from combined infection coccidiosis and megabacteriosis. 

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The aim of this study was to describe the pathological findings in budgerigars simultaneously infected under field conditions with coccidiosis and megabacteriosis. Severe diarrhea and vomiting were observed in a budgerigar flock. Affected birds showed inappetence and loss of condition, with a flock mortality rate of 30%. At necropsy, the proventric...

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... mortality, and has been described in canaries and budgeri- gars. Vomiting of slimy material due to acute hemorrhagic gastritis occurs in advanced stages of the disease in budgeri- gars (3, 4). The known host range of the organism includes several species of poultry, other captive bird species belonging to several orders, including psittacine and passerine cage and aviary birds, and some free-living bird species (5). M. ornithogaster is an anamorphic ascomycetous yeast that is the only known member of its genus (6). The organ- ism is relatively large (20-70 μm long and 1-5 μm wide), rod- shaped to filamentous, and stains positive with Gram and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stains (7). Hematoxylin and eosin staining reveals a histological appearance of the organism in infected birds of a typical “haystack” appearance in situ. Coccidiosis is a disease that infects all avian species, in- cluding psittacine birds. The disease can cause hemorrhagic diarrhea, depression, emaciation, weight loss and sometimes death (8-11). Coccidial infections in psittacine birds may be asymptomatic or associated with diarrheal syndromes (some- times with blood in the droppings), emaciation, general ill health, and systemic disease (8). Coccidial species causing infections in aviary birds include Eimeria dunsingi (Farr, 1960), E. haematodi, Isospora psittaculae, I. serini and I. laca- zei (12-14). M. ornithogaster has a worldwide distribution and a wide range of host birds, including psittacines, passerines, ratites and poultry species (15). There has been one report on M. ornithogaster in laying hens, (16) however, there have been no reports concerning M. ornithogaster infection in budgeri- gars in Turkey. Coccidiosis is a protozoan disease and can cause high mortality in all avian species (17). Budgerigar breeding is rapidly becoming more popular in Turkey and the knowledge about diseases of this species is drawing attention. Both megabacteriosis and coccidiosis are com- mon diseases in budgerigars but there have been no re- ports on pathological findings in natural and simultaneous infections. The aim of this study was to describe the pathological findings in simultaneous infections with M. ornithogaster and E. dunsingi (Farr, 1960) in budgerigars, as well as the treat- ment and prophylaxis of these diseases. This is the first report of dual infection in budgerigar in Turkey. Deaths occurred in a colony of birds that were transported from a hatchery 650 km away from the aviary. Seventy-five birds in the flock of about 250 budgerigars died, and 38 of these were presented to the Department of Pathology University of Mehmet Akif Ersoy, for diagnosis during the preceding three days. Eighteen of the 38 birds were infected with both megabacteria and coccidial organisms. Severe hemorrhagic diarrhea, depression and death were the most common clinical symptoms. Feces usually ad- hered around the anus (Figure 1). At necropsy, hemor- rhages at the proventriculus and gut were observed in birds. Coccidiosis was diagnosed in 12 birds while eight birds were diagnosed with megabacteriosis alone. Direct mi- croscopy of fresh impression smears of ventricular or pro- ventricular mucosa was prepared on glass slides, unstained and Giemsa stained preparations were examined micro- scopically to diagnose M. ornithogaster infection. All fe- cal impression smears without staining were examined for any microorganism and then Fulleborn’s flotation method used for initial diagnosis of coccidiosis. A 2.5% solution of potassium dichromate was added to feces containing the oocysts and homogenized. The mixture was filtered and stored in a petri dish at room temperature for sporulation. Identification of oocysts was based on their morphological characteristics (9, 11, 17). For histopathological examination, tissues were fixed in 10% buffered formalin, processed routinely and stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). Samples from proventriculi, ventriculi, and the gut were also stained with PAS to identify M. ornithogaster . The severity of gut lesions was assessed by scoring hem- orrhages and inflammatory reactions in birds with single or dual infections. Each criterion was graded on a scale of 0 to 4 as follows: 0= no lesion, 1= focal slight, 2= focal severe, 3= diffuse slight and 4= diffuse severe. Data from each animal was analyzed statistically. One-way analysis of variance was used to detect any differences between the single and dual infection groups. The non-parametric Duncan multiple com- parison method was used to assess the statistical significance of differences. Statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS 13.0 program (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL). A P value < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Surviving birds were treated with amphotericin- B (Fungizone, Bristol-Myers Squibb Inc, Istanbul- Turkey) and toltrazuril (Baycox, Bayer- Istanbul-Turkey). Amphotericin-B was administered twice a day (0.15-0.30 mL/bird) over 30 days to treat megabacteriosis, and toltra- zuril (1.5 mL per liter of drinking water) was administered 3 days to treat coccidiosis. In addition, 0.1% apple vinegar (Baktat Elma Sirkesi- Bursa- Turkey) in the drinking water was administered during 10 days with one-week intervals three times, totally 30 days. At necropsy, atrophy of the pectoral muscle was most com- monly observed in dead birds affected by megabacterio- sis. Thickening of the proventricular and ventricular walls, covering of the proventricular mucosa by thick white mu- cus, ulceration and hemorrhage of the proventricular and ventricular mucosa, loosening of the koilin layer and hem- orrhage into the lumen of these organs were commonly observed (Figure 2). In addition marked hemorrhage in the small intestinal wall and into the lumen were also ob- served. The most severe histopathological lesions were seen in the proventriculus and, in some cases the ventriculus, including penetration of organisms into the lumen of the superficial proventricular crypts and occasionally to deep- er parts of the glands. Inflammatory reactions were also noted. On microscopic examination of impression smears, long, rod-shaped organisms were observed even at × 40 magnification. These microorganisms were filamentous and non-branching. The morphology, staining character- istics, and tissue localization of the microorganisms were consistent with previous descriptions of M. ornithogaster . Organisms close to and infiltrating the epithelium were in parallel aggregations, whereas their orientation in the mucin layer was less organized. The characteristics of the disease and the shape of the organisms in the ulcerated gastric mucosa suggested a diagnosis of M. ornithogaster infection. At necropsy of the birds that suffered from coccidiosis, small hemorrhagic areas and blood were observed in the small intestine (Figure 3). On microscopic examination of the gut contents of these birds, numerous Eimeria oocysts were seen. Histopathology of the guts of these birds revealed numerous Eimeria organisms, with desquamation and in- flammation of the gut wall. The owner stated that after transport of the birds from the hatchery to the aviary the budgerigars gradually became emaciated and mortality increased. Birds presented with di- arrhea and accumulation of dried feces around the cloaca, which in some individuals formed a packed obstruction or plug. At necropsy of the dead birds, atrophy of the pectoral muscles was observed, with hemorrhage of the proventricu- lar mucosa adjoining the transition to the gizzard. Blood was also seen in the intestinal lumen. Examination of impression smear without staining of the gut contents revealed ...

Citations

... Yeasts had typical morphology as previously described, stained pale basophilic with HE, were approximately 200-250 microns  5-10 microns, and were uninucleate and spherical in transverse section. 4,14,15,23,26 Individual or clustered organisms were sometimes present in the lumen of the proventricular isthmus and ventriculus. Inflammation in affected budgerigars was primarily lymphoplasmacytic and histiocytic throughout the lamina propria and, when severe, also extended into the submucosa or was transmural. ...
... Gross and histologic findings in affected budgerigars were similar to those in previous reports for both M. ornithogaster infection and proventricular adenocarcinoma. 6,10,14,15,18,20,26 There appeared to be no sex predilection for either condition. However, birds diagnosed with both M. ornithogaster infection and proventricular adenocarcinoma had a shorter median life span than those diagnosed only with neoplasia (4.0 vs 6.0 years), suggesting that changes related to this comorbidity may affect longevity, such as inanition, sepsis, peritonitis, and anemia. ...
Article
Proventricular infection with the anamorphic, ascomycetous yeast Macrorhabdus ornithogaster and disease associated with infection (macrorhabdiosis) have been widely reported in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Proventricular adenocarcinoma has also been previously reported in this species. In a retrospective archival search of clinical cases submitted to a zoo animal and exotic pet pathology service between 1998 and 2013, a total of 28 128 avian submissions were identified, which included 1006 budgerigars kept in zoos or aviaries or as pets. Of these budgerigars, 177 were identified histologically as infected with M. orthithogaster at the time of necropsy. Histologic examination of tissues from budgerigars infected with M. orthithogaster identified an apparent continuum in the development of proventricular isthmus lesions associated with M. ornithogaster that included inflammation, mucosal hyperplasia, glandular dysplasia, and adenocarcinoma. Proventricular adenocarcinoma was identified histologically in 21 budgerigars. Budgerigars with proventricular adenocarcinoma were significantly more likely to have macrorhabdiosis than budgerigars without proventricular adenocarcinoma. Based on odds ratios for archival data, budgerigars were 41 times (95% confidence interval [CI], 33–52) more likely to have macrorhabdiosis than other avian species and 19 times (95% CI, 11–33) more likely to have proventricular adenocarcinoma than other birds. Budgerigars were 323 times (95% CI, 42–2490) more likely to be affected by both diseases simultaneously compared with other avian species. These findings suggest that macrorhabdiosis may be an associated factor for proventricular adenocarcinoma, although the explanation for this statistically significant correlation remains unknown and further investigation is warranted.
... In this study, we found two goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) that had fecal samples positive for coinfection with M. ornithogaster and Isospora sp., which is protozoon frequently recovered in Fringillidae (Fig. 3) (12, 13). In a study conducted by Ozmen et al. (14), coinfection with M. ornithogaster and Eimeria dunsingi (a coccidial species that cause a protozoan infection with high mortality in avian species) was found in dead budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), after a necropsy analysis. By using the mini-Flotac technique, we demonstrated the feasibility of investigating infections caused by M. ornithogaster and other parasites in live birds simultaneously and rapidly with a stool sample. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study was aimed at proposing the use of a new rapid and user friendly diagnostic tool for the detection of Macrorhabdus ornithogaster in birds. The current report focuses on the diagnostic feasibility of different methods, paying particular emphasis on the application of the Mini-FLOTAC technique for diagnosis of M. ornithogaster. Mini-FLOTAC is particularly tailored for epidemiological monitoring and surveillance, where large numbers of faecal samples must be rapidly, yet reliably examined. Gram stain as standard method was used to validate the reliability of Mini-FLOTAC. This tool has not yet been used in avian species nor even in the diagnosis of yeast infections. In our study M. ornithogaster showed an excellent flotation performance never proved. Our results suggest that Mini-FLOTAC is a valid, sensitive and potentially low-cost alternative technique to use in the diagnosis of this yeast infections in birds. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.