Cryptosporidiosis in lovebirds (Agapornis sp.)

Cryptosporidiosis in lovebirds (Agapornis sp.)
Peer reviewed


Cryptosporidiosis is now well recognised as a cause of gastroenteritis and diarrhoea in several animal species, especially calves, lambs and man. However, recent reviews cite few reports of enteric cryptosporidiosis in birds. The purpose of this letter is to report a large outbreak of enteric cryptosporidiosis in 7-14 day old lovebirds (Agapornis sp). These chicks were from an aviary comprising several hundred adult birds with a breeding programme of three nestings annually. For several years there had been a history of progressively greater losses of chicks with each successive nesting. By the third nesting virtually all chicks were lost within a month of hatching. Five moribund chicks aged between 7 and 14 days were submitted for necropsy on two separate occasions. The only obvious antemortem symptom was dehydration. At necropsy these chicks had full crops, and their entire intestinal tracts were dilated with yellow fluid contents. Histologically all chicks had intestinal lesions characteristic of cryptosporidiosis in other species. There was villous blunting, fusion, and atrophy associated with large numbers of cryptosporidia adherent to the villous brush borders of the jejunum and ileum. No cryptosporidia were seen in the respiratory tracts of these chicks. The results of this investigation suggest that…

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