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Avian Pathol. 2011 Jun;40(3):329-36. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2011.571659.

Investigations into an outbreak of corvid respiratory disease associated with Pasteurella multocida.

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  • 1VLA Thirsk, West House, Station Road, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, YO7 1PZ, UK.


The possible cause of disease and mortality in corvids on an outdoor pig unit in the north of England between August 2007 and March 2008 was investigated. Nine carrion crows (Corvus corone corone) and nine rooks (Corvus frugilegus), comprising five live-caught birds with clinical signs of respiratory disease, one live-caught bird without respiratory disease, and 12 birds submitted dead were examined. Clinical signs, gross and histopathological examination, microbiology and toxicology indicated that Pasteurella multocida infection was the cause of disease. Molecular and serotyping analyses showed that P. multocida isolates (obtained from live-caught birds with clinical respiratory disease) were all capsular type F with a mix of somatic serotypes 3, 4 and 7. Immunohistochemistry increased the diagnostic sensitivity of the analysis and detected P. multocida within the pulmonary lesions of all affected live-caught birds and 10 of 12 birds found dead. These findings suggest that wild corvids in the UK can suffer from lung pathology associated with P. multocida and, as potential vectors of P. multocida, may pose a risk to domestic poultry.

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