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Comp Med. 2003 Oct;53(5):548-52.

Avipox sp. in a colony of gray-crowned rosy finches (Leucosticte tephrocotis).

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Department of Comparative Medicine, University of Washington, Box 357190, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.


Members of a wild-caught colony of 16 gray-crowned rosy finches (Leucosticte tephrocotis) were presented with dermal and mucosal lesions, anorexia, emaciation, lethargy, and sudden death. Lesions included dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and glossitis. Skin scrapings from and bacterial culture of dermal lesions yielded Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Necropsy and histologic examination revealed characteristic epidermal and mucosal pox lesions, with the presence of characteristic Bollinger body intracellular inclusions. Electron microscopy (EM) provided confirmation of pox virus infection. This epornitic resulted in the death or euthanasia of 12 birds (75% morbidity and associated mortality) and was brought to conclusion through culling of affected birds. The source of infection remains unknown, although multiple modes of introduction exist. Similar epornitics may be prevented through indoor, species-specific housing, and quarantine. Vaccination and antiparasitic treatment may reduce the risk of disease spread.

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