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Vet Pathol. 2006 Jul;43(4):500-9.

Pathology of fatal highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus infection in large-billed crows (Corvus macrorhynchos) during the 2004 outbreak in Japan.

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National Institute of Animal Health, 3-1-5 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0856 (Japan).


Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses were isolated in 9 large-billed crows that died in Kyoto and Osaka prefectures in Japan from March to April in 2004. We studied 3 of the 9 crows using standard histologic methods, immunohistochemistry, and virus isolation. The most prominent lesions were gross patchy areas of reddish discoloration in the pancreas. The consistent histologic lesions included severe multifocal necrotizing pancreatitis, focal degeneration and necrosis of neuron and glial cells in the central nervous system, and focal degeneration of cardiac myocytes. All of these tissues contained immunohistochemically positive influenza viral antigens. The virus was isolated from the brain, lung, heart, liver, spleen, and kidney of the crows examined. Thus we concluded that highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was associated with clinical disease, severe pathologic changes, and death in the 3 crows.

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