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BMC Vet Res. 2019 Jan 3;15(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s12917-018-1764-x.

First case report of fatal Nocardia nova infection in yellow-bibbed lory (Lorius chlorocercus) identified by multilocus sequencing.

Churgin SM1, Teng JLL2,3,4,5, Ho JHP6, Graydon R6, Martelli P1, Lee FK1, Hui SW1, Fong JYH2, Lau SKP7,8,9,10,11, Woo PCY12,13,14,15,16.

Author information

1
Ocean Park Corporation, Hong Kong, China.
2
Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
3
State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Hong Kong, China.
4
Research Centre of Infection and Immunology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
5
Carol Yu Centre for Infection, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
6
Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong, China.
7
Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. skplau@hku.hk.
8
State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Hong Kong, China. skplau@hku.hk.
9
Research Centre of Infection and Immunology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. skplau@hku.hk.
10
Carol Yu Centre for Infection, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. skplau@hku.hk.
11
Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. skplau@hku.hk.
12
Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. pcywoo@hku.hk.
13
State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Hong Kong, China. pcywoo@hku.hk.
14
Research Centre of Infection and Immunology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. pcywoo@hku.hk.
15
Carol Yu Centre for Infection, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. pcywoo@hku.hk.
16
Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. pcywoo@hku.hk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nocardiosis is often a multi-systemic disease in humans and other mammals. Nocardiosis in birds is uncommon. Laboratory identification of Nocardia to the species level is difficult by traditional phenotypic methods based on biochemical reactions and hydrolysis tests, and is most accurately performed by sequencing multiple gene targets.

CASE PRESENTATION:

We report the first case of fatal Nocardia nova infection in a yellow-bibbed lory nestling in an oceanarium diagnosed by multilocus sequencing. Necropsy examination showed effacement of normal sternal musculature with yellowish, firm aberrant material, and diffuse infiltration of the lungs with nodular, tan to yellow foci. Histologically, severe granulomatous inflammation with marked necrosis was observed in the lung, spleen and sternal musculature. Fine, sometimes Gram-positive, 0.5-1 μm wide, branching and beaded filamentous organisms were visible within the lesions. They were acid-fast on Fite-Faraco stain. Tissue samples obtained from the sternum, liver, right lung and right kidney recovered Nocardia species. Sequencing of four gene loci and phylogenetic analysis of concatenated (gyrB-16S-secA1-hsp65) sequences revealed that the isolate was N. nova.

CONCLUSIONS:

We report the first case of N. nova infection in yellow-bibbed lorry (Lorius chlorocercus). The present case is the first one of which the species identity of the isolate was determined by multilocus sequencing. Molecular diagnosis is important for identifying the Nocardia to species level and understanding the epidemiology of nocardiosis in birds.

KEYWORDS:

Infection; Multilocus; Nocardia nova; Sequencing; Yellow-bibbed lory

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