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A Pelagic Outbreak Of Avian Cholera In North American Gulls: Scavenging As A Primary Mechanism For Transmission?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology. Mem Univ Newfoundland, 230 Elizabeth Ave, St John, NF A1B 3X9, Canada..
Univ Prince Edward Isl, Canadian Wildlife Hlth Cooperat, Atlantic Reg, Atlantic Vet Coll, 550 Univ Ave, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3, Canada..
Environm & Climate Change Canada, Sci & Technol Branch, Wildlife Res Div, 6 Bruce St, Mt Pearl, NF A1N 4T3, Canada..
Environm & Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Serv, 6 Bruce St, Mt Pearl, NF A1N 4T3, Canada..
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Wildlife Diseases, ISSN 0090-3558, E-ISSN 1943-3700, Vol. 52, no 4, 793-802 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Avian cholera, caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida, is an endemic disease globally, often causing annual epizootics in North American wild bird populations with thousands of mortalities. From December 2006 to March 2007, an avian cholera outbreak caused mortality in marine birds off the coast of Atlantic Canada, largely centered 300-400 km off the coast of the island of Newfoundland. Scavenging gulls (Larus spp.) were the primary species detected; however, mortality was also identified in Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and one Common Raven (Corvus corax), a nonmarine species. The most common gross necropsy findings in the birds with confirmed avian cholera were acute fibrinous and necrotizing lesions affecting the spleen, air sacs, and pericardium, and nonspecific hepatomegaly and splenomegaly. The etiologic agent, P. multocida serotype 1, was recovered from 77 of 136 carcasses examined, and confirmed or probable avian cholera was diagnosed in 85 cases. Mortality observed in scavenging gull species was disproportionately high relative to their abundance, particularly when compared to nonscavenging species. The presence of feather shafts in the ventricular lumen of the majority of larid carcasses diagnosed with avian cholera suggests scavenging of birds that died from avian cholera as a major mode of transmission. This documentation of an outbreak of avian cholera in a North American pelagic environment affecting primarily scavenging gulls indicates that offshore marine environments may be a component of avian cholera dynamics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 52, no 4, 793-802 p.
Keyword [en]
Atlantic Canada, avian cholera, gulls, Laridae, Newfoundland, Pasteurella multocida, pelagic, scavenging
National Category
Veterinary Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307735DOI: 10.7589/2015-12-342ISI: 000385846300003PubMedID: 27455197OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-307735DiVA: diva2:1048408
Available from: 2016-11-21 Created: 2016-11-21 Last updated: 2016-11-21Bibliographically approved

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