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Plasmodium juxtanucleare Associated with Mortality in Black-Footed Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) Admitted to a Rehabilitation Center

K. Christiana Grim, Estelle Van der Merwe, Margery Sullivan, Nola Parsons, Thomas F. McCutchan and Michael Cranfield
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Vol. 34, No. 3 (Sep., 2003), pp. 250-255
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20460327
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Plasmodium juxtanucleare Associated with Mortality in Black-Footed Penguins (Spheniscus demersus) Admitted to a Rehabilitation Center
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Abstract

Five black-footed penguins (Spheniscus demersus) admitted to the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, in Cape Town, South Africa, died from malaria infection. Evidence for malaria as the cause of death included antemortem clinical signs, parasitemia, splenomegaly, pulmonary edema, and the presence of histologically visible schizonts in the reticuloendothelial system. A portion of the malarial small subunit ribosomal ribonucleic acid gene was detected by polymerase chain reaction from postmortem blood samples from all the birds. A species-specific variable region of this gene was compared with the same region on genes from other known avian malarial organisms, establishing that Plasmodium juxtanucleare was involved.

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