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Fungal Pneumonia as a Major Cause of Mortality in White Stork ( Ciconia ciconia ) Chicks

Philipp Olias, Achim D. Gruber, Boehmer Winfried, Hafez M. Hafez and Michael Lierz
Avian Diseases
Vol. 54, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 94-98
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40600002
Page Count: 5
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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.
Fungal Pneumonia as a Major Cause of Mortality in White Stork
              (
              Ciconia ciconia
              )
              Chicks
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Abstract

White stork (Ciconia ciconia) chicks have previously been suggested to be particularly susceptible to environmental conditions such as climatic changes during their first 3 wk of life. However, limited data are available on causes of mortality in freeranging birds prior to fledging in general. One hundred and one white stork chicks found dead in 2007 and 2008 were examined and the causes of death identified. Of these, 44.6% had fungal granulomatous pneumonia resulting in obstruction and compression of airways. Of note, 94.1% of pulmonary infections occurred in white stork chicks below 23 days of age. PCR amplification and sequencing of the fungal internal transcribed spacer region 1 identified Aspergillus fumigatus and various zygomycetes as primary causative agents. Thermomyces lanuginosus, previously unknown to cause pulmonary infections, was identified in one chick. The findings suggest that fungal pneumonia plays a major role in the loss of white stork chicks of up to 3 wk of age and represents a major threat, similar to the threat posed to young poultry. Con anterioridad se ha sugerido que los polluelos de cigüeñas blancas (Ciconia ciconia) son particularmente susceptibles a las condiciones ambientales como los cambios climáticos durante las primeras tres semanas de vida. Sin embargo, existe muy poca información sobre las causas de mortalidad en aves silvestres antes del emplume en general. Se examinaron un total de 101 cigüeñas blancas que se encontraron muertas en los años 2007 y 2008 y se identificó la causa de la muerte. Del total de las aves, un 44.6% presentaron neumonía granulomatosa que resultó en la obstrucción y compresión de las vías aéreas. Es importante destacar que el 94.1% de las infecciones pulmonares en polluelos de cigüeñas blancas ocurrieron antes de los 23 días de edad. Mediante la amplificación por la reacción en cadena de la polimerasa y la secuenciación de la región espaciadora 1 transcrita interna para hongos, se identificó Aspergillus fumigatus y a varios zygomicetos como los agentes causales primarios. El Thermomyces lanuginosus que previamente se desconocía si podía causar infecciones pulmonares, fue identificado en uno de los polluelos. Los hallazgos sugieren que la neumonía por hongos juega un papel importante en las perdidas de cigüeñas blancas de hasta tres semanas de edad y representa una amenaza importante, similar a la que se presenta en aves domésticas jóvenes.

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