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Online Journal of Veterinary Research

(Including Medical and Laboratory Research)

Established 1994
ISSN 1328-925X


 Volume 25 (9):615-622, 2021.

Diagnosis of lung viral disease by clinical, gross and microscopic findings in cormorants (Phalacrocorax sp.)


K Singh1, Jennifer Nevis2, P Roady1, S Corner1


1Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL-61802, 2Willowbrook Wildlife Center, Glen Ellyn, IL-60137.



Singh K, Nevis J, Roady P, Corner S., Diagnosis of lung viral disease by clinical, gross and microscopic `findings in cormorants (Phalacrocorax sp.) Onl J Vet Res.,  25 (9):615-622, 2021. Six wild caught young cormorants (Phalacrocorax spp.) presented with neurologic signs, including difficulty swallowing, random head shaking, visual deficits, progressive bilateral limb and wing paralysis, and inability to rise. Gross necropsy of 1 cormorant revealed poor nutritional status with prominent keel bone, severe atrophy of pectoral muscles and depletion of adipose tissue stores. Cerebellar edema, splenomegaly, and nematodes in the ventriculus were also observed grossly. Histologically, necrotizing mesobronchitis and parabronchitis with epithelial regeneration, chronic lymphoplasmacytic and histiocytic meningoencephalitis, mild chronic lymphoplasmacytic interstitial nephritis, lymphoplasmacytic and granulomatous proventriculitis, and chronic enteric hemorrhages were observed.  An incidental finding included the presence of nematodes within the areas of granulomatous proventriculitis. Newcastle disease virus (Avian paramyxovirus type I) was identified in the brain samples using RT-PCR. General public, hunters, and other professionals should avoid contact with the birds suffering from Newcastle disease because of zoonotic implication. The clinical signs in humans include fever, ocular discharge, and respiratory symptoms.

Keywords: Avian paramyxovirus; bronchitis; cormorants; ducks; meningoencephalitis; neurologic disease; Newcastle disease.