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Open Access An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in a collection of Stone curlews (Burhinus oedicnemus) in Dubai

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We describe an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Stone curlews kept in a mixed-species rearing unit in Dubai. Cryptosporidium was the predominant intestinal pathogen detected, although microbiological investigations revealed a concurrent Salmonella infantis infection in two of the 29 Stone curlew chicks that died. Nineteen of 29 birds had catarrhal enteritis associated with histopathological findings of numerous Cryptosporidium developmental stages at the mucosal surface. Catarrhal enteritis was present without associated Cryptosporidium oocysts in five cases. Histology of the intestine, faecal examination by direct microscopy and antigenic detection by immunochromatography revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. associated with catarrhal enteritis in intestinal sections and faeces. Clinical and histopathological outcomes of infection were severe, including disruption of intestinal epithelial integrity, the presence of numerous endogenous Cryptosporidium stages in intestinal epithelia and the excretion of large numbers of sporulated oocysts. The application of polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism techniques at two 18S rRNA and one Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein gene locus confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum DNA in faecal samples.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 6 Clevedon Terrace, Bristol, UK,The Dubai Falcon Hospital, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2: The Dubai Falcon Hospital, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 3: Scottish Parasite Diagnostic Laboratory, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow, UK 4: Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 5: Wildlife Protection Office, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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