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Open Access Nervous signs associated with otitis and cranial osteomyelitis and with Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale infection in red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa)

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A case of nervous signs in red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) associated with a severe otitis and osteomyelitis is reported. The outbreak was characterized by abnormal head position, torticollis and difficulty in standing, walking and flying. Pathological, microbiological and molecular genetic data supported an association with Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale (ORT) infection. Clinical signs persisted for several days and were accompanied by weight loss leading to death. Morbidity was approximately 20% and most birds died if untreated. Lesions were mainly characterized by a severe osteomyelitis of the cranial bones and purulent inflammation of the external, middle and inner ears. O. rhinotracheale was isolated from ear samples, skull and brain stem in pure culture. Genetic characterization by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of the clinical isolates showed that the outbreak was caused by a single strain of ORT. This appears to be the first report of otitis associated with ORT in an avian species.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratorio Exopol. Poligono del Rio Gallego D/8, 50840 San Mateo de Gallego, Zaragoza, Spain 2: Laboratorio de Vigilancia Sanitaria Veterinaria (VISAVET), Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain 3: Nanta, Nanta Catalunya S.A., Reus, Tarragona

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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