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Necrotizing meningoencephalitis caused by Sarcocystis falcatula in bare-faced ibis (Phimosus infuscatus)

Konradt, Guilherme, Bianchi, Matheus Viezzer, Leite-Filho, Ronaldo Viana, da Silva, Bruna Zafalon, Soares, Rodrigo Martins, Pavarini, Saulo Petinatti, Driemeier, David
Parasitology research 2017 v.116 no.2 pp. 809-812
DNA-directed RNA polymerase, Didelphis albiventris, Phimosus infuscatus, Protozoa, Sarcocystis falcatula, alleles, ataxia (disorder), brain stem, case studies, cerebellum, cortex, cytochrome b, cytoplasm, endothelial cells, internal transcribed spacers, meningoencephalitis, necropsy, paralysis, parasites, respiratory tract diseases, schizonts, transcription (genetics), wild birds, Brazil
The infection by S. falcatula is commonly associated with respiratory disease in captive psittacine birds, with a few case reports of this protozoan causing encephalitis in wild birds. We describe the clinical, pathological, and molecular aspects of an infection by S. falcatula in a bare-faced ibis (Phimosus infuscatus). Clinically, wing paralysis and mild motor incoordination were observed. At necropsy, the telencephalic cortex showed multifocal to coalescing yellowish soft areas. Histologically, multifocal to coalescent nonsuppurative necrotizing meningoencephalitis of telencephalic cortex, cerebellum, and brainstem was observed. Necrotic areas showed multiple protozoan organism characteristics of Sarcocystis sp. schizonts in the cytoplasm of endothelial cells or lying free in the neuropil. Partial genetic sequences of the gene encoding cytochrome b (CYTB), the gene encoding the beta subunit of RNA polymerase (RPOB) and the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) from Sarcocystis sp. schizonts revealed that the parasite had ITS-1 sequences that were 100% identical to the homologous alleles from Sarcocystis sp. shed by Didelphis albiventris in Brazil. RPOB and CYTB sequences were 100% identical to homologous of S. falcatula available in Genbank. Thus, this is the first report of necrotizing meningoencephalitis caused by S. falcatula in bare-faced ibis (P. infuscatus).