[en] megabacteriosis ; Macrorhabdus ornithogaster ; Serinus species
[en] A total of 312 post-mortem examinations of 178 canaries (Serinus canarius domesticus), 40 parakeets (Melopsittacus undulatus, Nymphicus hollandicus) and 94 parrots (Amazona aestiva, Psitaccus erithacus) were conducted at the Birds and Rabbits Service of the University of Liege, Belgium. After a detailed gross examination, tissue samples were collected for virological and/or bacteriological and/or parasitological examination to complete the diagnosis. In all cases, a microscopic examination of the proventricular mucus layer was undertaken for the detection of the anamorphic ascomycetous yeast Macrorhabdus ornithogaster, which causes the non-zoonotic but important disease in cage birds known as megabacteriosis. At the time of death, megabacteriosis was diagnosed respectively in 28% of canaries and 22.5% of budgerigars (P value for Fisher's exact test = 0.5576), but was not diagnosed in parrots (P value for Fisher's exact test < 0.0001). The incidence of megabacteriosis significantly increases along the years (P value for chi(2) test < 0.0001, Cramer's coefficient = 0.3405). The most common gross lesions seen at necropsy of the 59 megabacteriosis cases was proventricular dilatation (86.1%). All the birds diagnosed as typical megabacteriosis cases were free of Salmonella spp. infections and of any parasitic infections. Four megabacteriosis cases (three canaries, one parakeet) were not included in statistical analysis as salmonellosis, pseudotuberculosis, coccidiosis and chlamydophilosis were diagnosed concomitantly in these birds. With the exception of megabacteriosis, the most frequent causes of death were protozoan (coccidiosis, lankesterellosis) infections (18.4%) and salmonellosis (17.1%) in canaries, and psittacosis (31.5%) and viral hepatitis (26.3%) in parakeets. In parrots, the most common causes of death were psittacosis (28.6%) and aspergillosis (28.5%). (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.