Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: March 11, 2002
Publication Date: April 20, 2002
Citation: Dubey, J.P. 2002. A review of toxoplasmosis in wild birds. Veterinary Parasitology 106:121-153.
Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii is common in humans and livestock. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in congenitally-infected children. It also causes severe mortality in birds, especially in the zoos. A scientist from the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center provides a comprehensive review of Toxoplasmosis in all species of wild birds, especially diagnosis and treatment. These findings will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, pathologists, zoo veterinarians and pet bird breeders.
Toxoplasma gondii affects most species of warm-blooded animals, including birds. There is considerable confusion regarding the identity of T. gondii-like parasites and the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in wild birds. In this review T. gondii-like infections in different species of wild birds are reviewed with particular reference to prevalences, clinical signs, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment. Although subclinical T. gondii infections are prevalent in many avian species, toxoplasmosis can be clinically severe in pigeons and canaries. Blindness associated with T. gondii in canaries is reviewed in detail.