Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 20, 2002
Publication Date: August 30, 2002
Citation: Work, T.M., Massey, J.G., Lindsay, D.S., Dubey, J.P. 2002. Toxoplasmosis in 3 species of hawaiian birds, nen goose (nesochen sandkensis), erckels francolia (francolinus erckerlii), and red-footed booby (sula sula). Journal of Parasitology 88:1040-1048.
Interpretive Summary: Infections by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii are widely prevalent in animals and humans. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in congenitally-infected children. It is also a significant cause of mortality in zoo animals. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the U.S. Dept. of Interior, Hawaii report, for the first time, fatal toxoplasmosis in birds native to Hawaii. These results will be of interest to wildlife biologists, parasitologists and pathologists.
Toxoplasma gondii infection was diagnosed in 3 species of Hawaiian birds, 2 Nene goose (Nesochen sankensis), 1 Erckels francolin (Francolinus erckelii), and 1 red-footed booby (Sula sula). All 4 birds died of disseminated toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma gondii was found in sections of many organs of these birds and the diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining with anti-T. gondii-specific polyclonal antibodies. This is the first report of toxoplasmosis in these birds.