We examined 10 common eider (Somateria mollissima) males found dead in 1998 during a die-off in the northern Baltic Sea off the southwestern coast of Finland. We diagnosed impaction of the posterior small intestine with mucosal necrosis as the cause of death in all 10 and isolated adenoviruses from cloacal samples of six birds. The adenovirus isolates were not neutralized by reference antisera to group I, II, or III avian adenoviruses. Cloacal swabs from 22 apparently healthy eider females nesting at the mortality area were negative for viruses. An adenovirus isolated from one of the eiders caused clinical signs of illness and gastrointestinal pathology in experimentally infected mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) ducklings. These findings suggest that the adenovirus contributed to the mortality of common eider males in the Finnish archipelago.
Additional Publication Details
An adenovirus associated with intestinal impaction and mortality of male eiders (Somateria mollissima) in the Baltic Sea