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Epizootiologic studies of avian vacuolar myelinopathy in waterbirds

Journal of Wildlife Diseases

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Abstract

Epizootic avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) was first recognized as a neurologic disease in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana) in Arkansas, USA in 1994 and 1996, respectively, but attempts to identify the etiology of the disease have been unsuccessful to date. Between 1998 and 2001, wing clipped sentinel birds (wild American coots and game farm mallards [Anas platyrhynchos]) were released at Lake Surf, North Carolina, a lake with recurrent outbreaks of AVM, in order to gain a better understanding of the epizootiology of the disease. As early as 5-7 days post-release, sentinel coots and mallards showed neurologic signs of disease and were confirmed with AVM upon histologic examination of their brains. Serial releases of sentinel mallards during the summer, fall, and winter of 2000-01 demonstrated that exposure to the causative agent at a threshold sufficient to manifest disease was seasonal and occurred over about a 2 mo period, during November and December. Our findings that disease onset can be very rapid (5-7 days) and that exposure to the causative agent of AVM is site-specific, seasonal (late fall to early winter), and occurs over a relatively short duration (several months) supports the hypothesis that the disease is caused by a chemical substance, most likely of natural origin.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Epizootiologic studies of avian vacuolar myelinopathy in waterbirds
Series title:
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Volume
38
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
National Wildlife Health Center
Description:
p. 678-684
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
First page:
678
Last page:
684
Number of Pages:
7