Three outbreaks of botulism type E occurring in waterbirds on Lake Michigan since autumn 1976 are discussed. Natural ingestion of food containing type E toxin by Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) and the presence of type E toxin in the blood from moribund gulls were demonstrated. Concurrent presence of type C and type E botulinal toxins was found in a die-off of Common Loons (Gavia immer). In combination with previous reported outbreaks, these incidents suggest that this disease is geographically widespread in Lake Michigan, and that environmental conditions conducive to type E botulinal toxin production and consumption occur in both summer and autumn.
Additional Publication Details
Waterbird mortality from botulism type E in Lake Michigan (USA, Canada): an update