Evaluation of coproexamination as a diagnostic test for avian botulism

Journal of Wildlife Diseases



Fecal extracts and blood sera from 113 ducks showing clinical signs of botulism were examined for Clostridium botulinum type C toxin by means of the mouse toxicity test to evaluate coproexamination as a diagnostic procedure, as compared with demonstration of toxin in serum. When death of test mice unprotected with type specific antitoxin (while protected controls survived) was the criterion, 78.8% of the sera and 5.3% of the fecal extracts were positive. When characteristic signs of intoxication in the unprotected mice was included as evidence of toxin in the specimens, these percentages increased to 86.7 and 6.2, respectively.

Fecal specimens were collected hourly for the first 6 h after peroral dosing of eight mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) with 1.0 LD50, of type C toxin and at 24, 48, and 72 h from birds surviving that long. From 2 to 4 toxin-positive specimens were passed by all eight ducks during the first 6 h, five specimens were positive at 24 h, and three were positive at 48 h. Only three specimens were collected at 72 h, all of which were negative. These findings suggest that attempts to detect toxin in the feces of wild ducks might have been more successful had the birds been captured earlier in the course of the disease.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evaluation of coproexamination as a diagnostic test for avian botulism
Series title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
DOI 10.7589/0090-3558-17.2.171
Volume 17
Issue 2
Year Published 1981
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Disease Association
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 6 p.
First page 171
Last page 176
Country United States
State Utah
Other Geospatial Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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