A juvenile Taveta golden weaver (Ploceus castaneiceps) bird housed in a zoo aviary developed a sudden onset of neurological signs. The bird demonstrated head tilt, rolling onto its back, and inability to perch. Euthanasia was elected due to lack of response to intensive care, and a necropsy was performed. There were no significant abnormal findings on gross examination. On histopathology, the remarkable findings were localized to the brain and consisted of multifocal cerebral microabscesses and rarefaction. Filamentous rod-shaped bacteria were present within and at the periphery of the necrotic foci, and dispersed throughout the neuroparenchyma and intracellularly in neurons. The bacteria were Gram negative, and Warthin-Starry stain demonstrated characteristic "hay stacking." Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of the brain identified the agent as Clostridium piliforme. An additional microscopic finding was severe crypt enteritis; however, the bacteria were not observed in the intestinal sections.
- Clostridium piliforme
- Taveta golden weaver (Ploceus castaneiceps)
- Tyzzer's disease
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