Phylogenetic characterization of a novel herpesvirus found in the liver and lungs of a Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis)

J Vet Diagn Invest. 2016 May;28(3):219-24. doi: 10.1177/1040638716641157. Epub 2016 Mar 29.


A novel herpesvirus was detected in a 17-day-old Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) with pneumonia, hepatopathy, and severe anemia that was housed in California. Postmortem examination identified a pale, enlarged liver, mildly increased fluid in the lungs, and red foci in the spleen. Histologic examination revealed marked hepatic necrosis with syncytia, splenic necrosis, and interstitial pneumonia with eosinophilic intranuclear inclusions within hepatocytes and in unidentified cells of the lung. Transmission electron microscopy identified virions consistent with a herpesvirus in the nucleus and cytoplasm of degenerative hepatocytes. Nested consensus PCR, sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis identified a novel herpesvirus within the genus Iltovirus in the subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae.

Keywords: Chilean flamingos; Iltovirus; Phoenicopterus chilensis; herpesvirus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bird Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Bird Diseases / pathology
  • Bird Diseases / virology
  • Birds
  • California
  • Herpesviridae / genetics
  • Herpesviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / diagnosis
  • Herpesviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Liver / virology
  • Lung / virology
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary