Microsporidiosis in a young ostrich (Struthio camelus)

Avian Dis. Oct-Dec 1998;42(4):832-6.


Microsporidia are obligate, intracellular, protozoan parasites of a wide variety of vertebrates and invertebrates. Confirmed reports of microsporidial infection of avian species are few (lovebirds, a parrot, and a group of budgerigar chicks). At slaughter, a 14-mo-old ostrich was found to have small intestinal serosal hemorrhages during postmortem inspection. Histologic examination of the small intestine revealed a chronic lymphoplasmacytic to purulent enteritis with mucosal hyperplasia, muscular hypertrophy, and numerous microsporidia that were located within the superficial enterocytes and the lamina propria. Microsporidia have a ubiquitous distribution in nature and are suspected as possible zoonotic agents.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / veterinary
  • Hyperplasia
  • Hypertrophy
  • Intestinal Mucosa / parasitology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Jejunum / parasitology
  • Jejunum / pathology
  • Male
  • Microsporida* / isolation & purification
  • Microsporida* / ultrastructure
  • Protozoan Infections, Animal / pathology*
  • Struthioniformes*