Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Toltrazuril Does Not Show an Effect Against Pigeon Protozoal Encephalitis (2015)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Maier, Kristina
    Olias, P
    Gruber, A D (WE 12)
    Lierz, M
    Parasitology research; 114(4) — S. 1603–1606
    ISSN: 0932-0113
    DOI: 10.1007/s00436-015-4342-1
    Pubmed: 25648444
    Institut für Tierpathologie

    Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 15
    Gebäude 12
    14163 Berlin
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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    The protozoan parasite Sarcocystis calchasi causes a severe neurologic disease in domestic pigeons (Columba livia f. dom.) named pigeon protozoal encephalitis. Recently, the parasite has also been reported in psittacines causing a virtually identical disease with fatal outcome. So far, an etiological treatment of S. calchasi infections in pigeons or psittacines is unknown. The present study evaluates the effectiveness of the anticoccidian drug toltrazuril against S. calchasi and the influence of the timepoint of treatment. Therefore, nine domestic pigeons were inoculated with 400 S. calchasi sporocysts and treated with toltrazuril (25 mg/kg) in groups of three pigeons each at dpi 10/11 and dpi 40/41 and on two consecutive days at the onset of neurologic signs. After euthanasia at dpi 73, tissue samples including brain and skeletal muscles were examined by histology and S. calchasi-specific real-time PCR. All pigeons independent of the group developed neurologic signs from dpi 49 onwards. Histology identified sarcocysts in the skeletal muscles and a granulomatous encephalitis in the brains. The relative amount of S. calchasi DNA was on a comparable level in all pigeons. Consequently, toltrazuril was demonstrated to be not effective against S. calchasi with the applied treatment regime. Longer treatment periods or agents other the toltrazuril may be considered for further investigations. So far, preventive measures like roofing of aviaries for prevention of infection and regular disinfection remain the most important factor in the control of S. calchasi infections.