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Pasteurella multocida, Gallibacterium spp, Volucribacter spp Of Pet Birds

Bollinger (1878) first reported the isolation of Pasteurella like organisms from cattle and wild animals. Louis Pasteur (1880) conducted more comprehensive studies on fowl cholera and its etiological agent. Trevisan (1887) coined the name Pasteurella for the bipolar organisms described earlier by Pasteur and others.
Lignières (1900) proposed the specific name for each species of Pasteurella according to their host preference, such as Pasteurella aviseptica for fowls, P. suiseptica for pigs, P. boviseptica for bovines, P. oviseptica for ovines and P. leptiseptica for rabbits. Rosenbusch and Merchant (1939) proposed a single species Pasteurella multocida and it is in use till date. Miringa (1975) described pasteurellosis
in African grey parrots.
P. multocida is a gram-negative, non motile, non spore-forming short rod or coccobacillus bacterium. In fresh cultures and animal tissues, it produces typical bipolar staining characteristics, particularly with Leishman or methylene blue stain. Pasteurella belongs to the family Pasteurellaceae. Other avian pathogens such as Gallibacterium (Pasteurella anatis) and Volucribacter are also members of the same family. P. multocida can be classified into 6 capsular types (A–F) and 16 somatic types.
 Psittacines [parrots, red-fronted conure (Aratinga wagleri)], passerine birds, owls, raptors and waterfowls (ducks) suffer from pasteurellosis. P. multocida is also isolated from eye swabs of healthy psittacine birds. Unclassified members of the Pasteurellaceae family were isolated from lesions in domestic goose (Anser anser forma), Fischer’s lovebird (Agapornis fischer), parrots (Amazona spp.), macaws (Ara macao), rock dove (Columba livia), budgerigars (Melanopsittacus undulates), and African gray parrot (Psittacus erithacus).
 Contaminated environment (e.g. water) is the major source of P. multocida infection. Mechanical transmission by blood sucking arthropods and cat-bite is possible. In cat-bite cases, dermatitis and myositis develops rapidly and it is followed by septicaemia and death. In psittacine birds P. multocida serotype 3 and 4 are associated with septicaemia and cutaneous lesions, respectively. In African gray parrots, P. multocida produced obstruction of nares and dyspnoea, due to formation of intranasal caseous and fibrinous plugs along with other bacteria. In P. multocida infected budgerigars, crop inflammation and apathy was observed. Gallibacterium melopsittaci are associated with septicaemia and salpingitis in budgerigars and parakeets. Volucribacter psittacicida causes respiratory tract infections, septicaemia, crop inflammation, and diarrhoea in psittacine birds.
 A smear can be prepared from collected blood sample or the nasal swabs and it is stained by Leishman or methylene blue or Gram’s stain. Pasteurella appears as gram negative non-sporing coccobacilli with typical bipolar staining characteristics.
 P. multocida can be isolated in dextrose-starch agar, casein-sucrose-yeast (CSY) medium with 5% blood (bovine or sheep). P. multocida specific PCR (PM-PCR) helps in rapid and confirmatory detection from clinical samples.
 Treatment of avian pasteurellosis with ampicillin (150–200 mg/kg body weight for pigeons, Amazon parrots) and tiamulin fumarate (25–50 mg/kg body weight, oral) are recommended.

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