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Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Print version ISSN 0102-0935On-line version ISSN 1678-4162

Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec. vol.52 n.2 Belo Horizonte Apr. 2000 



Mortality by filarial nematodes in passeriformes of species Oryzoborus maximiliani in Brazil

(Mortalidade por nematódeos filarióides em passeriformes da espécie Oryzoborus maximiliani no Brasil)


N.R.S. Martins, J.S. Resende, M.A. Jorge, R. Serakides, C.M. Souza, S.H.A. Silva

Escola de Veterinária da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Caixa Postal 567
30123-970; Belo Horizonte, MG


Recebido para publicação em 15 de julho de 1999.
Suporte financeiro: FAPEMIG, FEPMVZ Coord. Preventiva



Passeriformes of Fringillidae species Oryzoborus maximiliani (bicudo) are native Brazilian canore birds which are highly valued among enthusiast bird lovers. Males are bluish black and females are dark brown. Both male and female birds sing. Many birds are captured in the wild but breeding in captivity is also attempted. Dead specimens of a stock were submitted to the laboratory with a clinical history of respiratory distress and a rather rapid course of prostration, culminating with death.

This report aims to describe a dramatic mortality of Oryzoborus maximiliani kept in captivity, due to which resulted in loss of the complete stock of birds. Complete necropsy and impression smears of lungs were made. Lungs were collected for histopathology in phosphate buffered saline formalin 10%. At necropsy the single most proeminent alteration was observed in the lungs, which were grayish in color adjacent to the air sac but normal pink in the mid-cranial regions. Direct organ impression on slide and coverslip observed at the microscope with 100 times magnification enabled the visualization of inumerous larvae of filariform nematodes (Fig. 1) subsequently confirmed by histopathology. Filarial nematodes of birds are transmitted by haematophagous dipterous insects Culicoids and Simuliids which are abundant in our environment and birds are not usually kept in cages insect-proof.


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Figure 1. Impression smear of lung from Oryzoborus maximiliani at 100x magnification. Note filariform nematode accross the field.


Bird lovers in Brazil are typically self-sufficient and are not used to consult or resort to veterinarians for advice. It is customary that medication is made under their own empiric knowledge. Considering the environmental and management conditions in our country, it is believed that filariasis can represent an important disease problem for passerines, worth to be followed up.

Keywords: Passeriformes, filaria, Oryzoborus maximiliani




Descreve-se a ocorrência de filariose em passeriformes da espécie Oryzoborus maximiliani (bicudo) mantidos em cativeiro. Os sinais clínicos incluiram insuficiência respiratória e prostração, evoluindo para decúbito lateral e morte. Todos os indivíduos capturados adoeceram e morreram em poucos dias. As lesões mais significativas foram encontradas nos pulmões, que estavam acinzentados na região adjacente ao saco aéreo abdominal. Impressões do pulmão observadas ao microscópio em 100 aumentos permitiram a visualização de grande número de formas alongadas típicas de nematódeo. Considerando suas dimensões e os relatos da literatura consultada, especulou-se a possibilidade de filariose. As condições de estresse de captura e cativeiro podem ser determinantes do quadro agudo observado, o que permite sugerir esta suspeita em casos semelhantes. Considera-se importante, entretanto, a possibilidade de a manifestação clínica na forma crônica ou assintomática poder ser mais comum que a aguda.

Palavras-chave: Bicudo, filaria, Oryzoborus, maximiliani, passeriformes




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BARTLETT, C.M., ANDERSON, R.C. Occult filariasis in crows (Corvus brachyrhincos brachyrinchos Brehm) infected with Splendido filaria caperata Hibler, 1964 (Nematoda: Filarioidea). J. Wild. Dis., v.17, p.69-77, 1981.        [ Links ]

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