YERSINIA PSEUDOTUBERCULOSIS INFECTIONS IN PRIMATES, ARTIODACTYLS, AND BIRDS WITHIN A ZOOLOGICAL FACILITY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Ceccolini, M E and Macgregor, S K and Spiro, S and Irving, J and Hedley, J and Williams, J and Guthrie, A (2020) YERSINIA PSEUDOTUBERCULOSIS INFECTIONS IN PRIMATES, ARTIODACTYLS, AND BIRDS WITHIN A ZOOLOGICAL FACILITY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.

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Abstract

Infection with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis can be difficult to diagnose and treat successfully. Twenty-four cases from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) London Zoo (London, NW1 4RY, UK) and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2LF, UK) were identified between 2001 - 2019. Husbandry, medical, and postmortem records for six primates, 10 artiodactyls, and eight birds were reviewed to identify prevalent clinical signs and gross lesions. Most cases occurred during the winter; however, an outbreak in four primates occurred during the summer following a period of stress associated with increased ambient noise and activity. Common clinical signs included lethargy (6/6 primates, 4/10 artiodactyls, 4/8 birds) or death without premonitory signs (3/10 artiodactyls, 4/8 birds). Once clinical signs were observed, disease progressed quickly. Poor condition was common in mammals (6/6 primates, 9/10 artiodactyls), but often went undetected until postmortem examination. Neurological signs occurred in three of six primates. Diarrhea and anorexia were uncommon in all animals. Hepatitis was observed in all groups (4/6 primates, 2/10 artiodactyls, 4/8 birds), mesenteric lymphadenomegaly was common in mammals (4/6 primates, 8/10 artiodactyls), and gastroenteritis was common in artiodactyls (7/10). Erythematous, punctate rashes, which have only been reported with yersiniosis in humans were present in three of six primates. Bacterial cultures were often diagnostic from the liver in primates and birds or enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes in artiodactyls. All isolates were susceptible to marbofloxacin, oxytetracycline, streptomycin, ceftazidime, amoxicillin clavulanic acid, trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole, azithromycin and doxycycline, and resistant to clindamycin. Histopathology and Perl’s Prussian blue stains were performed on available liver samples (n=18). Intracellular hemosiderin was present in 17 of 18 cases. Additional research is needed to determine the relationship between hemosiderosis and yersiniosis.

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