Article Text


Fatal combined infection with Haemoproteus noctuae and Leucocytozoon ziemanni in juvenile snowy owls (Nyctea scandiaca)
  1. M. Evans, BVSc, MRCVS1,1 and
  2. A. Otter, MA, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS2
  1. 1 Fields Veterinary Group, 214 Stow Hill, Newport, Monmouthshire NP9 4HB
  2. 2 Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Job's Well Road, Johnstown, Carmarthen SA31 3EZ


Two juvenile snowy owls (Nyctea scandiaca) died after short episodes of lethargy and anorexia. Postmortem examination of the first was inconclusive but clinical and laboratory examinations on the second owlet revealed a high level of erythrocyte parasitaemia by Haemoproteus noctuae. After a period of intensive nursing and chemotherapy during which it improved clinically and the red cell parasitism decreased, the bird's condition relapsed and it died. Postmortem examination revealed H noctuae infection in addition to heavy red blood cell parasitism by Leucocytozoon ziemanni. Although neither H noctuae nor L ziemanni are generally considered to be pathogenic, their combined presence in the young owl apparently resulted in its death.

Statistics from


  • Mr Evans' present address is Valley Veterinary Group, 180 Merthyr Road, Cardiff CF4 1DL

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.