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Fungal airsacculitis associated with serratospiculiasis in captive falcons of the United Arab Emirates
  1. V. Caliendo, DVM, CertAVP(ZM), MRCVS and
  2. P. McKinney, MVB, Cert Zoo Med
  1. Al Wasl Veterinary Clinic, PO Box 75565, Dubai, United Arab Emirates;
  1. E-mail for correspondence: valentina{at}awvetclinic.ae.

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Serratospiculum is a filarial nematode responsible for the parasitic disease serratospiculiasis. There are nine species of Serratospiculum recognised with cosmopolitan distribution, but S seurati is the only species identified in the Middle East (Samour and Silvanose 2000, Samour and Naldo 2001, Tarello 2006, Al Timimi and others 2009). The worm infects the air sac of carnivore birds, and has been reported in Falconiformes and Accipiters (Ackernam 1992, Bigland 1964, Sterner 1988, Wehr 1938).

S seurati is transmitted by ingestion of infected insects, usually beetles and wood louse. After ingestion, the larvae penetrate the wall of the proventriculus and ventriculus, then migrate into the air sac system where they mature to become adult filarial worms. Identification of the parasite is made through faecal examination, crop cytology and endoscopy of the air sacs.

Adult worms can damage the air sac membrane and cause degenerative changes within the collagen and the muscle layers between the epithelial and mesothelial component of the air sac (Mauriz and Sterner 2008).

In captive falcons, the infection can contribute to stress-induced lower respiratory disease syndromes, and S seurati has been associated with bacterial and fungal pneumonia and airsacculitis (Samour and …

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