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Mycotic keratoconjunctivitis in 12-day-old red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa)
  1. J. R. Dalton, BVMS, MRCVS1 and
  2. H. Ainsworth, BVSc, CertPMP, FRCPath, MRCVS2
  1. Dalton's Game Consultancy, Unit 1, The Boscombe Centre, Mills Way, Amesbury, Wiltshire SP4 7RX
  2. Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency – Bury St Edmunds, Rougham Hill, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 2RX
  1. E-mail for correspondence daltovet{at}
  • Mr Dalton's present address is Avon House, Middle Woodford, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 6NR

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KERATITIS and conjunctivitis have been recorded in association with avian poxvirus infection in red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) (Gortázar and others 2002), Pasteurella species infection in chickens (Ojo and others 1972), and Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Cryptosporidium species infection in Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) (Murakami and others 2002). In chickens, it has been described as a consequence of exposure to ammonia fumes that develop in damp litter and droppings (Riddell 1997); it is described as generally bilateral, with many birds recovering if exposure to ammonia fumes is eliminated.

‘Bulgy eye’ associated with M gallisepticum and other secondary infections has been recognised in red-legged partridges for many years (Beer 1988). Lesions associated with Aspergillus species were described in the eyes of chickens in 1940 by Reis (Richard 1997), and similar lesions have also been reported in young chicks and in turkeys (Richard 1997).

Intraocular invasion by Aspergillus fumigatus in 15-day-old breeder chicks was reported by Beckman and others (1994). Invasion of the anterior chamber of the eye via the cornea by A fumigatus was described as an unusual manifestation of mycotic ophthalmic disease. It was suggested that the most likely pathogenesis in that case was initial damage by fumes or ammonia in the birds' environment leading to corneal epithelial erosions or superficial keratitis.

Avian pneumovirus and Newcastle disease (paramyxovirus type 1) can also present with conjunctivitis and unilateral swelling of the head (Alexander 1997); infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) infection in chickens can also cause conjunctivitis. A coronavirus closely related in …

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