Avian tuberculosis in a captive cassowary (Casuarius casuarius)

Monika Krajewska 1 , Agnieszka Czujkowska 2 , Marcin Weiner 3 , Marek Lipiec 1 , and Krzysztof Szulowski 1
  • 1 Department of Microbiology, National Veterinary Research Institute, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland
  • 2 Warsaw Zoological Gardens, 03-461 Warsaw, Poland
  • 3 Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biała Podlaska, 21-500 Biała Podlaska, Poland


The paper describes avian tuberculosis in a captive bred cassowary. A two-and-a-half-year-old bird was obtained by a Polish zoo in 2010 from the Netherlands under conditions compliant with the recommendations of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria. Despite being of small size for the age, the bird appeared healthy and showed no signs of the disease until the day when it was found recumbent in its pen. Later on it was euthanised due to lack of treatment possibilities. Pathological changes typical of avian tuberculosis were found in the liver and spleen. Mycobacterium avium ssp. avium was cultured from both organs.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Anon 2012: IUCN (2011), IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. Available from: www.iucnredlist.org (accessed: 17 March, 2012).

  • 2. Dhama K., Mahendranan M., Tiwari R., Dayal Singh S., Kumar D., Singh S., Sawant P.M.: Tuberculosis in birds: Insights into the Mycobacterium avium infections. Vet Med Int 2011, doi: 10.4061/2011/712369.

  • 3. Domańska-Blicharz K., Tomczyk G., Śmietanka K., Kozaczynski W., Minta Z.: Molecular characterization of fowl adenoviruses isolated from chickens with gizzard erosions. Poult Sci 2011, 90, 983-989.

  • 4. Guz L., Grądzki Z., Krajewska M., Lipiec M., Zabost A., Augustynowicz-Kopeć E., Zwolska Z., Szulowski K.: Occurrence and antimicrobial susceptibility of Mycobacterium peregrinum in ornamental fish. Bull Vet Inst Pulawy, 2013, 57, 489-492.

  • 5. Hsieh Y.C., Tsai K.Y., Wang C.Y., Hung C.N., Tsai S.S., Liu H.J.: Diagnosis of avian tuberculosis in Swinhoe's pheasants using conventional and molecular-based techniques. Avian Dis 2009, 53, 629-633.

  • 6. Kozdruń W., Woźniakowski G., Czekaj H., Kozaczyński W., Samorek-Salamonowicz E.: New herpesvirus isolated from geese in Poland. Bull Vet Inst Pulawy 2013, 57, 301-304.

  • 7. Kriz P., Kaevska M., Bartejsova I., Pavlik I.: Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium found in raptors exposed to infected domestic fowl. Avian Dis 2013, 57, 688-692.

  • 8. Kriz P., Kaevska M., Bartejsova I., Pavlik I.: Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium in lymph nodes and diaphragms of pigs from one infected herd in the Czech Republic. J Food Prot 2014, 77, 141-144.

  • 9. Latch P.: Recovery plan for the southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii). Cassowary Recovery Team Queensland Government Environmental Protection Agency, Australian Government, 2007.

  • 10. Mitchell M.A.: Mycobacterial infections in reptiles. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 2012, 15, 101-111.

  • 11. Niczyporuk J.S., Samorek-Salamonowicz E., Czekaj H.: Analysis of adenovirus strains isolated from poultry in Poland. Bull Vet Inst Pulawy 2013, 57, 305-310.

  • 12. Niczyporuk J.S., Samorek-Salamonowicz E., Lecollinet S., Pancewicz S.A., Kozdruń W., Czekaj H.: Occurrence of West Nile virus antibodies in wild birds, horses, and humans in Poland. Biomed Res Int 2015, doi: 10.1155/2015/234181.

  • 13. Pavlik I., Machackova M., Yayo Ayele W., Lamka J., Parmova I., Melicharek I., Hanzlikova M., Kormendy B., Nagy G., Cvetnic Z., Ocepek M., Lipiec M.: Incidence of bovine tuberculosis in wild and domestic animals other than cattle in six Central European countries during 1990-1999. Vet Med Czech 2002, 5, 122-131.

  • 14. Robitschenko T., Schlatter M.: The southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii) population in Mission Beach, Queensland, Northern Australia: Threats and protective actions. Final thesis of animal management, wildlife management, Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, Holland, 2012.

  • 15. Runyon E.H.: Anonymous mycobacteria in pulmonary disease. Med Clin North Am 1959, 43, 273-290.

  • 16. Safianowska A., Walkiewicz R., Nejman-Gryz P., Chazan R., Grubek-Jaworska H.: The comparison between two methods for typing of nontuberculous mycobacteria: high pressure liquid chromatography and molecular assay GenoType Mycobacterium CM/AS. Pneumol Alergol Pol 2010, 78, 363-368.

  • 17. Safianowska, A., Walkiewicz R., Nejman-Gryz P., Chazan R., Grubek-Jaworska H.: Diagnostic utility of the molecular assay GenoType MTBC (HAIN Lifesciences, Germany) for identification of tuberculous mycobacteria. Pneumol Alergol Pol 2009, 77, 517-520.

  • 18. Sarkola, A., Mäkinen J., Marjamäki M., Marttila H.J., Viljanen M. K., Soini H.: Perspective evaluation of the GenoType assay for routine identification of mycobacteria. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 2004, 23, 642-645.

  • 19. Shivaprasad H.L., Palmieri C.: Pathology of mycobacteria in birds. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract 2012, 15, 41-55.

  • 20. Soler D., Brieva C., Ribón W.: Mycobacteriosis in wild birds: the potential risk of disseminating a little-known infectious disease. Rev Salud Publica (Bogota) 2009, 11, 134-144.

  • 21. Stenzel T., Bancerz-Kisiel A., Tykałowski B., Smiałek M., Pestka D., Koncicki A.: Antimicrobial resistance in bacteria isolated from pigeons in Poland. Pol J Vet Sci 2014, 17, 169-171.

  • 22. Ucko M., Colorni A.: Mycobacterium marinum infections in fish and humans in Israel. J Clin Microbiol 2005, 43, 892-895.

  • 23. Van Ingen J.: Diagnosis of nontuberculous mycobacterial infections. Semin Respir Crit Care Med 2013, 34, 103-109.


Journal + Issues