Granulomatous encephalomyelitis and intestinal ganglionitis in a spectacled Amazon parrot (Amazona albifrons) infected with Mycobacterium genavense.
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An approximately 30-year-old male spectacled Amazon parrot (Amazona albifrons) was presented with a 2-week history of ataxia, head shaking, weight loss and seizures. Gross findings on necropsy examination included atrophy of the musculature, ruffled feathers and minimal epicardial and abdominal fat. Microscopically, there were perivascular cuffs of macrophages with fewer lymphocytes in the grey and white matter of the brain and spinal cord. These lesions were accompanied by gliosis and mild vacuolation of the white matter. In the small intestine, up to 70% of the intestinal ganglia were effaced by infiltrates of macrophages and fewer lymphocytes. The intestinal lamina propria contained multiple inflammatory aggregates of a similar nature. Ziehl-Neelsen staining revealed the presence of numerous bacilli within the cytoplasm of macrophages in the central nervous system (CNS) and enteric ganglia. Amplification of the DNAJ gene confirmed a mycobacterial infection and subsequent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a species-specific primer confirmed the aetiology as Mycobacterium genavense. Infection of the CNS with Mycobacterium spp. is uncommon and has not been previously reported in a parrot. This case is unusual in that the organism exhibited tropism for neural tissue.