A patho-microbiological study of tissue samples of the Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius (Aves: Ciconiiformes: Ciconiidae) that died in Deeporbeel Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India

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Derhasar Brahma
Parikshit Kakati
Sophia M. Gogoi
Sharmita Doley
Arpita Bharali
Biswajit Dutta
Taibur Rahman
Saidul Islam
Arfan Ali
Siraj A. Khan
Sailendra K. Das
Nagendra N. Barman


The Greater Adjutant is an IUCN Red List ‘Endangered’ scavenging stork.  This study reports the findings of post-mortem, histopathology, and a series of microbiological tests conducted on the Greater Adjutant that died in Deeporbeel Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam.  A post-mortem examination revealed extensive nodule forming parasitic (Balfouria monogama) infestations in the stomach and intestine.  Generalised congestion and haemorrhages in multiple organs were also revealed by the histopathological findings.  Bacteriological culture detected the presence of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus sp., and Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens was confirmed by cpa gene PCR).  Virus detection tests like HA and HI test for NDV and rapid antigen detection test for Avian Influenza virus were found to be negative; however, PCR of tissue samples from two Greater Adjutants for Flavivirus was found to be positive.  Greater Adjutants may carry the above bacteria as commensals in their GI tract and may possibly act as a reservoir of Flavivirus.  The actual cause of deaths, however, were confirmed by the forensic report to be due to organophosphorus toxicity.

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