Adenoviral infection in 5 red-tailed hawks and a broad-winged hawk

Emma H. Torii, Arno Wünschmann, Anibal G Armien, Sunil K. Mor, Emma Chalupsky, Rahul Kumar, Michelle Willette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adenoviral infections among raptors are best described in falcons and are characterized most commonly by necrotizing hepatitis and splenitis; only one case has been reported in a hawk. Five red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) and a broad-winged hawk (Buteo platypterus) had an adenoviral infection based on history, histopathology, negative-stain electron microscopy, and PCR. All birds had acute onset of illness resulting in death; 3 had evidence of a concurrent bacterial infection. Microscopically, all 6 birds had solitary, pale eosinophilic-to-amphophilic, intranuclear inclusion bodies within presumed hematopoietic cells in bone marrow and macrophages in spleen. Five of the 6 birds had similar inclusions within hepatocytes and Kupffer cells. All but one bird had severe bone marrow necrosis. There was moderate splenic necrosis (3 of 6) and mild-to-marked hepatic necrosis (4 of 6). Negative-stain electron microscopy demonstrated adenoviral particles in bone marrow (5 of 6), liver (1 of 5), and/or spleen (1 of 5). PCR was positive for adenovirus in bone marrow (3 of 5), liver (1 of 3), spleen (4 of 6), and/or intestinal contents (2 of 3). Viral DNA polymerase gene sequences clustered within the Siadenovirus genus. There was 99% nucleotide identity to one another and 90% nucleotide identity with the closest related adenovirus (Harris hawk, EU715130). Our case series expands on the limited knowledge of adenoviral infections in hawks. The splenic and hepatic necrosis, and particularly the hitherto unreported bone marrow necrosis, suggest that adenoviral infection is clinically relevant and potentially fatal in hawks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-805
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s).


  • adenovirus
  • bone marrow necrosis
  • broad-winged hawk
  • hawks
  • hepatic necrosis
  • red-tailed hawk
  • splenic necrosis

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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