Falcon adenovirus infection in breeding Taita falcons (Falco fasciinucha)

Jason Dean, Kenneth S. Latimer, J. Lindsay Oaks, Mark Schrenzel, Patrick T. Redig, Arno Wünschmann

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Four female and 3 male Taita falcons (Falco fasciinucha) out of a breeding colony of 14 Taita falcons (7 pairs) died during the breeding season after showing lethargy and anorexia for 1 to 2 days. All animals were submitted for necropsy. Gross lesions in the female falcons were characterized by anemia secondary to marked hemorrhage into the ovary and oviduct, serofibrinous effusion into the cardioabdominal cavity and serosal petechiae. In addition, marked necrotizing splenitis and pulmonary hemorrhage were present. Histologically, the female falcons had mild necrotizing hepatitis with numerous intranuclear inclusion bodies and necrotizing splenitis with rare inclusion bodies. There were no gross lesions in the male falcons, and the histological lesions were characterized by urate deposition and rare intranuclear inclusion bodies in the renal tubular epithelial cells. Adenoviral particles were found by electron microscopy in the cloacal contents of the female Taita falcons but not in the male falcons. DNA in situ hybridization revealed widespread aviadenoviral nucleic acid within the nuclei of hepatocytes, renal tubular epithelial cells, and adrenal cells in the female falcons but no aviadenoviral nucleic acid in 1 male falcon and only a low quantity of adenoviral nucleic acid in the liver and kidney of another male Taita falcon. PCR amplified aviadenoviral DNA in the liver and intestine of all Taita falcons. The amplicons were sequenced, and the virus was identified as falcon adenovirus. The deaths of the female and male birds were attributed to the aviadenovirus infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-286
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Falco fasciinucha
  • Falcon adenovirus
  • In situ hybridization
  • PCR
  • Pathology
  • Taita falcon


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