Botulism in a Mute Swan(Cygnus olor)

혹고니(Cygnus olor)의 보툴리눔독소증

  • Kim, Young Seob (Seoul Grand Park Zoo) ;
  • Kim, Bo Suk (Seoul Grand Park Zoo) ;
  • Shin, Nam Shik (KRF Zoonotic Disease Priority Research Institute, and College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University)
  • Accepted : 2008.02.27
  • Published : 2008.08.01


Many neurotoxigenic clostridia are found in soil. Among animals, birds are especially susceptible to botulism, perhaps because they feed on insects, invertebrate carcasses, and decayed feeds contaminated with spores of Clostridium (C.) botulinum. C. botulinum type C is mainly involved in avian botulism. In the summer of 2005, death of a mute swan (cygnus olor) living in the pond of large bird cage was found in Seoul Grand Park Zoo. The birds presented presumptive clinical signs of botulism, such as ruffled hackle feathers, abnormal posture of the head, weakness, and flaccid paralysis. At that time, pond water in the breeding facilities was drained for 7 days, but there were still remained water containing sediment of feed and feces. Therefore, botulism was suspected and an experimentation were made to detect C. botulinum in the dead mute swan. Gross post-mortem findings of a mute swan showed jelly-like hemorrhagic contents in the intestine, sands and vegetations in the stomach. C. botulinum was isolated from the liver, small intestine and large intestine samples. Botulism was also confirmed by mouse inoculation test with the organ samples. With PCR, a gene encoding C. botulinum type C toxin was detected for the several organs of the mute swan died. These results suggested that death of mute swan was caused by C. botulinum type C.


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