Helminths are not usually considered important pathogens for birds of prey. There is a single published report of mortality in raptors due to an air sac trematode infection. We report a well-documented death case from massive infection by an air sac trematode of the family Cyclocoelidae in a wild-caught, juvenile male Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) in Ecuador. The necropsy of a Snail Kite revealed more than 200 trematodes among air sacs, lungs, heart, gizzard, proventriculus, and liver. Within air sacs and lungs, mature flukes were associated with sacculitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and atelectasis. Using an integrative taxonomic approach with morphological and molecular data, we identified the parasites as Bothrigaster variolaris (Trematoda: Cyclocoelidae: Ophthalmophaginae). This case provides the first evidence for the pathologic presence of air sac trematodes associated with morbidity in birds of prey in South America. Our results suggest that cyclocoelids may cause debilitation and significant clinical lesions in birds of prey, with potentially fatal consequences.
|Número de páginas
|International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
|Publicada - dic. 2022