Sporadic outbreaks of fatal enteritis occurred among free-living wild crows ('large billed' or 'wok' crow; Corvus macrorhynchos) in an open-air park in Japan in 2002. Eight crows were found dead during February, followed by two more in September, and five of the eight were examined histopathologically. At necropsy, all cases showed a markedly dilated small intestine, especially the jejunum and ileum, with large amounts of gas, and dark red to greenish-brown soft content. The necrotic intestinal wall was markedly thickened with multifocal haemorrhages. All cases had multifocal white foci in the liver, and four cases showed marked splenomegaly. Histologically, there was severe necrotic enteritis characterized by extensive mucosal necrosis and multifocal haemorrhages, as well as inflammatory cell infiltrations. A prominent pseudo-membrane formation was noted in the affected intestine. Severe adhesive peritonitis was also observed in three cases. Gram-positive bacilli were present in large numbers in the lumen, and in and around necrotic lesions in the affected intestine. The bacilli were positive for Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin type A by immunohistochemistry, and were also positive for C. perfringens type A using the immunofluorescence method. C. perfringens was isolated by anaerobic culture from the intestinal contents. The present enteritis was thought to be induced by proliferated C. perfringens in the intestine, and to be the cause of death.
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