Neuro-angiostrongylosis in wild Black and Grey-headed flying foxes (Pteropus spp)

Barrett, J. L., Carlisle, M. S. and Prociv, P. (2002) Neuro-angiostrongylosis in wild Black and Grey-headed flying foxes (Pteropus spp). Australian Veterinary Journal, 80 9: 554-558. doi:10.1111/j.1751-0813.2002.tb11039.x

Author Barrett, J. L.
Carlisle, M. S.
Prociv, P.
Title Neuro-angiostrongylosis in wild Black and Grey-headed flying foxes (Pteropus spp)
Journal name Australian Veterinary Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0005-0423
Publication date 2002-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1751-0813.2002.tb11039.x
Open Access Status
Volume 80
Issue 9
Start page 554
End page 558
Total pages 5
Editor C. Wilks
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher Australian Veterinary Association
Language eng
Subject C1
300508 Parasitology
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract Objective To identify nematodes seen in histological sections of brains of flying foxes (fruit bats) and describe the associated clinical disease and pathology. Proceedures Gross and histological examination of brains from 86 free-living flying foxes with neurological disease was done as part of an ongoing surveillance program for Australian bat lyssavirus. Worms were recovered, or if seen in histological sections, extracted by maceration of half the brain and identified by microscopic examination. Histological archives were also reviewed. Results There was histological evidence of angiostrongylosis in 16 of 86 recently submitted flying foxes with neurological disease and in one archival case from 1992. In 10 flying foxes, worms were definitively identified as Angiostrongylus cantonensis fifth-stage larvae. A worm fragment and third stage larvae were identified as Angiostrongylus sp, presumably A cantonensis, in a further three cases. The clinical picture was dominated by paresis, particularly of the hind-limbs, and depression, with flying foxes surviving up to 22 days in the care of wildlife volunteers. Brains containing fifth-stage larvae showed a moderate to severe eosinophilic and granulomatous meningoencephalitis (n = 14), whereas there was virtually no inflammation of the brains of bats which died when infected with only smaller, third-stage larvae (n = 3). There was no histological evidence of pulmonary involvement. Conclusion This is the first report of the recovery and identification of A cantonensis from free-living Australian wildlife. While anglostrongylosis is a common cause of paresis in flying foxes, the initial clinical course cannot be differentiated from Australian bat lyssavirus infection, and wildlife carers should be urged not to attempt to rehabilitate flying foxes with neurological disease.
Keyword Veterinary Sciences
Australian Bat Lyssavirus
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Veterinary Science Publications
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 04:05:43 EST