First identification of Herpesvirus infections among endemic and exotic psittacines in Mexico

María Montserrat Turral Ramírez, Rodolfo Córdova Ponce, Cynthia González Ruíz, Graciela Castañeda Aceves, Ernesto Marín Flamand, Germán Garrido Fariña, Hugo Ramírez Álvarez


Veterinaria México OA
ISSN: 2448-6760

Cite this as:

  • Turral Ramírez MM, Córdova Ponce R, González Ruíz C, Castañeda Aceves G, Marín Flamand E, Garrido Fariña G, Ramírez Álvarez H. First identification of Herpesvirus infections among endemic and exotic psittacines in Mexico. Veterinaria México OA. 2017;4(4). doi: 10.21753/vmoa.4.4.469.

The illegal trafficking of exotic birds such as parrots is now the third most lucrative business in the world and has been a problem for several years. As a result of this trafficking, there has been an increase in the emergence of exotic diseases. Herpesvirus is a pathogen of psittacines that has not been identified in Mexico to date. Through the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and pathological analyses, the present study demonstrates the presence of herpesvirus in endemic and exotic psittacines in Mexico. The study was based on 50 birds, with clinical signs of herpervirus infection, and 45 clinically healthy birds. DNA samples were obtained from proctodaeal cells of the healthy birds, collected through the use of an enema; additionally, the liver, kidneys, brain, large intestines, and lungs of five birds exhibiting clinical signs suggestive of herpesvirus infection, were collected and fixed in buffered formalin for histopathological examination. PCR assays revealed herpesvirus infection in 8 clinically healthy birds, including four exotic species, and one endemic species. On necropsy, four of the five birds with clinical signs of herpesvirus infection showed lesions caused by herpesvirus, and the presence of intranuclear inclusion bodies in various tissues. Thus, these results demonstrate that there is a high risk of herpesvirus infection in endemic Mexican psittacines, which could significantly impact the health of these populations.

Figure 5. a) Liver with mononuclear infiltrate (MNI) (100× magnification). The image shows the parenchyma at the interstitial level with a mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate characterized by the presence of lymphocytes (L), plasma cells (P), and macrophages (MØ). b) Liver with necrosis and mononuclear infiltrate (40× magnification). Zones of coagulative necrosis (N) delimited by the inflammatory mononuclear infiltrate (arrow) are evident. c) Kidney with necrosis and mononuclear infiltrate (10× magnification). Renal parenchyma with extensive areas of coagulative necrosis (N) between the cortex and the medulla were observed. These areas were characterized by a marked loss of architecture and cellular detail and were delimited by mononuclear inflammatory cells (arrows). d) Necrotic intestine (100× magnification). The intestine developed severe coagulative necrosis (N) throughout the mucosa. Additionally, inflammatory infiltrates of mononuclear cells were observed near the basal membrane of the mucosa (arrows).


Herpesvirus, Psittacines, Proctodeum Cells, PCR, Histopathology

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