Ventriculitis, Hepatitis, and unusual inclusion bodies in Quail
This post presents some unusual and interesting histologic findings of Quail. Three quail of different ages died acutely. The birds are raised since birth and at 1 month are turned into an outside pen. There are 10 dead birds out of a flock of 200. These birds puff up after a week of being turned outside and no other signs are seen.
All birds were in good nutritional condition.
The largest bird had a focal yellow area in the liver (no picture).
Liver: There are multifocal large areas of necrosis characterized by cellular debris surrounded by swollen hepatocytes. There are large bacilli at the edge of the necrotic areas, and some of the necrotic areas are rimmed by degenerate and intact heterophils with multiple colonies of bacteria. In other liver sections there are multifocal areas of hepatocellular necrosis with macrohages containing large deeply basophilic intracytoplasmic inclusions.
Spleen: There is diffuse lymphoid depletion in the spleen with loss of lymphoid follicles and replacement by macrophages which occasionally contain large basophilic intracytoplasmic inclusions
Lung: There is diffuse congestion and infiltration with moderate numbers of heterophils in the interstitium of the parabronchi and air capillaries. There are small numbers of heterophils in air capillary spaces.
Medium and Small Quail:
No liver or spleen lesions, but they had the same lung lesions
Ventriculus: There are multifocal heterophilic infiltrates in the koilin layer of the mucosa of the ventriculus with small numbers of marophages. There are a moderate numbers of heterophils in the lamina propria of the mucosa.
The unusual looking inclusions may be just a coagulum of nuclear debris. They look like circovirus inclusions, but we were unable to identify any avian circovirus (like Chicken Anemia Virus) in the tissues.
These Quail may have been stressed due to management issues resulting in immunosuppression and septicemia. The lesions in the liver, ventriculus, and lungs suggest a bacteremic process.
The intestines were hard to evaluate due to severe postmortem autolysis. We did not grow Clostridium colinum, and so ruled out Quail diarrhea as a cause of disease.