Diseases / List of Parasitic Diseases / Disease description:

Echinuriasis (Acuariasis) in Waterfowl (with a note on Cranes)

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

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General and References

Disease Summary

WATERFOWL Nematode worm infection causing dysfunction of the proventriculus; carried by the water-flea Daphnia.

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Acuariasis
  • Acuaria infection
  • Echinuria infection
  • Proventricular worm infection

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Disease Type

Parasitic - Roundworms

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

Nematode worms Echinuria (Acuaria) uncinata, Echinuria (Acuaria) spp.

Infective "Taxa"

Non-infective agents

--

Physical agents

-- Indirect / Secondary

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne
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Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

B9.6.w1, B10.26.w11, B12.55.w1, B13.46.w1, B14, B15, B16.19.w1, B18, B24, B36.35.w35, B37.x.w1, B48.20.w20
J7.30.w2, J7.43.w1, J8.17.w1
P5.29.w3
N1.80.w1

Cranes
J51.37.w1

Other References

Code and Title List

B91
J1.11.w5, J1.16.w8, J1.17.w6, J1.22.w4
J4.99.w1
J7.5.w1, J7.6.w1, J7.7.w1, J7.30.w2, J7.33.w2, J7.33.w3, J7.43.w1, J7.43.w2

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General

WATERFOWL Inappetance, listlessness, stunting and deaths, due to lesions of the proventriculus.

Clinical Characteristics

WATERFOWL
  • Listlessness, partial and later total anorexia, anaemia, diarrhoea, weight loss, stunting, emaciation, ruffled feathers, death from starvation and anaemia. Sudden death also reported.
  • Emaciation and weakness may precede anorexia.

(J7.43.w1, J8.17.w1, P5.29.w3, B9.6.w1, B10.26.w11, B11.39.w7, B13.46.w1, B14, B15, B16.19.w1, B18, B24, B36.35.w35, B37.x.w1, B48.20.w20).

Incubation

WATERFOWL Granuloma formation may require fifty days (P5.29.w3); death recorded in ducklings as young as 12-14 days old.

Mortality / Morbidity

WATERFOWL Variable morbidity; infection may be common in waterfowl on shallow, slow-moving waters. Mortality can be high, particularly in juveniles (B14, B15, B18, B37.x.w1).

Pathology

WATERFOWL Proventriculus - Ulceration of glandular tissue of the proventriculus at the junction with the gizzard; damage may be severe. Fibrous nodules are formed in the proventriculus and at the proventriculus-gizzard junction, containing worms; masses may become sufficiently large to block the lumen. Cellular infiltration. . Hypertrophy of mucosal glands and excess mucus production; severe distortion of glands and atrophy of glandular epithelium has also been reported. Numbers of parasites may reach 200, but 30-40 is more usual.

Ulceration of proventriculus with Echinuria parva (B15)

Clinical pathology:
High fibrinogen, increased white blood cell count and normochromic microcytic anaemia may be noted.

(J7.30.w2, B11.39.w7, B12.55.w1, B13.46.w1, B14, B16.19.w1, B18, B24, B37.x.w1, B36.35.w35, B48.20.w20, J7.43.w1, P5.29.w3).

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Human Health Considerations

None (B36.35.w35, B37.x.w1).

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

WATERFOWL Susceptibility: Seen in ducks and swans, more rarely in geese. Mainly a clinical disease of juveniles, especially cygnets. Late-hatched birds are particularly susceptible.

Stress (e.g. from high stocking densities, severe winter weather, reduced food availability) may be an important factor in the development of clinical disease.

Transmission: through ingestion of intermediate host, particularly Daphnia (water flea). Species which dabble at or near the water surface are most likely to ingest Daphnia.

Transmission is greatest when there is a combination of shallow water, numerous zooplankton (particularly Daphnia) and high waterfowl population densities (passing eggs to be ingested by the intermediate host).

Eggs do not overwinter in the environment; adults are the source of infection each year.

(J7.30.w2, J7.43.w1, J8.17.w1, P5.29.w3, B11.39.w7, B12.55.w1, B15, B18, B36.35.w35, B37.x.w1, B48.20.w20).

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Disease / Agent has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

Waterfowl

Disease has been reported in:

  • A wide variety of wild waterfowl. (P5.29.w3, B15).
  • Laysan teal Anas laysanensis on Laysan Island, Hawaii (B36.35.w35)
  • Ducks, swans, occasionally geese (B14). 
  • Wild mute swan Cygnus olor, captive black-necked swan Cygnus melanocoryphus, Bewick's swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii, trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator (B9.6.w1)
  • Chiloe wigeon Anas sibilatrix in a collection in the UK (J7.5.w1).
  • Juvenile Carolina (wood duck) Aix sponsa, Mandarin Aix galericulata, Bahama (white-cheeked) pintail Anas bahamensis, (Common) eider Somateria mollissima, Orinoco goose Neochen jubata and adult Hartlaub's duck Histrionicus histrionicus in a collection in the UK (J7.6.w1).
  • Bewick's and Whistling swan (Tundra swan) Cygnus columbianus bewickii and Cygnus columbianus columbianus, black swan Cygnus atratus, Black-necked swan Cygnus melanocorypha, Trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator, Whooper swan Cygnus cygnus, Mute swan Cygnus olor, Coscoroba swan Coscoroba coscoroba in the UK (J7.43.w1).
  • Juvenile Mute swan Cygnus olor wild in the UK (J7.43.w2).
  • Anas penelope Eurasian wigeon, Anas rubripes American black duck, Cygnus olor Mute swan, Anas (Mareca) americana American wigeon, Nettion carolinensis (Anas crecca) Green-winged teal (B48.20.w20).
  • Juvenile fulvous whistling ducks Dendrocygna bicolor in captivity in the UK (J7.33.w2).
  • "Stifftailed ducks" in captivity in the UK (J7.33.w3).
  • "Seaducks" in captivity in the UK (J7.30.w2).
  • "Northern geese" in captivity in the UK (J7.34.w1).
  • Redhead Aythya americana (J4.99.w1).
  • Red-breasted geese Branta ruficollis and possibly Black swans Cygnus atratus in a collection in the UK (P5.29.w3).
  • Fulvous whistling-duck Dendrocygna bicolor, Cuban whistling duck Dendrocygna arborea, Red-billed (Black-bellied) whistling-duck Dendrocygna autumnalis, Black-necked swan Cygnus melanocoryphus, Bewick's swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii, trumpeter swan Cygnus (cygnus) buccinator, Emperor goose Anser canagicus, Pacific black brant Branta bernicla orientalis, Egyptian goose Alopochen aegyptiacus, Ringed teal Callonetta leucophrys, Brazilian teal Amazonetta brasiliensis, Carolina (wood) duck Aix sponsa, African pygmy goose Nettapus auritus, Indian pygmy goose Nettapus c. coromandelianus, comb duck Sarkidornis melanotos, Hartlaub's duck Pteronetta hartlaubi, White-winged wood duck Cairina scutulata, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, New Zealand grey duck (Pacific black duck) Anas s. superciliosa, Philippine duck Anas luzonica, Abyssinian Yellowbill duck Anas undulata ruppelli, African black duck Anas sparsa sparsa, Abyssinian black duck Anas sparsa leucostigma, Versicolor teal Anas versicolor versicolor, Bahama (white-cheeked) pintail Anas bahamensis bahamensis, chestnut-breasted teal Anas castanea, New Zealand brown teal Anas aucklandica chlorotis, Chiloe wigeon Anas sibilatrix, Patagonian crested duck Anas (Lophonetta) specularioides specularioides, New Zealand blue duck Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, Red-crested pochard Netta rufina, Rosybill pochard Netta peposaca, Redhead Aythya americana, Australian white-eye Aythya australis, tufted duck Aythya fuligula, harlequin duck Histrionicus histrionicus, goosander (common merganser) Mergus merganser (N1.80.w1).

Infection reported in:

Cranes
  • Low numbers of eggs of Echinuria sp. were found in faeces from crane enclosures at Jersey Zoo. [2001](J51.37.w1)

WATERFOWL Host Species List

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Disease / Agent has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

Waterfowl

Disease has been reported in:

  • "A wide variety of wild waterfowl" (B15).
  • Wild mute swan Cygnus olor (B9.6.w1)
  • Juvenile mute swans Cygnus olor in the UK (J7.43.w2).
  • Laysan teal Anas laysanensis on Laysan Island, Hawaii (B36.35.w35).
  • Redhead Aythya americana (J4.99.w1).

Infection reported in:

  • Black-bellied whistling-ducks Dendrocygna autumnalis in Texas, USA (J1.11.w5).
  • Mallard Anas platyrhynchos and American wigeon Anas americana in Oklahoma, USA (J1.16.w8).
  • Green-winged teal Anas crecca in southwest Texas, USA (J1.17.w6).
  • Mexican ducks, Anas platyrhynchos diazi (J1.22.w4).

WATERFOWL Host Species List

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

  • Daphnia (water-flea) populations increase in still water, particularly shallow ponds, and are lower in water with a good flow-through. Daphnia (water-fleas) may be introduced into ponds when duckweed is provided.
  • Daphnia are present in greater numbers in warmer weather and may reach high numbers over the summer. In the UK, Daphnia are most abundant in late summer/early autumn (favourable conditions of temperature and pH).
  • Infection of Daphnia is dependent on the number of infected waterfowl passing eggs in their droppings. Eggs do not overwinter in the environment.
  • In the wild, build-up of infection may occur in late summer particularly during years of low rainfall.

(J7.30.w2, J8.17.w10, N1.80.w1, B10.26.w11, B11.39.w7, B12.55.w1, B14, B15, B18, B36.35.w35, B37.x.w1).

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

UK, Europe, Australia and many regions of the Northern hemisphere (J7.30.w2, J7.43.w1, P5.29.w3).

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

UK, USA, Laysan Island and many regions of the Northern hemisphere (J1.11.w5, J1.16.w8, J1.17.w6, J1.22.w6, J7.30.w2, J7.43.w2, B36.35.w35, P5.29.w3).

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

WATERFOWL Infection shown by examination of faeces for eggs: small, (46 x 25 m), ellipsoidal, thick shelled, embryonated with single larva. Detection and identification of nematodes within proventricular lesions (P5.29.w3, B11.39.w7, B14, B15, B16.19.w1, B37.x.w1).
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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

WATERFOWL Gizzard worm infection (Gizzard Worm Infection), acanthocephaliasis (thorny-headed worm) (Acanthocephala Infection) (B14, B37.x.w1).

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

WATERFOWL
  • Anthelmintics. Ivermectin 200 g/kg, oral or subcutaneous, Fenbendazole 20 mg/kg, oral; Mebendazole 5-15mg/kg for two days, tetramisole 25-50mg/kg oral Thiabendazole 200-500 mg/kg. N.B. these may kill the parasites, but will not reverse the damage already done to the proventriculus (J7.30.w2, J7.43.w1, J8.17.w1, B11.39.w7, B13.16.w1, B16.19.w1, B37.x.w1).
  • Ivermectin was described as effective (P5.29.w3).
  • Piperazine compound 45-200 mg/kg body weight single dose (B10.26.w3).
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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

WATERFOWL --
Related Techniques

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Preventative Measures

Vaccination WATERFOWL --
Prophylactic Treatment

WATERFOWL

Regular dosing with anthelmintics: Ivermectin (subcutaneous injection), Fenbendazole (oral drench), Piperazine, or Mebendazole (in feed) may all be used (J7.43.w1, B10.26.w11, B15, B37.x.w1).

For information on routine parasite control see Preventative Medicine for Birds - Parasite screening and Routine Control Measures.

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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection

WATERFOWL

  • Reduce Daphnia levels by draining stagnant ponds, ensuring water has a good flow-through rate, by the use of pumps if necessary, and if feasible using well-water rather than surface water; avoid bringing in duckweed (Lemna) from stagnant ponds, as this may introduce infected Daphnia (J7.7.w1, J7.43.w1, J8.17.w1, N1.80.w1, B9.6.w1, B10.26.w11, B11.39.w7, B13.46.w1, B15, B18, B24, B36.35.w35, B37.x.w1).
  • Water from a well rather than a surface stream may be preferable, particularly for juveniles (J7.7.w1).
Population Control Measures WATERFOWL
  • Exclude wild waterfowl from breeding areas if possible (B24).
  • Raise juveniles separate from adults (B12.55.w1).
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening WATERFOWL --
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