Two eight month old parrots were presented with ocular infection. Causative agent was diagnosed as Candida albicans by culturing and identification of eye discharge. Infection of birds was successfully managed with oral administration and local application of antifungal agents.
Keywords: Candidiasis; Candida albicans; fluconazole; parrot
Fungal infections of eye are rare in birds but have been reported in numerous species. Candida albicans is an opportunistic yeast and present in the normal ocular surface flora. Host defense mechanisms and bacterial flora keep numbers of the organism controlled. In most cases, Candida infection is endogenous in origin occurring secondarily to stress, immunosuppression, inadequate nutrition, poor sanitation, debilitation or in birds that have been extensively treated with antibiotics and corticosteroids. Normally the organism causes sour crop or crop mycosis in birds. But it can also cause diseases of other parts of body including beak, respiratory system, skin, feathers, eyes etc. Delay crop emptying, poor sanitation, small cage, Vitamin A deficiency, poor cage hygiene, stress etc. also predisposes ocular candidiasis.
History and Observations
Two eight months old parrots were referred with history of bilateral ocular infection for last 15 days. One of the birds was suffering from severe ocular infection with closed eye and excessive eye discharge (Fig.1). Other bird showed mild eye discharge only. Birds were not responding to treatment with antibiotic and antiseptic eye drops instillation. Both birds were having normal appetite. Severely affected bird was not able to open it's eyes along with purulent eye discharge. Yellowish plaque like lesion was noticed on the eyelids of diseased. Thorough examination of eye revealed that first bird was suffering from blepharitis, conjunctivitis and keratitis. But second one was affected with mild conjunctivitis only.
The sample from eye lesions was taken with the help of a swab. The swab was streaked on both Brain Heart Infusion agar (BHI) and Sabouraud Dextrose agar (SDA) for bacterial and fungal culture respectively. After 24 hours of incubation at 37 (0)C the growth was observed on both SDA (Fig. 2) and BHI agar. The colonies were whitish, shiny and convex and 4-5 mm in diameter. The budding cells of Candida were observed by gram staining method of smears prepared from colonies (Fig. 3).
Treatment and Discussion
After confirmation of disease, birds were treated with topical application of Fluconazole (0.3%) eye drops (Zocon (a)) and daily draining of pus. This treatment was continued for a week; but no significant improvement was observed in severely affected bird (Fig....
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