Evaluation of serum chemistry values associated with avian malaria infections in African black-footed penguins (Spheniscus demersus)

Thaddeus K. Graczyk, Michael R. Cranfield, Elisabeth J. Bicknese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The value profiles of 5 intracellular enzymes, 15 metabolites (with 2 associated ratios), and 3 electrolytes were monitored over time in 9 captive-reared African black-footed penguins (Spheniscus demersus) with different avian malaria clinical status: uninfected, subclinically infected, and clinically infected with fatal outcome. Fatal infections were caused by Plasmodium relictum. Numerous schizonts were visible in the lungs, liver, spleen, and interstitial tissue of the kidneys. The feference ranges of 23 serum clinical chemistry parameters and 2 ratios were established for S. demersus. The mean values obtained for 8 of 23 parameters of the infected penguins were signficantly different from those recorded for the uninfected birds, indicating impaired renal function, hepatic dysfunction, and nonspecific tissue damage related to the infestation with exoerythrocytic schizonts. Analysis of sensitivity, specificity, and negative and positive predictive values (PPVs) showed that gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGTP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and creatinine reached PPVs and a specificity over 57% for avian malaria infections in penguins. Creatinine, ALT, and GGTP values should be consulted in evaluation of the clinical malaria status of S. demersus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-319
Number of pages4
JournalParasitology Research
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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