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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 22(2):1984 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1984 Dec;22(2):267-272. English.
Published online Apr 14, 2009.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1984.22.2.267
Copyright © 1984 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
An outbreak of malaria in penguins at the Farm-land Zoo
Ung-Bok Bak,Jae-Chan Park and Young-Jae Lim
College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Suwon, Korea.
Farm-land Zoo, Yongin-gun, Geonggi-do, Korea.

In June of 1983 authors had investigated the occurrence of the avian malaria in the Humboldt penguins imported from Japan to the Farm-land Zoo in central district of Korea. The disease was characterized by acute course and high mortality. The peripheral blood smears from the affected penguins demonstrated different developmental stages of Plasmodium sp. in the mature erythrocytes. The predominant gross lesions noticed were pulmonary and epicardial edema and hepato-splenomegaly. Microscopically the lesions were characterized by extensive reticuloendothelial cell hyperplasia with striking feature of exoerythrocytic schizogony affecting a variety of tissues. The report also signifies the first description of a disastrous epizootic of avian malaria in Korea.


Figs. 1-6
Fig. 1. 2 and 3. The blood films from the sick penguins demonstrate different developmental stages of Plasmodium sp., presumably trophozoites (short arrows) and schizonts (long arrows) which displace host cell nuclei to one side in the mature erythrocytes. The affected cells show poikilocytosis and polychromatophilia. Wright stain, ×1,000.

Fig. 4. The splenic pulp tissue showing extensive hyperplasia of the reticulo-endothelial cells and vacuolated macrophages with parasitization (arrows). Hematoxylin and eosin (HE) stain, ×400.

Fig. 5. A macrophage containing an exoerythrocytic schizont (arrow) in the splenic sinusoid. HE stain. ×1,000.

Fig. 6. A mature exoerythrocytic schizont with 30 or more merozoites (arrow) in a Kupffer cell of the liver HE stain, ×1,000.

Figs. 7-10
Fig. 7. The hyperplastic foci of reticulo-endothelial cells (r) in the liver tissue. HE stain, ×100.

Fig. 8. Higher magnification of Fig. 7. A focus presents the lymphoid cell accumulation and the parasitized cell (arrows). HE stain, ×400.

Fig. 9. The splenic pulp showing distinct reticulo-endothelial hyperplasia and parasitized or pigmented macrophages (arrows). HE stain, ×400.

Fig. 10. The parabronchus area showing diffuse reticulo-endothelial hyperplasia and capillary congestion. HE stain, ×200.

1. Fleischman RW, Squire RA, Sladen WJ, Moore J. Pathologic confirmation of malaria (Plasmodium elongatum) in African penguins (Spheniscus demerusus). Wildl Dis 1968;4(4):133–135.
2. Griner LA, et al. Am J Vet Clin Path 1967;1:7–17.
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