Pancreatitis in wild zinc-poisoned waterfowl

Louis Sileo, W. Nelson Beyer, Rafael Mateo

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    66 Citations (Scopus)


    Four waterfowl were collected in the Tri-State Mining District (Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri, USA), an area known to be contaminated with lead, cadmium and zinc (Zn). They were part of a larger group of 20 waterfowl collected to determine the exposure of birds to metal contamination at the site. The four waterfowl (three Branta canadensis, one Anas platyrhynchos) had mild to severe degenerative abnormalities of the exocrine pancreas, as well as tissue (pancreas, liver) concentrations of Zn that were considered toxic. The mildest condition was characterized by generalized atrophy of exocrine cells that exhibited cytoplasmic vacuoles and a relative lack of zymogen. The most severe condition was characterized by acini with distended lumens and hyperplastic exocrine tissue that completely lacked zymogen; these acini were widely separated by immature fibrous tissue. Because the lesions were nearly identical to the lesions reported in chickens and captive waterfowl that had been poisoned with ingested Zn, and because the concentrations of Zn in the pancreas and liver of the four birds were consistent with the concentrations measured in Zn-poisoned birds, we concluded that these waterfowl were poisoned by Zn. This may be the first reported case of zinc poisoning in free-ranging wild birds poisoned by environmental Zn.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)655-660
    JournalAvian Pathology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003


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