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Original Research

First report of an outbreak of the oriental eye-fluke, Philophthalmus gralli (Mathis & Leger 1910), in commercially reared ostriches (Struthio camelus) in Zimbabwe

S. Mukaratirwa, Thokozani Hove, Z.M. Cindzi, D.B. Maononga, M. Taruvinga, Elizabeth Matenga

Onderstepoort J Vet Res; Vol 72, No 3 (2005), 203-206. doi: 10.4102/ojvr.v72i3.197

Submitted: 15 September 2005
Published:  15 September 2005


A total of 17 commercially reared ostriches (Struthio camelus) from Msengi farm, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe, observed with swollen eyes, severe conjunctivitis and constant lacrimation accompanied by a purulent exudate, were restrained for further clinical examination. Some of the birds were semi-blind with severe loss of body condition. When examined, tiny organisms were observed attached to the nictitating membranes and the conjuctival sacs of both eyes. The organisms were identified as Philophthalmus gralli, the "oriental eye-fluke" and Melanoides tuberculata, a prosobranch snail, was confirmed as the intermediate host through natural and experimental infection.
To the best of our knowledge this is the first record of the oriental eye-fluke infection in birds in Zimbabwe and Africa and extends its known geographical range.

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Author affiliations

S. Mukaratirwa,
Thokozani Hove,
Z.M. Cindzi,
D.B. Maononga,
M. Taruvinga,
Elizabeth Matenga,


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