Miguel Saggese, DVM, MS, PhD
Associate Professor, Veterinary Microbiology/Avian, Exotic, and Wildlife Medicine
College of Veterinary Medicine
PhD, Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas USA, 2007 Mentors:
Certified Avian Influenza Response Instructor, National Centre for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Diseases Defence, Texas A&M University and Wildlife Health Center -UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, 2006
Certified Endangered Species Recovery Management Team, Management and recovery of endangered species. Wildlife Preservation Trust, University of Jujuy, Durrell Preservation Trust and the Royal Society of London, 2001
Certified Conservation Biology, Conservation biology and applied techniques, University of Jujuy, Jujuy, Argentina, 1999
2007 - Present
Assistant Professor – Microbiology, Infectious Diseases, Avian and Wildlife Medicine,
College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California
PhD candidate Graduated Research Assistant Teaching Assistant
The Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University College Station, Texas Dissertation: Molecular diversity, pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of avian mycobacteriosis. Committee Chair: Dr. Ian Tizard Research focused on the molecular diversity, diagnosis, pathology and treatment of avian mycobacteriosis
Master of Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Infectious Diseases Track.
Thesis: Effect of three different West Nile virus vaccines in Japanese quail (Coturnix c. japonica) Committee Chair: Dr. Patrick T. Redig Research focused on the immunogenicity of West Nile virus vaccines in birds and the use of Raptors for West Nile virus biosurveillance.
Residency in Avian Medicine, Anaesthesia, and Surgery Teaching Assistant
Responsible for preventive, surgical and medical care of raptors and other species of birds admitted at The Raptor Center. Training of DVM students, veterinarian interns and externs visiting The Raptor Center
Internship in Avian Medicine, Anaesthesia, and Surgery Teaching Assistant
The Raptor Center College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
Responsible for preventive, surgical and medical care of raptors and other species of birds admitted at TRC. Responsible for all necropsies and gross pathology diagnosis. Training of DVM students, veterinarian interns and externs visiting The Raptor Center
Clinical Professor (Ayudante de Primera). Exotic Animal Service
College of Veterinary Sciences, University of Buenos Aires Buenos Aires, Argentina
Responsible for the medical diagnosis and treatment of reptiles, birds, rabbits and rodents presented to the Exotic Animal Service. Teaching, outreach programs and research.
Small and Exotic Animal Practice
Private practice Buenos Aires, Argentina
Small and exotic animal medicine, emergency, critical care and surgery
- Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
- Avian immunology and immunopathology
- Population Impact of Wildlife Diseases
- One Health and Eco Health
- Zoonoses and Public Health
- Wildlife Diseases
- Exotic Animal Hematology, Infectious Diseases, Anesthesia and Surgery
- Birds of Prey Ecology, Migration, Conservation and Biomedicine
My research interest focuses on studying, understanding, and quantifying the lethal and non-lethal effects of macro and microparasites and environmental pollutants on wild raptors (AVES: Falconiformes; Estrigiformes) populations. As top food chain predators, and given their diverse feeding habits, biomes inhabited and other ecological conditions, predators can become exposed to a larger catalogue of infectious agents and environmental pollutants as compared to other non-predatory species. West Nile virus, Trichomonas spp., lead spent ammunition and anticoagulant rodenticides are just a few examples. My goals are not only to understand the effects of epizootias on raptors populations, but to measure the less evident effects of common avian pathogenand environmental pollutants on their population dynamics. How do these infectious agents affect several aspects of raptors natural history and ecology? What are the non-lethal effects on their physiology and immune function? How can these effects be measured? How do we detect the presence of disease in a population? Are raptors effective indicators of an ecosystem’s health? These are some of the questions my lab seeks to answer in the long term. Furthermore, the long term impact of these pathogens and pollutants on raptor populations and their conservation are not clearly understood and are subjects of my research. Equally important is the potential use of raptors for biosurveillance and monitoring of zoonotic infectious and parasitic diseases such as West Nile virus, Avian Influenza, and Toxoplasmosis worldwide. Given their easy capture, fidelity to nesting territories (which makes them easily found year after year), relative abundance, size, and the possibility to collect large amounts of blood and other biomedical samples with minimally invasive methods raptors are an excellent model to work with.
My research on raptors is conducted in two different geographic regions and ecological habitats: southern California, USA; and southern Patagonia, Argentina. In recent years, I have established a network of raptor biologists, private, government, and university research labs that is increasing and contributing to my studies in California. In southern Patagonia, I have established a Wildlife Research Station where I have worked seasonally during the last three years. While raptors are the main focus of my research, the collaboration with ranch owners, state wildlife agencies, and other local institutions therecould foster and enhance additional research opportunities on a wide catalog of wildlife. This could create potential research opportunities for other faculty interested in wildlife diseases and the interactions between wildlife, humans, and domesticated cattle
Another line of investigation I am pursuing, still in the same field of avian diseases, focuses on the molecular epidemiology, diagnosis, immunopathogenesis, and treatment of several infectious and parasitic diseases that affect companion and wild birds. Recently, I conducted bench-work investigating the molecular epidemiology of avian mycobacteriosis, a deadly disease of psittacines, doves, and other aviary birds. Moreover, and as result of the field work with Californian raptors, I started to investigate the molecular epidemiology of Trichomonas spp., a protozoo responsible for a disease typically found in birds of prey, trichomonosis.
Mentoring students in research has been always been a priority in my life. Since 2008, I have been fortunate enough to mentor and work with five different DVM students on summer research projects here at Western U. This time of the year has been very effective to pursue seasonal research (southern Californian raptors) while mentoring students. Two of them received funding from Morris Animal Foundation and the other three were supported by a University Summer Student Research Grant.
GRANTS AND FUNDED RESEARCH
College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences Research and Biotechnology office. Health status of southern California Raptors and the impact of diseases and environmental pollutants on their population decline. Principal Investigator, 2012, $10,000
College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences Research and Biotechnology office Health status of Austral peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus cassini) in southern Patagonia, Argentina and the impact of diseases on its breeding success and conservation. Principal Investigator, 2011, $4,000
College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences Health status of Austral peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus cassini) in southern Patagonia, Argentina and the impact of diseases on its population status, breeding success and conservation. Principal Investigator, 2010, $5,000
LA Zoo and Botanical Garden Survey of lead toxicosis in raptors from Central and Southern Argentina. Principal Investigator, 2009, $4,000
CSREES-NRI-Competitive Grants Program. Impact of immune responses of chickens with defined B haplotypes on resistance to respiratory coronavirus infection. Ellen W. Collisson (PI), Miguel Saggese (Co-Inv), et al., 2008, $375,000
Western University of Health Sciences Intramural grant. Interferon Genes in the Sexual chromosome of Color- Defined Ring-neck Dove (Streptopelia risoria) Strains and their potential association with susceptibility to Mycobacterial Infections Principal Investigator, 2008, $7,000
The Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center Health parameters of captive and free-ranging Crowned Eagles (Harpyhalieatus coronatus) In Argentina. Miguel D. Saggese (Co-principal Investigator, with Dr. Agustin Quaglia), 2006-2010, $12,000
Association of Avian Veterinarians Research Grants. Investigation into the Immunopathogenesis, ante-mortem diagnosis and etiology of avian mycobacteriosis. Principal Investigator, 2005, $3,000
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota. Small Animal Research Grants, Research project “Clinical, pathological and immunohistochemical investigation of various species of birds of prey naturally infected with West Nile Virus with special emphasis in ocular lesions”, Dr. Arno Wunschmann (PI), Miguel Saggese (Co-Inv), 2003, $5,000
Wildlife Conservation Society-Field Veterinarian Program Research project: “Health Evaluation Status of Free Ranging Raptors in Argentina”. Principal Investigator, 2000, $5,000
Argentine Wildlife Foundation Research project: “Breeding ecology of three raptor species from southern Patagonia”. Principal Investigator, 1987, $2,000
2017 Certificate of Officer Appreciation, in recognition of service as President of the Foundation from 2015 to 2017, Raptor Research Foundation.
2017-2020past-President, Raptor research Foundation.
2015-2017President, Raptor Research Foundation.
2007-2015Board Director, Raptor Research Foundation.
2015Nominated as CVM representative for Western U Research Committee.
201515 Top Exotic Animal Veterinary Professors-Veterinary Tech. Colleges Blog.
2013 Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation. I Worldwide Raptor Conference, Bariloche, Argentina October 2013, Raptor Research Foundation.
2010-2019 IACUC committee member
2009 Phi Zeta Veterinary Honor Society
- 2009 Pfizer Award for Research Excellence The Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence, established in 1985 is given to those faculty members who, through their dedication and investigation in research, are chosen from among their peers as an outstanding researcher in the field of veterinary medicine
- 2007-2011 AAV Board Director
- 2007-2013 Association of Avian VeterinariansFor outstanding service and commitment to advancing and promoting avian medicine and stewardship.
- American Society for Microbiology
- Association of Avian Veterinarians
- Aves Argentinas/Asociación Ornitológica del Plata
- California Veterinary Medical Association
- Eagle Conservation Alliance
- Raptor Research Foundation
- Raptor Group-Argentine Wildlife Foundation/Aves Argentinas
- Wildlife Diseases Association
- American Ornithologist Union
- Argentine Wild Animals Veterinarian Association
- CVM Faculty Affairs Committee (2008-2011)
- CVM Research Advisory Committee (2008-2011) Chair 2010-2011
- CVM Admissions Committee (2008-2011)
- University Research Committee 2009-
- IACUC committee 2011-2015
- Associate Dean for Research Search Committee 2010
- Faculty Position (Food Safety) Search Committee 2012
- Advisor, ZWEACC student club 2007-
- Board of Directors 2008-2011
- Advisory Council 2011-2012
- Scholarship Committee 2007- present (chair since 2010)
- Research Committee 2008- present
- Conservation Committee 2007-2010
Board of Directors 2007-2013
- Director for Southern Hemisphere (2007-2010)
- Director at Large (2011-2013)
- Strengthening Ornithology in North America (RRF Liaison 2010)
- North American Ornithological Conference 2012 (Students Presentations Committee)
Wildlife Diseases Association Conference 2010
- Scientific program Committee
Eagle Conservation Alliance
- Founding member
- Steering committee
- Conferences organizer
Samour, J. 2016. Avian Medicine, 3rd Edition. Jaime Samour (Editor).
Hardcover ISBN:9780723438328. 712 pages. Elsevier, Mosby Ltd.
- Saggese MD. 2016. Endocrinology
- Naldo J and MD Saggese. 2016. Radiology
- Saggese MD. 2016. Reproductive Disorders
SELECTED PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
Saggese MD, Ellis DH, Trejo A, Nelson RW, Quaglia AIE, Caballero IC, Ellis CH. 2019. Avian prey of the Austral Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus cassini) in southern Atlantic argentine Patagonia during the breeding season. J Raptor Research 53(2): 207-211
Oakley, B., Melgarejo T., Bloom P., Abedi N., Saggese MD. 2018. Detection of Wohlfahrtiimonas chitiniclastica and Ignatzschineria spp in a Turkey Vuture (Cathartes aura). Ecohealth. Submitted.
Saggese MD, Quaglia AI, De Lucca ER and Ellis DH. 2018. Basic III Plumage Female Variable Hawks (Geranoaetus polyosoma) Pair with Adult Males in Patagonia, Argentina. J Raptor Research, submitted.
Ellis, DH., Saggese MD., RW. Nelson. 2018. Robbing Ibis Nests as a Foraging Strategy of Peregrine Falcons in Patagonia. J Raptor Research, submitted.
Bloom PH, Papp JM, Saggese MD and Gresham AM. 2019.Toward a More Effective and Portable Walk-in Turkey Vulture Trap. J N Bird Band Assoc,submitted
Ibarra J, Mera y Sierra RL, Neira G, Ibaceta DEI, Saggese MD. 2018. Air sac nematode (Serratospiculum tendo) infection in an Austral Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus cassini) in Argentina. J Wildlife Diseases, https://doi.org/10.7589/2017-12-314
Nguyen N, Saggese MD and Eng C. 2018. Analysis of historical medical records of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) admitted for lead exposure to the Los Angeles zoo and botanical gardens between the years 1997 and 2012: a case series study, J Zoo Wildlife Medicine 49:902-911
Saggese MD, De Lucca ER, Quaglia AIE, Nelson RW, Ellis DH. 2018. Long-term Nesting Territory Occupancy of Black-chested Buzzard-Eagles (Geranoaetus melanoleucus)in Patagonia, Argentina J Raptor Research 52:400-402.
Saggese MD, Marano CF, Roesler I. 2014. Wintering of Ospreys in Argentina: Insights from New Records Between 1993–2008. J Raptor Research 48: 345-360.
Saggese MD, Tizard I, Gray P, Phalen DN. 2014. Evaluation of Multidrug Therapy With Azithromycin, Rifampin, and Ethambutol for the Treatment of Mycobacterium avium subsp avium in Ring-neck Doves (Streptopelia risoria): An Uncontrolled Clinical Study. J Avian Med Surg. 2014 Dec;28(4):280-9.
Quaglia AI, Diaz LA, Argibay H, Contigiani MS, Saggese MD. 2014. West Nile and st. Louis encephalitis viruses antibodies surveillance in captive and free-ranging birds of prey from Argentina. Ecohealth 11:603-9.
Drechsler Y, Tkalcic S, Saggese MD, Shivaprasad HL, Ajithdoss DK, Collisson EW. 2013. A DNA vaccine expressing ENV and GAG offers partial protection against reticuloendotheliosis virus in the prairie chicken (Tympanicus cupido). J ZooWildl Med44(2):251-61.
Banat GR, Tkalcic S, Dzielawa JA, Jackwood MW, Saggese MD, Yates L, Kopulos R, Briles WE, Collisson EW. 2013. Association of the chicken MHC B haplotypes with resistance to avian coronavirus. Dev Comp Immunol 39:430-7.
De Lucca ER and Saggese MD. 2012. Parental care and time-activity budget of Black-chested Buzzard-Eagles (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) Revista Ornitologia Colombiana 12: 17-24.
Dahlhausen, R., D. Soler-Tovar and M.D. Saggese. 2012. Diagnosis of mycobacteriosis in the exotic animal patient. Vet Clinics of North America, 15: 71-83
Buur, J and M.D. Saggese. 2012. Taking a rational approach in the treatment of avian mycobacteriosis. Vet Clinics of North America, 15: 57-70
Saggese M.D., I. Tizard and D.N. Phalen. 2010. Comparison of sampling methods and diagnostic techniques in ring-neck doves (Streptopelia risoria) naturally infected with avian mycobacteriosis. J Avian Medicine and Surgery 24: 263-271
Gomez, G., M.D. Saggese, B.R. Weeks, S.M. Hoppes and B.F. Porter. 2010. Granulomatous intestinal ganglionitis and encephalomyelitis in a Spectacled Amazon parrot (Amazona albifrons) infected with Mycobacterium genavense. J Comparative Pathology 144(2-3):219-222
Saggese M.D. 2009. Clinical approach to the anemic reptile. J Exotic Pet Medicine 18:98-111
Saggese M.D., A. Quaglia, S. A. Lambertucci, M. S. Bo, J. H. Sarasola, R. Pereyra- Lobos and J, J. Maceda. 2009. Survey of lead toxicosis in free-ranging raptors from central Argentina In: Ingestion of Spent Lead Ammunition: Implications for Wildlife and Humans. (Watson, R.T, Fuller, M., Pokras, M. and Hunt, W.G., eds.). The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho
Gray, P., M.D. Saggese, D.N. Phalen and I. Tizard. 2008. Humoral response to Mycobacterium avium in naturally infected ringneck doves (Streptopelia risoria). Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 15; 125(3-4): 216-224
Saggese M.D., I. Tizard and D. N. Phalen. 2008. Mycobacteriosis in naturally infected ring-neck doves (Streptopelia risoria): Investigation of the association of feather color with susceptibility to infection and disease and lesions type. Avian Pathology37(4): 443-450
Saggese, M.D. 2007. Conservation medicine, diseases and birds of prey. Invited paper. El Hornero - Neotropical Journal of Ornithology, Special issue on Raptors 22 (2): 117-130
Saggese, M.D., Riggs, G., Tizard, I, Bratton, G., Taylor, R., Phalen, D.N. 2007. Gross and microscopic findings and investigation of the aetiopathogenesis of mycobacteriosis in a captive population of white-winged ducks (Cairina scutulata). Avian Pathology 36: 415-422
Saggese, M.D. 2007. West Nile virus infection in Neotropical raptors: should we be concerned? In Neotropical raptors. K.L.Bildstein et al., (Eds). Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Kempton, PA
Saggese, M.D., R. Noseda, M. Uhart, S. Deem, H. Ferreyra, M.C. Ferreyra-Armas, & M. Romano. 2007. First detection of Bacillus anthracis in feces of free-ranging raptors from central Argentina. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 43: 136-141
Tavernier, P., M.D. Saggese, A. Van Wettere, & P. Redig. 2005. Malaria (Plasmodium relictum) in an eastern screech owl (Megascops asio). Avian Diseases 49: 433-435
Wünschmann, A, J. Shivers, J. Bender, L. Carroll, S. Fuller, M.D. Saggese, A. van Wettere, and P. Redig. 2005. Pathologic and immunohistochemical findings in Goshawks (Accipiter gentiles) and Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) naturally infected with West Nile virus. Avian Diseases 49: 252-259
Wünschmann, A, J. Shivers, J. Bender, L. Carroll, S. Fuller, M.D. Saggese, A. van Wettere, and P. Redig. 2004. Pathologic findings in red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) and Cooper’s hawks (Accipiter cooperi) naturally infected with West Nile virus. Avian Diseases 48:570-580
Saggese, M.D & E. R. De Lucca. 2004. Live mammal prey (Zaedius pichyi) in the nest of the Grey Eagle-Buzzard (Geranoaetus melanoleucus). J Raptor Research 38: 101-102
Saggese, M.D & E. R. De Lucca.2001. Breeding biology of Grey Eagle-Buzzard (Geranoaetus melanoleucus) in southern Patagonia, Argentina. El Hornero - Neotropical Journal of Ornithology 16: 77-84
De Lucca, E. R. & M.D. Saggese.1996. Nesting of Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis) in San Luis province. El Hornero - Neotropical Journal of Ornithology 14: 77-80
Saggese, M.D, S. Krapovikas, E. Haene & E, R. De Lucca.1996. Presence of Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in Argentina y Uruguay. El Hornero - Neotropical Journal of Ornithology 14: 44-49
Saggese, M.D & E. De Lucca.1995. Breeding biology of the Cinereous Harrier (Circus cinereus) in Patagonia. El Hornero - Neotropical Journal of Ornithology 14:21-26
De Lucca, E. R & M.D. Saggese.1995. Siblicide in the Grey Eagle-buzzard (Geranoaetus melanoleucus). El Hornero - Neotropical Journal of Ornithology 14:38-39
De Lucca, E. R & M.D. Saggese.1993. Nesting of American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) in Patagonia. El Hornero - Neotropical Journal of Ornithology 13: 302-305
ARTICLES IN PREPARATION
Saggese, M.D., J. DeBrota, S. Taylor, P.Bloom, N. Komar, J. Papp, and S. Thomas. Preavalence of selected avian pathogens in Southern California raptors.
Saggese, M.D. and A.Quaglia. Hematology, blood chemistry, and prevalence of avian pathogens in Crowend Solitary Eagles (Harpyhaliaetus coronatus)
Saggese, M.D., A. Wünschmann, B. Ritchie, D. Pesti, A. Allison, and P. Redig. Sero-prevalence of West Nile Virus infection and West Nile virus-associated disease in free-ranging nestling and fledgling raptors of the Midwestern United States In 2003
Saggese, M.D., M. Uhart, H. Ferreyra, P. Halperin, S. Deem, M. Ferreyra-Armas, N. Guida, A. Barboni, M. Romano & E. Moras. Hematology, plasma biochemistry and survey for selected infectious diseases in free-ranging raptors inhabiting a pampean agroecosystem from central Argentina.