Veterinary Articles


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Microsatellite typing of avian clinical and environmental isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus
Van Waeyenberghe L, Pasmans F, Beernaert LA, Haesebrouck F, Vercammen F, Verstappen F, Dorrestein GM, Klaassen CH, Martel A
Avian Pathol. 2011 Feb;40(1):73-7
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Aspergillosis is one of the most common causes of death in captive birds. Aspergillosis in birds is mainly caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous and opportunistic saprophyte. Currently it is not known whether there is a link between the environmental isolates and/or human isolates of A. fumigatus and those responsible for aspergillosis in birds. Microsatellite typing was used to analyse 65 clinical avian isolates and 23 environmental isolates of A. fumigatus. The 78 genotypes that were obtained were compared with a database containing genotypes of 2514 isolates from human clinical samples and from the environment. There appeared to be no specific association between the observed genotypes and the origin of the isolates (environment, human or bird). Eight genotypes obtained from isolates of diseased birds were also found in human clinical samples. These results indicate that avian isolates of A. fumigatus may cause infection in humans.


Etiologic Agents and Diseases Found Associated with Clinical Aspergillosis in Falcons
Walter Tarello
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The aim of this study was to describe parasitological, microbiological, and pathological findings associated with the isolation of Aspergillus species in 94 clinically diseased captive falcons from Dubai. Concomitant agents and/or diseases were identified in 64 cases, causing either single (n = 36) or multiple coinfections (n = 28). Diagnoses found more often in association with aspergillosis were chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) (n = 29), Caryospora sp. (n = 16), Serratospiculum seurati infestation (n = 14), cestodiasis (n = 6), bumblefoot (n = 5), trematodosis due to Strigea falconispalumbi (n = 5), trichomoniasis (n = 4), Babesia shortti (n = 4), Mannheimia (Pastorella) haemolytica (n = 4), interstitial hepatitis (n = 4), Escherichia coli (n = 3), and Clostridium perfringens enterotoxemia (n = 2). Compared with a control group of 2000 diseased falcons without evidence of aspergillosis, the prevalence of Babesia shortti, CFIDS, Mannheimia (Pastorella) haemolytica, Escherichia coli, and falcon herpes virus infection was conspicuously higher in association with aspergillosis. These entities may be considered suitable candidates as predisposing factors for the mycosis.


The use of voriconazole for the treatment of aspergillosis in falcons (Falco species)
Di Somma A, Bailey T, Silvanose C, Garcia-Martinez C
J Avian Med Surg. 2007 Dec;21(4):307-16
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To evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of voriconazole for the treatment of aspergillosis in falcons, 20 falcons with aspergillosis admitted to the Dubai Falcon Hospital from August 2003 to May 2006 were treated with voriconazole. These falcons included 6 gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus), 10 gyrfalcon hybrids, 1 lanner (Falco biarmicus), 1 saker (Falco cherrug), and 2 peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus). Clinical signs were weight loss, inappetence, dyspnea, inspiratory stridor, tachypnea, and biliverdinuria. Aspergillosis was diagnosed from clinical signs, hematologic results, radiographic abnormalities, endoscopic examination of the lower respiratory tract, cytologic examination of biopsy samples from air sacs, and fungal cultures. Birds treated with voriconazole administered by crop gavage were divided into 2 groups: in group 1, birds were treated with 12.5 mg/kg q12 h for 3 days (loading dose), then q24h for an additional 18 to 87 days; in group 2, birds were treated with 12.5 mg/kg ql2h for the full period of 44 to 100 days. Treatment with voriconazole resulted in a successful clinical response in most cases, an acceptable survival rate, and few adverse effects. Complete clinical resolution occurred in 14 birds (70%), a partial response in 5 birds (25%), and 1 bird (5%) died during treatment. From these results, voriconazole appeared to be effective and safe for the treatment of aspergillosis in some species of falcons.


Plasma concentrations of voriconazole in falcons
Schmidt V, Demiraj F, Di Somma A, Bailey T, Ungemach FR, Krautwald-Junghanns ME
Vet Rec. 2007 Aug 25;161(8):265-8
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Doses of 12.5 mg voriconazole/kg bodyweight administered every 12 hours by crop gavage to six falcons for 14 days provided peak plasma concentrations of more than 1 microg/ml, but the trough concentrations were lower and sometimes undetectable. Administering the same doses incorporated into meat that was fed to one falcon for seven days and to three falcons for up to 91 days provided similar plasma concentrations.


Susceptibility of fungi isolated from the respiratory tract of falcons to amphotericin B, itraconazole and voriconazole
Silvanose CD, Bailey TA, Di Somma A
Vet Rec. 2006 Aug 26;159(9):282-4
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The minimum inhibitory concentrations (mics) of fungi isolated from the air sacs of falcons before (group 1), and during antifungal treatment with amphotericin B nebulisation and oral itraconazole or voriconazole (group 2), or with itraconazole alone (group 3) or voriconazole alone (group 4) were determined. Before treatment, 95 per cent of the isolates, including Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus terreus, were susceptible to voriconazole at mics up to 0.38 microg/ml, and all the isolates were susceptible at mics up to 1 microg/ml. Before treatment, 21 per cent of the isolates, including A fumigatus (27.6 per cent), A flavus (16.6 per cent), A niger (100 per cent) and A terreus (23 per cent), were resistant (mic > or =1 microg/ml) to itraconazole; 51 per cent of the isolates, including A fumigatus (31 per cent), A flavus (78 per cent), A niger (14 per cent) and A terreus (77 per cent), had mics of over 1 microg/ml to amphotericin B, and after treatment their mics increased significantly. In contrast, there were no significant differences between the mics of voriconazole and itraconazole for the different Aspergillus species before and during treatment with these antifungal agents.

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