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Med Mycol. 2013 Oct;51(7):696-703. doi: 10.3109/13693786.2013.788257. Epub 2013 May 8.

Inflammatory marker profiles in an avian experimental model of aspergillosis.

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* Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California , Davis, CA.


Aspergillosis is a common infection in avian species, but can be a challenge to diagnose. Inflammatory markers have been successfully used in mammals for diagnostic and monitoring purposes of various diseases. The aim of this study was to identify inflammatory markers that could aid in the diagnosis of aspergillosis in an avian species. Five-week-old Japanese quail were infected experimentally with Aspergillus fumigatus, and inflammatory markers were measured in plasma. In addition, lung tissues were cultured to quantify the fungal burden. Infected quail had higher plasma levels of ceruloplasmin, unsaturated iron-binding capacity (UIBC), iron, and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), and lower levels of haptoglobin, compared with uninfected controls. There were positive linear relationships between A. fumigatus colony-forming units cultured from the lungs of infected quail, and levels of ceruloplasmin, UIBC, and TIBC. Quail that died prior to the end of the experiment (day 10 post-infection) had higher ceruloplasmin, UIBC, and TIBC, and lower haptoglobin levels than infected quail that survived. The inflammatory marker profile in quail infected with aspergillosis in this study differs from that seen in mammals, and from the pattern of inflammatory markers seen in birds with bacterial infections. Inflammatory markers could prove useful for diagnosing aspergillosis in birds, and for monitoring disease progression in infected avian species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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