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Aspergillosis, a respiratory disease most commonly caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, although frequently the cause of losses in captive birds, has been little studied in wild waterfowl and other avian species. Evidence indicates this to be of importance in the wild, and studies were conducted to determine factors relating to its epizoology. Field collections from corn and other plants have yielded infective spores of Aspergillus which were inoculated into experimental chickens and ducklings and then re-isolated from characteristic lesions. A technique was developed for inoculating suspensions of known numbers of spores directly into one of the posterior thoracic airsacs. It was demonstrated that less than one million spores of A. fumigatus killed less than one-half of the experimental chickens, 10 million spores killed over 80 per cent and 50 million killed all inoculated chickens as well as ducklings. Older birds were able to survive as many as 500 million spores except when in a weakened condition. Chickens usually started dying within two days after inoculation while those that survived as long as 11 days usually fully recovered by three weeks. Pathological involvement usually was confined to lungs and airsacs. The procedures and techniques involved in these studies were illustrated on a color motion picture.
Additional Publication Details
Aspergillosis in waterfowl
Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference