Sera samples from commercial broiler chickens and turkeys diagnosed with respiratory and disseminated aspergillosis were tested for the presence of antigen and antibody to Aspergillus. Antigen detection consisted of testing for two cell-wall components, beta-glucan and galactomannan, which have been used extensively in human medicine. There were significantly higher levels of galactomannan in all broiler chicken submissions (100%) and antibody to Aspergillus in 6 out of 9 submissions (66.6%) vs. control birds. Beta-glucan analyses did not show any differences among levels in the broiler chicken groups. There were significantly higher levels of galactomannan antigen in 4 out of 7 submissions (57.1%) of aspergillosis in commercial turkeys, while only 2 out of 7 submissions (28.5%) had higher levels of antibody to Aspergillus vs. the control group. This study shows that diagnosis of respiratory and disseminated aspergillosis may be performed by detection of galactomannan antigenemia and antibodies in broiler chickens and to an extent in turkeys.
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Vol. 56 • No. 1