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1 September 2018 APPLICATION OF 3-HYDROXYBUTYRATE MEASUREMENT AND PLASMA PROTEIN ELECTROPHORESIS IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF ASPERGILLOSIS IN AFRICAN PENGUINS (SPHENISCUS DEMERSUS)
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Abstract

New alternative laboratory means are needed to improve the options for antemortem diagnosis of avian aspergillosis. In this study, 3-hydroxybutyrate was measured in plasma samples collected from a cohort of African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) maintained under human care. Results were interpreted in combination with those of protein electrophoresis and compared with anti-Aspergillus antibody and galactomannan antigen detection. Overall, 3-hydroxybutyrate levels were found significantly increased in Aspergillus-diseased cases versus the control penguin group (P = 0.002). Mean absolute concentration of β-globulins was increased >20% in samples from infected birds, and α2-globublins were also found to be significantly increased versus clinically normal controls (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001 respectively). Of note, the α2-globulins were also significantly increased versus penguins with inflammatory (non-aspergillosis) diseases (P = 0.001). The specificity of 3-hydroxybutyrate, β-globulins, and α2-globulins for aspergillosis was 78.6%, 79.6%, and 92.2%, respectively. Using these measures in tandem resulted in high specificity (>90%) and negative predictive value (≥80%). In contrast, anti-Aspergillus antibody and galactomannan antigen did not distinguish between infected cases and controls (P > 0.05). This study demonstrates that basic testing in tandem with the new biomarker 3-hydroxybutyrate may provide reliable evidence for the diagnosis of aspergillosis in penguins.

Copyright 2018 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Guillaume Desoubeaux, Marilyn Rodriguez, Ellen Bronson, Gayle Sirpenski, and Carolyn Cray "APPLICATION OF 3-HYDROXYBUTYRATE MEASUREMENT AND PLASMA PROTEIN ELECTROPHORESIS IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF ASPERGILLOSIS IN AFRICAN PENGUINS (SPHENISCUS DEMERSUS)," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 49(3), (1 September 2018). https://doi.org/10.1638/2017-0172.1
Accepted: 29 March 2018; Published: 1 September 2018
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