Increased morbidity and mortality occurred in a 5-wk-old broiler breeder replacement pullet flock. The affected broiler pullet flock was housed on the first floor of a two-story confinement building. Mortality increased to 0.1%/day compared to the flock on the second floor, which had mortality levels of less than 0.01%/day. Clinical signs in the affected chickens included inactivity, decreased response to stimuli, and anorexia. No respiratory or neurologic signs were observed. On necropsy, affected pullets were dehydrated and emaciated and had disseminated variably sized single or multiple heterophilic granulomas that contained intralesional septate and branching fungal hyphae. Lesions were extensive around the base of the heart in the thoracic inlet and in the kidneys. Other affected organs included eyelid, muscle, proventriculus, ventriculus, intestine, liver, spleen, lung, and heart. Aspergillus flavus was cultured from the visceral granulomas. The source of flock exposure to the organism was not determined.
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Vol. 51 • No. 2