Aspergillosis is a common fungal infection in both wild and pet birds. Although effective antifungal medications are available, treatment of aspergillosis can require months of medication administration, which entails stressful handling one or more times per day. This study examined the delivery of the antifungal drugs itraconazole, voriconazole, and terbinafine to Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) via an impregnated implant. Implants contained 0.5, 3, 8, or 24 mg of itraconazole, voriconazole, or terbinafine. The implants were administered subcutaneously over the dorsum and between the scapulae. Blood was collected from birds before and 2, 7, 21, 42, and 56 days after implant placement. Plasma was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography for concentrations of itraconazole, voriconazole, or terbinafine, as appropriate. During the course of the study, targeted terbinafine concentrations were achieved in some birds at various time points, but concentrations were inconsistent. Itraconazole and voriconazole concentrations were also inconsistent and did not reach targeted concentrations. Currently, the implant examined in this study cannot be recommended for treatment of aspergillosis in avian species.
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