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an infectious disease of man, birds, and more rarely other animals. The disease is caused by pathogenic microscopic fungi of the genus Aspergillus (A. mich.). The main reservoir of the fungus is diseased animals.
In man aspergillosis affects the skin, mucous membranes, and internal organs, most often the bronchi and lungs. In birds the disease may arise as a result of feeding upon the waste products of incubation, such as unfertilized eggs, and dead embryos infected with Aspergillus fungi. Factors predisposing to aspergillosis are inadequate feeding and keeping the poultry in crowded, unsanitary conditions. Among ducks and geese aspergillosis is observed in the spring, most often in May.
Aspergillosis is found everywhere and causes considerable economic losses to the poultry industry. From 46 to 90 percent of the young birds may die. The spores of the fungi penetrate the respiratory tract and cause pathological changes in the area in which they ultimately become implanted and develop. The incubationary (hidden) period of the disease is from three to ten days. The main symptoms are lethargy; lack of motion; when inhaling, the diseased bird stretches out its neck and head forward and upward, opens its beak, and swallows air; frequent coughing; and a foaming liquid flow from the beak and nose. In cattle the symptoms are a dry cough, impairment of rumination, dyspnea, and rale. The diagnosis is established on the basis of a complex of clinical and other data. Preventive measures include favorable sanitary and hygienic living conditions, adequate nutrition, strict veterinary and sanitary control of feed, and timely disinfection.
Aspergillosis of bees is a fungus infection caused by the species A. flavus and A. niger. Bees infected with aspergillosis weaken and quickly die. The abdomen of a diseased bee feels hard when pressed. The dead bodies of bees, larvae, and pupae dry out into hard wrinkled lumps which become greenish-yellow or black in one or two days. Cool, damp weather aids the spread of aspergillosis of bees. The disease most often arises in hives located in shady, damp places. Preventive measures include placing hives in dry, sunlit places and timely disinfection. Combs with infected brood should be remade, the bees should be removed to dry, clean hives, and honey or sugar syrup containing 17 to 19 percent water should be added to their diet.
REFERENCESPoltev, V. I. Bolezni pchel, 4th ed. Leningrad, 1964.
Spesivtseva, N. A. Mikozy i mikotoksikozy, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.