What Is Aspergillosis In Birds And Humans?

In this article, I am going to take a closer look at what is aspergillosis in birds and humans and aspergillosis symptoms.

We all love to have pets, but sometimes we need to be careful that we aren’t causing ourselves more pain and suffering by having them.

No matter what pet you have, there are always risks that are associated with having that pet, and you are going to want to be sure that you know what they are and that you do everything you can to make sure that they don’t happen.

So What Is Aspergillosis In Birds?

First of all, when you have a pet bird or even if you run a farm with chickens in the yard, you could also run the risk of developing Aspergillosis.

Aspergillosis comes from a fungus that can be found in compost piles or other areas where bird waste has collected.

With your pet birds, there is little chance of getting Aspergillosis as long as you keep the cage clean, but if you have larger birds or if you have many birds on your property, there is a chance that you could see an outbreak of Aspergillosis if you aren’t careful with cleanliness.

aspergillosis

Aspergillosis Symptoms

Humans:

There are several signs of Aspergillosis symptoms that you should watch out for.

Since it is a general lung infection that comes from the fungus, the clearest signs are going to be wheezing and coughing, as well as coughing up phlegm and an inability to breathe. You also might find yourself disoriented, and confused, or with a high fever.

Other signs in humans include:

  • Fever and chills.aspergillosis symptoms
  • A cough that brings up blood.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest or joint pain.
  • Headaches or eye symptoms.
  • Skin lesions.

Without treatment, invasive aspergillosis is fatal. … Kidney failure, liver failure (causing jaundice), and breathing difficulties may develop. Death can occur quite quickly.

Treatment For Aspergillosis In Humans:

If you think that you or your family members have developed Aspergillosis you are going to want to be sure that you see a doctor right away.

Although this disease is uncommon, it is still life-threatening, especially if your immune system isn’t good.

There are various stages to the illness, and the sooner you catch it the better you are going to be.

You should always be sure that you are notifying your doctor about what is on your property and what you might have come into contact with as well.

Aspergillosis should be treated with prescription antifungal medication like voriconazole.

Other antifungal medications used to treat aspergillosis include lipid amphotericin formulations, posaconazole, isavuconazole, itraconazole, caspofungin, and micafungin.

Birds:

Aspergillosis in birds is a fungal infection that commonly causes respiratory disease. It can cause both upper (nose, sinuses, eye, and trachea) and lower (lungs and air sacs – a specialized part of the respiratory tract that birds have) respiratory problems or more broadly distributed systemic infections.

This slow-growing fungal infection gradually damages tissues in the body over a period of weeks to months, often with little obvious evidence of the illness until an organ or the system is severely compromised.

Birds on an all-seed diet can be more susceptible to this disease as their diet lacks vitamin A, which is essential to keeping the bird’s respiratory tracts and their immune systems healthy.

Aspergillosis is not contagious from bird to bird and it is more common in birds who have compromised immune systems.

Some birds with healthy immune systems may be exposed to Aspergillus spores and not develop an infection. However, even healthy birds exposed to large numbers of these spores (in dust, mold, soil, etc.) can still be infected.

Treatment For Aspergillosis In Birds:

Birds with aspergillosis may show very non-specific signs, and infection may not be obvious early in the disease. Ultimately, infected birds may show signs of respiratory difficulty, including tail bobbing, or weight loss. The bird may be lethargic, fluffed, and listless. A veterinarian will likely want to perform several diagnostic tests, like blood counts and X-rays.

Aspergillosis is a very challenging disease to cure. The location of the infections and the way the body attempts to ward off the fungus restrict the ability of drugs to get to the fungus. The treatment takes a long time and the bird must have a strong immune system in order to completely eliminate the organism.

Treatments may include oral, intravenous, topical, and aerosolized antifungal medications and/or surgical removal of fungal plaques. Supportive care includes hospitalization, oxygen therapy, providing warmth, force-feeding, administration of anti-inflammatory medications, and treatment of other underlying or concurrent diseases.

Aspergillus fungi are everywhere in the environment and can cause disease in wild and domestic animals, as well as humans. … Outbreaks of aspergillosis in wild birds may be associated with outbreaks in domestic birds if they have access to a common source of the fungus.aspergillosis in birds

The best way to avoid getting an Aspergillosis outbreak or any other diseases is to always to make sure that you are running clean and safe establishments.

This is both for humans as well as for the birds. You want to be sure that your animals are living in quarters that can be easily cleaned, and that are cleaned often.

You also have to be sure that you dispose of the waste in a way that is not dangerous. It does no good to clean out the bird waste if it is still going to be left somewhere that humans might come in contact with it and become sick.

4 Comments

  1. This is a very informative article about what aspergilloses is, and how it is in birds and humans. It has really explained the symptoms in humans and these symptoms are mostly confused as fever. 

    For people who have birds as pet, please is there a means of preventing it? I mean something like a vaccine you can take to prevent being infected. This post is really sensitizing and I’m happy that there are ways of treating Aspergilloses in both humans and birds. I love this article cos I’ve learnt new things.

    1. Luckily Aspergillosis is quite rare, especially if you are just a pet owner and not a breeder. As far as I know there is no vaccine against this disease.

  2. Hi, 

    Thanks for this post about Aspergillosis. In my neighborhood, there is always someone who likes to have a bird as a pet or a wooden shed with so many pigeons inside, and the bird owners didn’t end up well eventually. My parents don’t allow me to have birds as pets, and I think it is because of this disease. 

    I am wondering the medicine that you listed that we could use to cure aspergillosis, will there be any side effects for people? And also the side effects brought by treatment for birds, it seems that it’s unlikely to recover from aspergillosis for birds. 

    1. Luckily Aspergillosis isn’t all that common. I have owned birds all my life and have never come across it. 

      As with any medication there are various side effects, but unfortunately if you are infected with this disease it is vital that you take medication in order to survive. If caught early there will be an 100 percent recovery. 

      Thanks for the comment Matt. 

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