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Aspergillosis is caused by a fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus. The fungus is present in the environment. In birds that are immunocompromised or stressed, the fungal spores can invade the respiratory tissues and create matts of fungal hyphae.
Commonly Affected Species:
Signs Of Disease
Birds affected by aspergillosis are usually thin, lethargic and may present with open mouth breathing. Aspergillosis tends to be a chronic disease but can develop quickly depending on the number of spores inhaled. In birds that are chronically infected, either yellow to white thickened areas or thick mats of white to green fungus are present in the lungs and airsacs.
Where is Disease Found?
Aspergillosis is found in soil across most of North America and been associated with mortality events in many areas in both waterfowl and raptors. Aspergillosis had been documented in waterfowl and raptors in Idaho.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Aspergillosis is not a contagious disease therefore human exposure to the fungus in avian carcasses is of minimal concern.
Samples to Collect
If there is concern about this condition, contact a conservation officer or an Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Office. Appropriate samples can be collected for testing if deemed necessary.
Can I Eat The Meat?
Meat from animals affected by aspergillosis is not suitable for human consumption.
What is IDFG doing to help manage this disease?:
Idaho Department of Fish and Game monitors waterfowl populations for disease events. While aspergillosis has affected large numbers of birds in some local areas, it is generally not a population limiting disease.