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Fungus killed thousands of ducks in SW Idaho

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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:38 PM
Original message
Fungus killed thousands of ducks in SW Idaho
BOISE -- We now know why an estimated 2,500 mallard ducks died near Oakley. They were discovered along Land Creek Springs, about 15 miles from Burley. Fish and Game officials say a fungus killed the birds.

The official cause of death is acute aspergillosis, a respiratory tract infection caused by a fungus commonly found in soil, dead leaves, moldy grain, compost piles, or in other decaying vegetation. It can cause respiratory tract infections in birds that inhale the spores.

"Its not contagious to people, not something for people to worry about. Its a relatively common waterfowl disease. It happens around the country every year," said Tom Hemker, state wildfowl manager.

Fish and Game says the fungus most often grows where grain has been spilled, although no specific site has been found as a source for the fungus.

http://www.ktvb.com/news/localnews/stories/ktvbn-dec150...

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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, there's THAT mystery cleared up, anyway. .
Thanks for posting!
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Seemed to be a topic of great concern here yesterday
including talk of a possible BushCo/Homeland Security/Bilderberger conspiracy.... :crazy:
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. Aspergillus Niger
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. Makes sense. They must have all been feeding as a flock in an aspergillus
"rich" area.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Uh huh. Is the gov't trying to tell us that 2000 ducks dying at once is common?
Because I don't recall hearing much about that before this.

And aspergillus may be common, but many people have allergic reactions to it. So can we get a better explanation?
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. ? I found this reference to die-off among mallards in Tennessee.
Acute Aspergillosis in Mallards

SCWDS Briefs, January 1996, 11.4

A mallard mortality event involving 80 birds occurred on a hunt club in western Tennessee in mid-November 1995.

The hunt club is comprised of approximately 2,000 acres, primarily open water and flooded crops, along the south fork of the Obion River. Other species of ducks reportedly were using the area, but mortality apparently was limited to mallards. Four of the affected mallards were submitted to SCWDS for necropsy, and all had gross lesions characteristic of acute aspergillosis. The most consistent and striking lesion was dark red, firm lungs studded with numerous small (1/16 to 1/8-inch),discrete, yellow nodules. In addition, some birds had similar yellow nodules on the mucosal surface atvarious locations along the digestive tract. Microscopic examination of tissues confirmed the presence of fungal hyphae typical of aspergillosis. Aspergillosis is a respiratory infection of birds and mammals caused by fungi of the genus Aspergillus,most frequently A. fumigatus. Aspergillosis is commonly diagnosed in waterfowl, but usually as scattered, individual cases.

Sudden die-offs, such as the one reported here, occur less frequently but previously have been reported in mallards, Canada geese, and other waterfowl species in the United States and Canada. Infection with Aspergillus is initiated by inhalation of fungal spores; bird-to-bird transmission does not occur. The source of the fungus in major die-offs usually is accumulation of moldy agricultural products such as waste corn, peanuts, straw, or hay.

When a local source can be identified, birds should be denied use of the area. A local source could not be found for the die-off in Tennessee, and additional mortality has not been observed.

http://www.uga.edu/scwds/topic_index/1996/Acuteasp.pdf

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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. 80? It was a news item at 80 and now we have 2000??????
Maybe I'm just an hysterical female.......but this looks SERIOUS and they are really playing it down.
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jus_the_facts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. It's deadly to Ducks....and used as a food addititive for us humans...lovely...
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 08:40 PM by jus_the_facts
:evilfrown:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspergillus_niger

Pathogenesis
A. niger is less likely to cause disease than some other Aspergillus species, but if large amounts of spores are inhaled, a serious lung disease aspergillosis can occur. Aspergillosis is particularly frequent among horticultural workers breathing in peat dust which can be rich in Aspergillus spores. Less commonly, it has been found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs and can be inhaled when the area is disturbed. It is less harmful, though not entirely free from risks, if eaten and digested. A. niger is one of the most common causes of otomycosis (fungal ear infections), which can cause pain, temporary hearing loss and in severe cases damage to the ear canal and tympanic membrane.


Industrial use
A. niger is cultured for the industrial production of many substances. Various strains of A. niger are used in the industrial preparation of citric acid (E330) and gluconic acid (E574) and have been assessed as acceptable for daily intake by the World Health Organisation. Many enzymes are produced using A. niger including glucoamylase and α-galactosidase, the latter being found in Beano and other medications which the manufacturers claim can prevent flatulence. Another use for A. niger within the biotechnology industry is in the production of magnetic isotope-containing variants of biological macromolecules for NMR analysis.

it is also used in the production of high fructose corn syrup, as this process uses glucoamylase as one of the enzymes.


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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. can we call it the Cheney Fungus?
seems fitting, considering his bird hunts.
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NoodleyAppendage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well...at least they won't be "gassy" waterfoul.
"Many enzymes are produced using A. niger including glucoamylase and α-galactosidase, the latter being found in Beano and other medications which the manufacturers claim can prevent flatulence. "

J
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
10. It just seems strange to me
that 3000 ducks all breathed the same spores from grain, they all died within 48 hours, and no other birds in the area but ducks died from the spores but that's just me.
The pics of all those dead ducks made me sad. I think i am in one of those moods...first the dolphins in china extinct and now this.

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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
12. I guess i am not the only one
who thinks it is strange. The infectious disease guys think it is weird too.
"
the Iowa case, this is not the common picture. It also is unclear as why it
is only mallards and not other birds. There are other possibilities. Read
the next post for a different point of view. - Mod.TG]"
and
discussing duck plague
"
Since DVE affects more than just ducks it is still curious that only ducks
in this case are mentioned. Perhaps there are only ducks in the area? -
Mod.TG]"
http://www.promedmail.org/pls/promed/f?p=2400:1000
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