Aspergillus fumigatus causes disease in birds. Our objectives were to determine pharmacokinetic parameters and evaluate efficacy of voriconazole (VCZ) in a novel experimental quail model. After a single oral VCZ dose of 20 or 40 mg/kg, plasma concentrations peaked 2 h postdose (5.8 and 6.9 microg/ml) and remained above 0.5 microg/ml for 4 and 12 h postdose, respectively. For the efficacy study, ten-day-old Japanese quail (n = 60) were infected intratracheally with A. fumigatus conidia. Daily oral VCZ at 20 or 40 mg/kg was initiated 24 h postinfection (PI); infected diluent-treated birds were given de-ionized water orally. Preassigned birds were euthanized on days 5 or 10 PI. VCZ at 40 mg/kg prolonged survival compared to 20 mg/kg or diluent-treatment (P < 0.05) and lungs from birds given VCZ at 40 mg/kg had fewer colony forming units (CFU) than diluent-treated (P = 0.03). At day 10 PI, birds treated with VCZ at 20 mg/kg had significantly fewer fungi in the lungs as demonstrated by methenamine silver stain (P = 0.017) or immunohistochemistry, as compared to diluent-treated (P = 0.034). Histopathologically, VCZ-treated birds did not have necrotic lesions and showed a trend toward fewer with acute inflammatory changes. VCZ at 40 mg/kg was efficacious in quail with experimental pulmonary aspergillosis.
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