A decrease of avian biodiversity in the African continent has been the result of anthropogenic pressure in the region. This has resulted in the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) being placed on the endangered species list and requires conservation efforts to maintain its free-ranging population and placement under managed care. In the latter environment, infection by Aspergillus fumigatus can be common. The diagnosis and treatment of this fungal disease in birds has presented with many difficulties, largely due to the diversity and limited knowledge that exists about this species. In this study, we implement a high-resolution capillary electrophoresis system for the fractionation of African penguin plasma, followed by mass spectrometry analysis for the identification of proteins associated with aspergillosis. Several protein differences were revealed, including changes in acute phase proteins and lipid metabolism. In addition, our results demonstrated that fibrinogen β chain is a protein largely present during the inflammatory process in an African penguin infected with A. fumigatus. These findings present a new avenue for the measurement of plasma proteins as a potential method for identifying important biomarkers to aid in monitoring African penguin health.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)