This study was performed to investigate (i) the clinical, histopathological and biochemical changes in quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica) with experimentally induced aspergillosis; and (ii) the efficiency of itraconazole treatment on these infected birds. A total of 180 21-day-old male quails was randomly divided into three groups (control, infected untreated and infected treated), each containing 60. The experimental infection was set by intratracheal inoculation of 0.2 ml inoculum of Aspergillus fumigatus (CBS 113.26 strain) consisting of approximately 2.7 x 10(6) spores/ml. Two days after the inoculation, general clinical signs of aspergillosis in the respiratory tract were observed. In the histopathological examination, caseous foci were found in lungs, trachea and on airsacs. All quails died in the infected untreated group. Aspergillus fumigatus was isolated from the various organs of all dead quails. There was no significant change in serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) activities in infected untreated birds compared with controls. However, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity, albumin and calcium levels, and albumin/globulin (A/G) ratio were lower while phosphorus and globulin levels were higher in the infected untreated group than in controls. Each quail in the infected treated group was given 10 mg/kg/day itraconazole via drinking water for 7 days immediately after the first clinical findings. Although all quails died in the infected untreated group, 41 quails survived in the itraconazole treatment group. Biochemical values also returned approximately to the control levels after the treatment. The conclusion was drawn that aspergillosis in the quails might cause economical losses because of high mortality. Oral itraconazole treatment of aspergillosis might lower the mortality rate in quails.