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Amyloidosis is a disorder in which abnormal proteins (amyloid) build up in the duck's tissues and organs, resulting in organ dysfunction and death. Although there are several types of amyloidosis that occur in humans, ducks are most frequently affected by the inflammation-associated form---also known as amyloid A (AA) or systemic amyloidosis.
The condition occurs commonly in domestic ducks and other captive waterfowl. Waterfowl appear to have a genetic disposition to developing amyloidosis. It usually occurs secondary to a chronic inflammatory condition, such as bumblefoot, gout, and avian tuberculosis. The onset of amyloidosis is related to abnormal and excess production of antibodies by a type of immune cell called plasma cells.