Publications by authors named "Ezequiel Hidalgo-Hermoso"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Serological prevalence and risk factors of Toxoplasma gondii in Zoo Mammals in Chile.

Prev Vet Med 2021 Sep 24;194:105445. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Laboratory of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases, Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Livestock Sciences, Universidad de Chile, Santa Rosa 11.735, La Pintana, Santiago, Chile. Electronic address:

Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic cosmopolitan protozoan that causes a high mortality rate among zoo mammals such as New World primates, meerkats, marsupials and Pallas' cat. It has been recently reported in Chile, mainly among wild populations, but also as the cause of death of a kangaroo and a mara. However, there has not been a T. gondii report at a Zoo population level in Chile in the last 35 years. The aim of the study was to estimate the seroprevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in mammals housed in a zoo located in the Metropolitan Region of Chile between 2011 and 2018. In this study, we analyzed 350 samples, from 324 animals, belonging to 57 species of carnivores, non-human primates, macropodids, ungulates and rodents to detect the presence of anti-T. gondii antibodies. Additionally, 20 animals were longitudinally sampled to evaluate intra-zoo infection. Using a commercial indirect Enzyme-Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay (ELISA) test, we detected T. gondii antibodies in 72 (22.2 %) samples. The overall seroprevalence estimates were 48.4 % in felines, 22.9 % in non-feline carnivores, 21.1 % in ungulates and 15.0 % in non-human primates. There were no positive samples from rodents or marsupials. Of animals sampled longitudinally, only a culpeo fox (Lycalopex cualpaeus) became seropositive along the study indicating exposition inside the facility. T. gondii seroprevalence differed significantly in taxonomic groups (p = 0.003), felines are statistically different from non-feline carnivores (NFC) (p = 0.040), ungulate (p = 0.027) and non-human primates (NHP) (p = 0.009). Annual prevalence comparison was performed showing no statistical difference (p = 0.941). A multivariable logistic regression was performed to ascertain the effect of taxonomic groups, proximity to water sources, diet, sex and type of housing on seropositivity. Only taxonomic group was statistically significant, indicating that NFC (OR = 0.35; 95 % CI = 0.15 - 0.83; p = 0.017), ungulates (OR = 0.30; 95 % CI = 0.13 - 0.69; p = 0.005), and NHP (OR = 0.25; 95 % CI = 0.09 - 0.72; p = 0.010) have lower risk of positivity to T. gondii compared to felines. Additionally, a black-faced spider monkey (Ateles chamek) and a siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) were seropositive, being the first description of T. gondii infection in these species worldwide. As seen in previous studies, the widespread presence and exposure of T. gondii in zoo mammals was confirmed, and there may be contact with the agent and transmission within the zoo, which was confirmed by one animal became seropositive over the time. This fact could be a health problem for animals susceptible to fatal toxoplasmosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2021.105445DOI Listing
September 2021

Widespread Infection with Hemotropic Mycoplasmas in Free-Ranging Dogs and Wild Foxes Across Six Bioclimatic Regions of Chile.

Microorganisms 2021 Apr 24;9(5). Epub 2021 Apr 24.

Facultad de Ciencias de la Vida, Universidad Andres Bello, República 440, Santiago 8320000, Chile.

Blood samples of 626 rural dogs, 140 Andean foxes (), and 83 South American grey foxes () from six bioregions of Chile spanning 3000 km were screened for DNA by conventional PCR and sequencing. Risk factors of infection were inferred using Generalized Linear Mixed Models and genetic structure by network analyses. Overall, / (/) and Mycoplasma haematoparvum (Mhp) observed prevalence was 23.8% and 12.8% in dogs, 20.1% and 7.2% in Andean foxes, and 26.5% and 8.4% in grey foxes, respectively. Both hemoplasmas were confirmed in all the bioregions, with higher prevalence in those where ticks from the species group were absent. M. haematominutum and a sp. previously found in South American carnivores were detected in one fox each. Although the most prevalent and Mhp sequence types were shared between dogs and foxes, network analysis revealed genetic structure of between hosts in some regions. Male sex was associated with a higher risk of and Mhp infection in dogs, and adult age with Mhp infection, suggesting that direct transmission is relevant. No risk factor was identified in foxes. Our study provides novel information about canine hemoplasmas with relevance in distribution, transmission routes, and cross-species transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9050919DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8145368PMC
April 2021

Cross-species transmission of retroviruses among domestic and wild felids in human-occupied landscapes in Chile.

Evol Appl 2021 Apr 27;14(4):1070-1082. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (IEB) Santiago Chile.

Human transformation of natural habitats facilitates pathogen transmission between domestic and wild species. The guigna (), a small felid found in Chile, has experienced habitat loss and an increased probability of contact with domestic cats. Here, we describe the interspecific transmission of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) between domestic cats and guignas and assess its correlation with human landscape perturbation. Blood and tissue samples from 102 free-ranging guignas and 262 domestic cats were collected and analyzed by PCR and sequencing. Guigna and domestic cat FeLV and FIV prevalence were very similar. Phylogenetic analysis showed guigna FeLV and FIV sequences are positioned within worldwide domestic cat virus clades with high nucleotide similarity. Guigna FeLV infection was significantly associated with fragmented landscapes with resident domestic cats. There was little evidence of clinical signs of disease in guignas. Our results contribute to the understanding of the implications of landscape perturbation and emerging diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eva.13181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8061269PMC
April 2021

Canine Distemper Outbreak by Natural Infection in a Group of Vaccinated Maned Wolves in Captivity.

Pathogens 2021 Jan 8;10(1). Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Patagonia Campus, School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad San Sebastian, Puerto Montt 5480000, Chile.

Canine distemper virus (CDV) is one of the most significantinfectious disease threats to the health and conservation of free-ranging and captive wild carnivores. CDV vaccination using recombinant canarypox-based vaccines has been recommended for maned wolf () after the failure of modified live vaccines that induced disease in vaccinated animals. Here, we report a CDV outbreak in a captive population of maned wolves that were previously vaccinated. Five juveniles and one adult from a group of seven maned wolves housed in an outdoor exhibit died in April-May 2013 in a zoo in the Metropolitan Region, Chile. Clinical signs ranged from lethargy to digestive and respiratory signs. Diagnosis of CDV was confirmed by histopathology, antibody assays, and viral molecular detection and characterization. The phylogenetic analyses of the nucleotide sequence of the H gene of the CDV genome identified in the two positive samples suggest a close relation with the lineage Europe 1, commonly found in South America and Chile. CDV infections in maned wolves have not been previously characterized. To the authors' best knowledge, this is the first report of the clinical presentation of CDV in a canine species previously immunized with a recombinant vaccine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10010051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7827803PMC
January 2021

Identification of Novel Feline Paramyxoviruses in Guignas () from Chile.

Viruses 2020 12 6;12(12). Epub 2020 Dec 6.

Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas y Biodiversidad, Universidad de Los Lagos, Avenida Fuchslocher 1305, Osorno 5290000, Chile.

The family of paramyxoviruses has received growing attention as several new species have been identified recently, notably two different clusters in domestic cats, designated as feline morbillivirus (FeMV) and feline paramyxovirus (FPaV). Their phylogenetic origin and whether wild felids also harbor these viruses are currently unknown. Kidney samples from 35 guignas (), a wild felid from Chile, were investigated for paramyxoviruses using consensus-RT-PCR. In addition, thirteen serum samples of guignas were screened for the presence of FeMV-specific antibodies by an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Viral RNA was detected in 31% of the kidney samples. Phylogenetic analyses revealed two well-supported clusters, related to isolates from domestic cats, rodents and bats. No significant histopathology changes were recorded in infected guignas. Serology identified two samples which were positive for FeMV-specific antibodies. Our study highlights the diversity of paramyxovirus infections in felids with special emphasis on guignas from Chile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12121397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7762136PMC
December 2020

Epidemiology and molecular characterization of Carnivore protoparvovirus-1 infection in the wild felid Leopardus guigna in Chile.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2020 Nov 25. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas y Biodiversidad, Universidad de Los Lagos, Osorno, Chile.

Landscape anthropization has been identified as one of the main drivers of pathogen emergence worldwide, facilitating pathogen spillover between domestic species and wildlife. The present study investigated Carnivore protoparvovirus-1 infection using molecular methods in 98 free-ranging wild guignas (Leopardus guigna) and 262 co-occurring owned, free-roaming rural domestic cats. We also assessed landscape anthropization variables as potential drivers of infection. Protoparvovirus DNA was detected in guignas across their entire distribution range, with observed prevalence of 13.3% (real-time PCR) and 9% (conventional PCR) in guignas, and 6.1% (conventional PCR) in cats. Prevalence in guigna did not vary depending on age, sex, study area or landscape variables. Prevalence was higher in juvenile cats (16.7%) than in adults (4.4%). Molecular characterization of the virus by amplification and sequencing of almost the entire vp2 gene (1,746 bp) from one guigna and five domestic cats was achieved, showing genetic similarities to canine parvovirus 2c (CPV-2c) (one guigna and one cat), feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) (one cat), CPV-2 (no subtype identified) (two cats), CPV-2a (one cat). The CVP-2c-like sequence found in a guigna clustered together with domestic cat and dog CPV-2c sequences from South America, suggesting possible spillover from a domestic to a wild species as the origin of infection in guigna. No clinical signs of disease were found in PCR-positive animals except for a CPV-2c-infected guigna, which had haemorrhagic diarrhoea and died a few days after arrival at a wildlife rescue centre. Our findings reveal widespread presence of Carnivore protoparvovirus-1 across the guigna distribution in Chile and suggest that virus transmission potentially occurs from domestic to wild carnivores, causing severe disease and death in susceptible wild guignas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13937DOI Listing
November 2020

A forest-specialist carnivore in the middle of the desert?Comments on https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.5230.

Ecol Evol 2020 Apr 25;10(8):3825-3830. Epub 2020 Mar 25.

Departamento de Ecología y Gestión Ambiental Centro Universitario Regional Este (CURE-Maldonado) Universidad de la República Maldonado Uruguay.

We present comments on an article recently published in Ecology and Evolution ("High-resolution melting of the cytochrome B gene in fecal DNA: A powerful approach for fox species identification of the genus in Chile") by Anabalon that reported the presence of Darwin's fox (), a temperate forest specialist, in the hyperarid Atacama Desert of northern Chile. We argue that this putative record lacks ecological support in light of ongoing research on this endangered species, and contains numerous methodological flaws and omissions related to the molecular identification of the species. Based on these issues, we suggest the scientific community and conservation decision-makers disregard the alleged presence of the Darwin's fox in the Atacama Desert.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.6132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160171PMC
April 2020

Hemoplasmas Are Endemic and Cause Asymptomatic Infection in the Endangered Darwin's Fox (Lycalopex fulvipes).

Appl Environ Microbiol 2020 06 2;86(12). Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Facultad de Ciencias de la Vida, Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile.

is prevalent in the endangered Darwin's fox () in its main stronghold, Chiloé Island (Chile). The origin of the infection, its dynamics, its presence in other fox populations and the potential consequences for fox health remain unexplored. For 8 years, hemoplasmal DNA was screened and characterized in blood from 82 foxes in Chiloé and two other fox populations and in 250 free-ranging dogs from Chiloé. The prevalence of in foxes was constant during the study years, and coinfection with " Mycoplasma haematoparvum" was confirmed in 30% of the foxes. Both hemoplasma species were detected in the two mainland fox populations and in Chiloé dogs. was significantly more prevalent and more genetically diverse in foxes than in dogs. Two of the seven haplotypes identified were shared between these species. Network analyses did not show genetic structure by species (foxes versus dogs), geographic (island versus mainland populations), or temporal (years of study) factors. The probability of infection with increased with fox age but was not associated with sex, season, or degree of anthropization of individual fox habitats. Some foxes recaptured years apart were infected with the same haplotype in both events, and no hematological alterations were associated with hemoplasma infection, suggesting tolerance to the infection. Altogether, our results indicate that is enzootic in the Darwin's fox and that intraspecific transmission is predominant. Nevertheless, such a prevalent pathogen in a threatened species represents a concern that must be considered in conservation actions. is enzootic in Darwin's foxes. There is a higher genetic diversity and prevalence in foxes than in sympatric dogs, although haplotypes are shared between the two carnivore species. There is an apparent tolerance of Darwin's foxes to .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00779-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7267207PMC
June 2020

An Eight-Year Survey for Canine Distemper Virus Indicates Lack of Exposure in the Endangered Darwin's Fox ().

J Wildl Dis 2020 04 13;56(2):482-485. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Facultad de Ciencias de la Vida, Universidad Andres Bello, República 252, Santiago, Chile.

No evidence of exposure to canine distemper virus (CDV) was detected in 70 samples corresponding to 58 wild-trapped Darwin's foxes () in Chile. Given its current endangered status and it being immunologically naïve, in the event of a CDV spillover from dogs to foxes, high population mortality is expected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2019-08-195DOI Listing
April 2020

Antibiotic resistance genes as landscape anthropization indicators: Using a wild felid as sentinel in Chile.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Feb 1;703:134900. Epub 2019 Nov 1.

Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (IEB), Santiago, Chile; Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas y Biodiversidad, Universidad de Los Lagos, Osorno, Chile. Electronic address:

Antimicrobial resistance is a global emerging public health issue whose presence and impact in wildlife are widely unknown. Antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) are considered environmental contaminants, suitable to evaluate the degree of anthropic impact on wildlife and the environment. We used a wild felid, the guigna (Leopardus guigna), as a sentinel for the presence of ARGs in anthropized and pristine areas across their entire distribution range in Chile. We evaluated fecal samples from 51 wild guignas, collected between 2009 and 2018. Real-time PCR essays were employed to detect and quantify 22 selected ARGs in their fecal microbiome. All animals (100%) were positive for at least one ARG. The most prevalent ARG families were those that confer resistance to tetracycline (88.2%) and beta-lactamase (68.9%), with tet(Q) (60.8%), tet(W) (60.8%), and bla (66.7%) as the most prevalent ARGs. Multi-resistance profiles were observed in 43% of the guignas. Statistically significant differences were found between anthropized and pristine areas for tet(Q) (p = 0.014), tet(W) (p = 0.0037), tetracycline family (p = 0.027), multi-resistance profile prevalence (p = 0.043) and tet(W) quantification (p = 0.004). Two animals from anthropized landscapes were positive for mecA, a gene associated with Staphylococcus aureus and other staphylococci resistant to methicillin, while three animals from anthropized areas were positive for bla, that encodes class A extended-spectrum beta-lactamase. Both genes have been identified in bacteria causing relevant nosocomial infections worldwide. This is the first study on ARGs in wild felids from Chile and the first detection of mecA in South American wild felids. We observed an association between the degree of landscape anthropization and ARG prevalence, confirming that ARGs are important indicators of wildlife exposure to human activity/presence, with a widespread distribution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134900DOI Listing
February 2020

Molecular and serological survey of carnivore pathogens in free-roaming domestic cats of rural communities in southern Chile.

J Vet Med Sci 2019 Dec 15;81(12):1740-1748. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB), Las Palmeras 3425, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile.

Owned, free-roaming domestic cats are abundant in the Chilean countryside, having high probability of contact with wildlife and potentially participating as reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens. In the present study, 131 cats from two remote study areas (Valdivia and Chiloe Island) in southern Chile were analyzed for infection/exposure to eight pathogens. Serum samples from 112 cats were tested for antigens against feline leukemia virus (FeLV antigen-ELISA) and antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV-ELISA) and canine distemper virus (CDV-serum neutralization), yielded occurrence of 8.9, 1.7 and 0.8% respectively. The presence of DNA of five vector-borne pathogens, piroplasmids, Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma spp., Rickettsia spp. and Bartonella spp. was investigated in thirty cats. Overall observed occurrence was 6.6% (2/30) for both Anaplasma platys, and B. henselae, and 3.3% (1/30) for both Bartonella sp. and Theileria equi. Observed occurrence for all vector-borne pathogens in Valdivia area was significantly higher than in Chiloe Island (5/15 vs 0/15; P=0.04). Our results represent the first description of exposure to CDV and DNA detection of T. equi and A. platys in domestic cats in Chile. The results highlight the importance of performing pathogen screening in owned, free-roaming rural cats to evaluate their potential role as reservoirs of infection and vectors for disease transmission to wildlife.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1292/jvms.19-0208DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6943315PMC
December 2019

SAFETY AND SEROLOGICAL RESPONSE TO MULTIVALENT CANINE DISTEMPER VIRUS VACCINE IN RED FOXES ().

J Zoo Wildl Med 2019 Jun 13;50(2):337-341. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Departamento de Veterinaria, Parque Zoológico Buin Zoo, Panamericana Sur Km 32, Buin, Chile.

Canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccination using commercial vaccines has been recommended as a useful preventive tool in zoological collections worldwide for the past 30 yr. Zoological facilities have not conducted studies to assess the effectiveness and safety of the multivalent Recombitek C6 and C8 in nondomestic carnivores. They are the only CDV recombinant vaccines available in Latin America. Seventeen clinically healthy red foxes born in Buin Zoo were divided into three groups and administered 1 ml of Recombitek C6 vaccine. Group A consisted of three animals of 9 mo of age without previous vaccination (WPV) that received a single dose. Group B consisted of four animals of 10 mo of age WPV; they received a series of three doses with a 21-day interval between doses. Group C consisted of eight animals > 1 yr of age that had received a previous vaccination > 1 yr ago; they received a single-dose booster vaccination. Titers for antibodies against CDV were measured by a serum neutralization test. All animals remained clinically healthy throughout the study period and without clinical signs of disease. Only two foxes (group C) did not show any increase in the antibody titer to the vaccine. All animals of groups A and B seroconverted at 21 days after the first vaccination. Only two animals (both from group B) showed an adequate antibody protective response (titers >100) after 180 days. Absence of adverse reactions in red foxes included in this study supports the safety and apparently nondeleterious effect of CDV recombinant vaccine reported in other nondomestic carnivores. Low antibody response and lack of persistence in the serological response 6 mo after vaccination with a single dose suggested limited protective benefits in this species. Additional research is needed to confirm the antibody titer response to multiple vaccinations in this species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2018-0135DOI Listing
June 2019

Detection of persistent pestivirus infection in pudú (Pudu puda) in a captive population of artiodactyls in Chile.

BMC Vet Res 2018 Feb 1;14(1):37. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

Laboratory of Animal Virology, Department of Animal Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Livestock and Veterinary Sciences, University of Chile, Av. Santa Rosa, 11735, Santiago, Chile.

Background: Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) is the viral agent causing the most important economic losses in livestock throughout the world. Infection of fetuses before their immunological maturity causes the birth of animals persistently infected with BVDV (PI), which are the main source of infection and maintenance of this pathogen in a herd. There is evidence of susceptibility to infection with BVDV in more than 50 species of the order Artiodactyla, and the ability to establish persistent infection in wild cervid species of South America could represent an important risk in control and eradication programs of BVDV in cattle, and a threat to conservation of these wild species. In this study, a serological and virological study was performed to detect BVDV infection in a captive population of non-bovine artiodactyl species in a Chilean zoo with antecedents of abortions whose pathology suggests an infectious etiology.

Results: Detection of neutralizing antibodies against BVDV was performed in 112 artiodactyl animals from a zoo in Chile. Three alpacas (Vicugna pacos), one guanaco (Lama guanicoe) and seven pudús (Pudu puda) resulted seropositive, and the only seronegative pudú was suspected to be persistently infected with BVDV. Then two blood samples nine months apart were analyzed by a viral neutralization test and RT-PCR. Non-cytopathogenic BVDVs were isolated in both samples. A phylogenetic analysis showed that the virus was highly related to BVDV-1b strains circulating among Chilean cattle.

Conclusions: This is the first report of a South American deer persistently infected with Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus. Further studies are needed to determine the possible role of BVDV as a pathogen in pudús and as a threat to their conservation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-018-1363-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796590PMC
February 2018

Infection with Toxoplasma gondii in a red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) and a Patagonian mara (Dolichotis patagonum) in captivity.

Rev Bras Parasitol Vet 2016 Oct-Dec;25(4):523-526. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias y Pecuarias, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Toxoplasmosis is an infectious, zoonotic and parasitic disease, caused by Toxoplasma gondii. In this manucript, two cases of infection with T. gondii in captive animals from a zoological park in the central region of Chile are described. One case was a red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), which is highly susceptible to the infection, and the other was a Patagonian mara (Dolichotis patagonum), a rodent in which there is no previous report of the infection. Both animals had myocarditis, with the presence of intralesional tachizoites and cysts suggestive of infection with T. gondii. This infection was confirmed by immunohistochemistry in both animals. The origin of the infection is unknown, but it is likely that free ranging domestic felines were associated with the dissemination of the parasites. This highlights the importance of controlling the domestic animal populations in zoological parks. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that T. gondii infection is described in a Patagonian mara, adding a new host for this infectious agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-29612016076DOI Listing
May 2018

Prevalence of and Shiga toxin-producing in zoo animals from Chile.

J Vet Sci 2016 Dec;17(4):583-586

Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Chile, Santiago, 8820808, Chile.

and Shiga toxin-producing (STEC) are foodborne pathogens. Here, we report the prevalence of and STEC in feces of 316 zoo animals belonging to 61 species from Chile. and STEC strains were detected in 7.5% and 4.4% of animals, respectively. All isolates corresponded to the serotype Enteritidis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Enteritidis in the culpeo fox (), black-capped capuchin () and Peruvian pelican () and the first STEC report in Thomson's gazelle ().
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4142/jvs.2016.17.4.583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5204038PMC
December 2016

SEROPREVALENCE OF NINE LEPTOSPIRA INTERROGANS SEROVARS IN WILD CARNIVORES, UNGULATES, AND PRIMATES FROM A ZOO POPULATION IN A METROPOLITAN REGION OF CHILE.

J Zoo Wildl Med 2015 Dec;46(4):774-8

Serum samples from 130 individuals representing 42 species of carnivores, ungulates, and primates from a population of captive mammals in Metropolitan Region in Chile were tested for antibodies against nine serovars of Leptospira interrogans using the microscopic agglutination test. Ten percent of the animals were seropositive to one or more serovars. Seroprevalence was significantly higher in ungulates (20.4%) compared to carnivores (3.8%) and primates (3.4%). There were no significant differences in seroprevalence among sex and age ranges. The most frequent serovar detected was Autumnalis, present in 53.4% of antibody-positive animals. Most positive animals had titers of ≤1 : 200, except for a maned wolf ( Chrysocyon brachyurus ) with titers of 1 : 400 against serovar Hardjo. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of Leptospira exposure detected in native endangered pudu ( Pudu puda ) and the first confirmation of exposure to L. interrogans in captive wild mammals in Chile. Leptospirosis should be considered as a differential diagnosis in future disease presentation for hepatitis or abortions in captive mammals in Chile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2014-0139.1DOI Listing
December 2015

Hematology and serum biochemistry values of Culpeo foxes (Lycalopex culpaeus) from central Chile.

J Zoo Wildl Med 2014 Sep;45(3):589-93

Hematology and serum biochemistry values were determined for 31 healthy captive and free-ranging Culpeo foxes (Lycalopex culpaeus) sampled in central Chile between 2008 and 2012. The influences of sex, age, and origin (captive versus free-ranging foxes) on the blood parameters were evaluated. The blood values determined were generally comparable to commonly reported values for other wild canid species and the domestic dog. No differences attributable to sex were observed for any parameter. Juveniles had higher levels of alkaline phosphatase and phosphorus and lower values of mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, blood urea nitrogen, total protein, and globulin than adult foxes. Captive and free-ranging animals differed in glucose and albumin values. This is the first study on blood parameters of the Culpeo fox and represents a contribution for clinical evaluations of this carnivore in captivity as well as in the wild.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2013-0280R2.1DOI Listing
September 2014

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus neutralising serum antibodies in dromedary camels: a comparative serological study.

Lancet Infect Dis 2013 Oct 9;13(10):859-66. Epub 2013 Aug 9.

Centre for Infectious Disease Research, Diagnostics and Screening, Division Virology, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: A new betacoronavirus-Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)-has been identified in patients with severe acute respiratory infection. Although related viruses infect bats, molecular clock analyses have been unable to identify direct ancestors of MERS-CoV. Anecdotal exposure histories suggest that patients had been in contact with dromedary camels or goats. We investigated possible animal reservoirs of MERS-CoV by assessing specific serum antibodies in livestock.

Methods: We took sera from animals in the Middle East (Oman) and from elsewhere (Spain, Netherlands, Chile). Cattle (n=80), sheep (n=40), goats (n=40), dromedary camels (n=155), and various other camelid species (n=34) were tested for specific serum IgG by protein microarray using the receptor-binding S1 subunits of spike proteins of MERS-CoV, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and human coronavirus OC43. Results were confirmed by virus neutralisation tests for MERS-CoV and bovine coronavirus.

Findings: 50 of 50 (100%) sera from Omani camels and 15 of 105 (14%) from Spanish camels had protein-specific antibodies against MERS-CoV spike. Sera from European sheep, goats, cattle, and other camelids had no such antibodies. MERS-CoV neutralising antibody titres varied between 1/320 and 1/2560 for the Omani camel sera and between 1/20 and 1/320 for the Spanish camel sera. There was no evidence for cross-neutralisation by bovine coronavirus antibodies.

Interpretation: MERS-CoV or a related virus has infected camel populations. Both titres and seroprevalences in sera from different locations in Oman suggest widespread infection.

Funding: European Union, European Centre For Disease Prevention and Control, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70164-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7106530PMC
October 2013
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