Publications by authors named "Kayla J Buhler"

2 Publications

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and T6 in arctic foxes ( from northern Canada.

Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 2020 Dec 28;13:269-274. Epub 2020 Nov 28.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B4, Canada.

Parasitic zoonotic nematodes of the genus circulate in wildlife and domestic hosts worldwide through the ingestion of infected meat. Due to their role as scavengers and predators in terrestrial and marine arctic ecosystems, Arctic foxes () are ideal sentinels for the detection of spp. In this study, we determined the prevalence, larval intensity, and species of from 91 trapped Arctic foxes collected around the northern Canadian communities of Sachs Harbour (Ikaahuk) on Banks Island (n = 23), and Ulukhaktok and Cambridge Bay (Ikaluktutiak) on Victoria Island (n = 68). Using pepsin-HCl digestion, larvae of spp. were recovered from the left forelimb muscle () in 19 of the 91 foxes (21% prevalence, 95% CI: 14-30%). For the first time in Arctic foxes in Canada, species were identified using multiplex PCR that was followed up with PCR-RFLP to distinguish between and . All infected foxes harbored and one fox was co-infected with T6; the latter is a new host record. Age of the fox was significantly associated with spp. infection and the odds of being infected were three times higher in foxes ≥2 years of age (p = 0.026), indicating cumulative exposure with age. While Arctic foxes are seldom harvested for human consumption, they serve as sentinel hosts of spp., confirming the presence of the parasite in wildlife in the region.
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December 2020

Hopping species and borders: detection of Bartonella spp. in avian nest fleas and arctic foxes from Nunavut, Canada.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Sep 14;13(1):469. Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B4, Canada.

Background: In a warmer and more globally connected Arctic, vector-borne pathogens of zoonotic importance may be increasing in prevalence in native wildlife. Recently, Bartonella henselae, the causative agent of cat scratch fever, was detected in blood collected from arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) that were captured and released in the large goose colony at Karrak Lake, Nunavut, Canada. This bacterium is generally associated with cats and cat fleas, which are absent from Arctic ecosystems. Arctic foxes in this region feed extensively on migratory geese, their eggs, and their goslings. Thus, we hypothesized that a nest flea, Ceratophyllus vagabundus vagabundus (Boheman, 1865), may serve as a vector for transmission of Bartonella spp.

Methods: We determined the prevalence of Bartonella spp. in (i) nest fleas collected from 5 arctic fox dens and (ii) 37 surrounding goose nests, (iii) fleas collected from 20 geese harvested during arrival at the nesting grounds and (iv) blood clots from 57 adult live-captured arctic foxes. A subsample of fleas were identified morphologically as C. v. vagabundus. Remaining fleas were pooled for each nest, den, or host. DNA was extracted from flea pools and blood clots and analyzed with conventional and real-time polymerase chain reactions targeting the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacer region.

Results: Bartonella henselae was identified in 43% of pooled flea samples from nests and 40% of pooled flea samples from fox dens. Bartonella vinsonii berkhoffii was identified in 30% of pooled flea samples collected from 20 geese. Both B. vinsonii berkhoffii (n = 2) and B. rochalimae (n = 1) were identified in the blood of foxes.

Conclusions: We confirm that B. henselae, B. vinsonii berkhoffii and B. rochalimae circulate in the Karrak Lake ecosystem and that nest fleas contain B. vinsonii and B. henselae DNA, suggesting that this flea may serve as a potential vector for transmission among Arctic wildlife.
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September 2020