Publications by authors named "Roser Velarde"

42 Publications

Protective Effect of Intestinal Helminthiasis Against Tuberculosis Progression Is Abrogated by Intermittent Food Deprivation.

Front Immunol 2021 14;12:627638. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Unitat de Tuberculosi Experimental, Institut Germans Trias i Pujol, UAB, Badalona, Spain.

Background: Tuberculosis (TB) is still a major challenge for humankind. Because regions with the highest incidence also have a high prevalence of helminthiasis and nutritional scarcity, we wanted to understand the impact of these on TB progression.

Methods: We have developed an experimental murine model for active TB in C3HeB/FeJ, coinfected with and nematodes, and exposed to an environmental mycobacterium () and intermittent fasting. Cause-effect relationships among these factors were explored with Partial Least Squares Path modelling (PLSPM).

Results: Previous parasitization had a major anti-inflammatory effect and reduced systemic levels of ADA, haptoglobin, local pulmonary levels of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, CXCL-1, CXCL-5 and IL-10. Oral administration of heat-killed resulted in a similar outcome. Both interventions diminished pulmonary pathology and bacillary load, but intermittent food deprivation reduced this protective effect increasing stress and inflammation. The PLSPM revealed nematodes might have protective effects against TB progression.

Conclusions: Significantly higher cortisol levels in food-deprivation groups showed it is a stressful condition, which might explain its deleterious effect. This highlights the impact of food security on TB eradication policies and the need to prioritize food supply over deworming activities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.627638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8079633PMC
April 2021

Characterization of New Molecular Markers of Three Botflies Parasitizing Cervid Hosts.

J Med Entomol 2021 Feb 4. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Departamento de Biología Experimental, Universidad de Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas, s.n., Jaén, Spain.

Specific identification of oestrid larvae is usually problematic not only when using morphobiometric features, but also when applying molecular criteria, since very few molecular markers have been described for this group of flies. New molecular markers for oestrid are needed for more reliable species identification, diagnostic purposes, and epidemiological surveys; moreover, they can help in phylogenetic reconstruction. Here, we report the characterization of COI, 28S rDNA, ITS1, and ITS2 in Cephenemyia stimulator from roe deer and in Cephenemyia auribarbis and Pharyngomyia picta from red deer. The COI and 28S rDNA are very uniform in length, while the ITSs sequences are highly variable at both intraspecific and interspecific levels. The described ITSs sequences were longer than those described for other dipteran species by the presence of simple repeats and tandem repeat sequences. In C. auribarbis both ITS1 and ITS2 appeared as two variants, one short and the other long. In general, the analyzed markers present low intraspecific genetic variation and high interspecific variation. ITSs showed the greatest amount of intraspecific and interspecific variation. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the characterized sequences differentiate the species and genera of Oestridae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjab006DOI Listing
February 2021

Endemic occurrence of Fasciola hepatica in an alpine ecosystem, Pyrenees, Northeastern Spain.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2020 Oct 4. Epub 2020 Oct 4.

Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università di Torino, Torino, Italy.

Fasciola hepatica is a liver parasite of ruminants whose distribution is determined by its intermediate host, the freshwater snail Galba truncatula. In Europe, F. hepatica is mostly associated with lowlands. Infection from sympatric domestic reservoirs is rarely reported in wild mountain ungulates. This study explores F. hepatica in a multi-host system in a European alpine area. Serum samples (n = 1,209) from Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica), European mouflon (Ovis aries musimon), domestic sheep (Ovis aries) and domestic cattle (Bos taurus) were collected in the National Game Reserve of Freser-Setcases (NGRFS) in Catalonia, Northeastern Spain, from 2008 to 2019, and tested for antibodies against F. hepatica. During the same period, the livers of 214 chamois hunted in the NGRFS were inspected for F. hepatica and associated pathological changes. Finally, 907 freshwater snails were collected in summer 2016 between 1559 and 2,224 metres above sea level (asl) in the NGRFS, and F. hepatica DNA sought by PCR. Antibodies against F. hepatica were detected in all four species, with a higher prevalence in cattle and sheep than in chamois. Fasciola hepatica and hepatic lesions were concurrently observed in 13/214 of the chamois livers inspected (6.1%, CI95 2.9%-9.3%). Fasciola hepatica DNA was detected in one out of the 907 snails (0.1%, Cl95 0.1% - 0.3%; Ct value 33.3) and collected at 2054 m asl. Fasciola hepatica was consistently detected in a high mountain multi-host system, suggesting that its life cycle is completed and that it occurs endemically at the highest elevation reported in Europe. Transhumant livestock are the likely source in this alpine ecosystem, which according to rare occurrence of F. hepatica DNA in G. truncatula is still a suboptimal habitat for F. hepatica life cycle. Studying parasites at their highest distribution range can be useful to monitor climate change in seasonal mountain environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13865DOI Listing
October 2020

NSAIDs detected in Iberian avian scavengers and carrion after diclofenac registration for veterinary use in Spain.

Environ Pollut 2020 Nov 3;266(Pt 2):115157. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC), CSIC-UCLM-JCCM, 13005, Ciudad Real, Spain.

Despite the now well recognised impact of diclofenac on vultures across the Indian subcontinent, this non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) was registered in 2013 for livestock treatment in Spain, Europe's main vulture stronghold. We assessed the risk of exposure to diclofenac and nine other NSAIDs in avian scavengers in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) after the onset of diclofenac commercialization. We sampled 228 livestock carcasses from vulture feeding sites, primarily pig (n = 156) and sheep (n = 45). We also sampled tissues of 389 avian scavenger carcasses (306 Eurasian griffon vultures, 15 cinereous vultures, 11 Egyptian vultures, 12 bearded vultures and 45 other facultative scavengers). Samples were analysed by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LCMS). Seven livestock carcasses (3.07%) contained NSAID residues: flunixin (1.75%), ketoprofen, diclofenac and meloxicam (0.44% each). NSAID residues were only detected in sheep (4.44%) and pig (3.21%) carcasses. Fourteen dead avian scavengers (3.60%) had NSAID residues in kidney and liver, specifically flunixin (1.03%) and meloxicam (2.57%). Flunixin was associated with visceral gout and/or kidney damage in three (0.98%) dead Eurasian griffons. To date, diclofenac poisoning has not been observed in Spain and Portugal, however, flunixin would appear to pose an immediate and clear risk. This work supports the need for well managed carrion disposal, alongside appropriate risk labelling on veterinary NSAIDs and other pharmaceuticals potentially toxic to avian scavengers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115157DOI Listing
November 2020

Genetic characterization of Carnivore Parvoviruses in Spanish wildlife reveals domestic dog and cat-related sequences.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2020 Mar 22;67(2):626-634. Epub 2019 Oct 22.

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

The impact of carnivore parvovirus infection on wild populations is not yet understood; disease signs are mainly developed in pups and assessing the health of litters in wild carnivores has big limitations. This study aims to shed light on the virus dynamics among wild carnivores thanks to the analysis of 213 samples collected between 1994 and 2013 in wild ecosystems from Spain. We determined the presence of carnivore parvovirus DNA by real-time PCR and sequenced the vp2 gen from 22 positive samples to characterize the strains and to perform phylogenetic analysis. The presence of carnivore parvovirus DNA was confirmed in 18% of the samples, with a higher prevalence detected in wolves (Canis lupus signatus, 70%). Fourteen sequences belonging to nine wolves, three Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), a common genet (Genetta genetta) and a European wildcat (Felis silvestris) were classified as canine parvovirus 2c (CPV-2c); five sequences from three wolves, a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and a stone marten (Martes foina) as CPV-2b; and three sequences from a badger, a genet and a stone marten as feline parvovirus (FPV). This was the first report of a wildcat infected with a canine strain. Sequences described in this study were identical or very close related to others previously found in domestic carnivores from distant countries, suggesting that cross-species transmission takes place and that the parvovirus epidemiology in Spain, as elsewhere, could be influenced by global factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13378DOI Listing
March 2020

Experimental infection with high- and low-virulence strains of border disease virus (BDV) in Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica) sheds light on the epidemiological diversity of the disease.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2019 Jul 29;66(4):1619-1630. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

Wildlife Ecology & Health group (WE&H), Servei d' Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Bellaterra, Spain.

Since 2001, Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) populations have been affected by border disease virus (BDV) causing mortalities of more than 80% in some areas. Field studies carried out in France, Andorra, and Spain have shown different epidemiological scenarios in chamois populations. This study was designed to confirm the presence of BDV strains of a high and low virulence in free-ranging chamois populations from Pyrenees and to understand the implications of these findings to the diverse epidemiological scenarios. An experimental infection of Pyrenean chamois with a high-virulence (Cadí-6) and low-virulence (Freser-5) BDV strains was performed. Pregnant and non-pregnant animals with and without antibodies against BDV were included in each group. Cadí-6 BDV strain was confirmed to be of high virulence for seronegative adults and their foetuses. The antibody negative chamois infected with Freser-5 BDV strain did not show symptoms, presented less viral distribution and RNA load in tissues than Cadí-6 group, and cleared the virus from the serum. However, foetuses died before the end of the experiment and RNA virus was detected in sera and tissues although with lower RNA load than the Cadí-6 group. Chamois from both groups presented lesions in brain but the ones infected with the low-virulence Freser-5 BDV strain were mild and most likely transient. In both groups, seropositive pregnant females and all but one of their foetuses did not present viraemia or viral RNA in tissues. The existence of a low-virulence strain has been confirmed experimentally and related to chamois population infection dynamics in the area where it was isolated. Such strain may persist in the chamois population through PI animals and may induce cross-protection in chamois against high-virulence strains. This study demonstrates that viral strain diversity is a significant factor in the heterogeneity of epidemiological scenarios in Pyrenean chamois populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13195DOI Listing
July 2019

Mycoplasma conjunctivae in insect vectors and anatomic locations related to transmission and persistence.

Vet Microbiol 2019 Jan 12;228:7-11. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

Wildlife Ecology & Health Group - Servei d' Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain; UAB, Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA, IRTA-UAB), Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain.

Mycoplasma conjunctivae is an obligate microparasite that causes Infectious Keratoconjunctivitis (IKC) in Caprinae species. IKC is a long-recognised disease, but little attention has been paid to the mechanisms of transmission of the mycoplasma and its occurrence in locations other than the eyes. In this study, the presence of M. conjunctivae is assessed in the eyes, external ear canals (EEC), nasal cavity, and vagina of host species as well as in potential vectors, which may be involved in the transmission and persistence of infection within the host. M. conjunctivae was detected by qPCR in 7.2 % (CI 95% 4.7-11.0) of the ear swabs and 9.5 % (CI 95% 6.4-13.9) of the nasal swabs from Pyrenean chamois, Iberian ibex, domestic sheep and mouflon without statistical differences between species. Mycoplasma detection in nasal swabs was mostly associated with ocular infection (95.6%), but this was not the case for EEC (52.6%). Among the eye-positive ruminants, 27.3% were positive in ear swabs and 64.7% in nasal swabs, and the threshold cycle values of the qPCR were correlated only between eye and nasal swabs (p < 0.01; r = 0.56). M. conjunctivae was detected in 1.7% - 7.1 % of Musca spp. captured during an IKC outbreak in Iberian ibex and in one out of three endemic sheep flocks. The results indicate that the transmission of M. conjunctivae may occur by direct contact with eye or nasal secretions and/or indirectly through flies. The M. conjunctivae DNA detection in EEC suggests that it can colonise the auditory tract, but the significance for its persistence within the host should be further assessed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2018.11.004DOI Listing
January 2019

High diversity of hemotropic mycoplasmas in Iberian wild carnivores.

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2018 Oct 27;60:11-16. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal (INIA-CISA), Ctra Algete el Casar s/n, Valdeolmos, Madrid, Spain.

Two-hundred and thirty-one wild carnivores belonging to 10 species of in Spain were analyzed for the presence of DNA of hemotropic mycoplasmas (hemoplasmas) by means of a universal real-time PCR targeting a 16S rRNA gene fragment. Positive reactions were found for wolf (Canis lupus: 6/37), fox (Vulpes vulpes: 1/41), Eurasian badger (Meles meles: 49/85), pine marten (Martes martes: 11/23), stone marten (Martes foina: 6/9), least weasel (Mustela nivalis: 4/4), European wildcat (Felis s. silvestris: 1/2) and common genet (Genetta genetta: 7/27). Sixty-four readable sequences were obtained, resulting in 14 nucleotide sequence types (ntST). The highest diversity was detected in badger (6 ntST) and pine marten (5 ntST). The sequencing of a fragment of the RNase P gene showed that all positive reactions in wolves corresponded to Mycoplasma haemocanis. Three ntST showed an identity between 98-100% with Candidatus M. haemominutum, C. M. turicensis and C. M. haematoparvum, respectively. Four ntST were closely related to C. M. haemomeles and/or diverse genotypes reported from raccoons (Procyon lotor) in the USA. One ntST from a badger showed only 88% similarity to the closest published sequence and was phylogenetically unrelated to any other hemoplasma sequence reported. Three ntST were 99-100% similar to two different sequences reported in Spanish bats. This study confirms the widespread nature and the high genetic diversity of hemoplasma infection in carnivores. Wild carnivores might be natural hosts of some hemoplasmas infecting dogs and cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cimid.2018.09.007DOI Listing
October 2018

Urban Wild Boars and Risk for Zoonotic Streptococcus suis, Spain.

Emerg Infect Dis 2018 06;24(6):1083-1086

Urban wild boars (Sus scrofa) from Barcelona, Spain, harbor great diversity of Streptococcus suis strains, including strains with the cps2 gene and with the same molecular profile as local human cases. The increasing trend of potential effective contacts for S. suis transmission is of public health concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2406.171271DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6004849PMC
June 2018

Histopathology, microbiology and the inflammatory process associated with Sarcoptes scabiei infection in the Iberian ibex, Capra pyrenaica.

Parasit Vectors 2017 Dec 4;10(1):596. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), E-08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Sarcoptic mange has been identified as the most significant infectious disease affecting the Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica). Despite several studies on the effects of mange on ibex, the pathological and clinical picture derived from sarcoptic mange infestation is still poorly understood. To further knowledge of sarcoptic mange pathology, samples from ibex were evaluated from histological, microbiological and serological perspectives.

Methods: Samples of skin, non-dermal tissues and blood were collected from 54 ibex (25 experimentally infected, 15 naturally infected and 14 healthy). Skin biopsies were examined at different stages of the disease for quantitative cellular, structural and vascular changes. Sixteen different non-dermal tissues of each ibex were taken for histological study. Acetylcholinesterase and serum amyloid A protein levels were evaluated from blood samples from ibex with different lesional grade. Samples of mangy skin, suppurative lesions and internal organs were characterized microbiologically by culture. Bacterial colonies were identified by a desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry system (MALDI TOF/TOF).

Results: The histological study of the skin lesions revealed serious acanthosis, hyperkeratosis, rete ridges, spongiotic oedema, serocellular and eosinophilic crusts, exocytosis foci, apoptotic cells and sebaceous gland hyperplasia. The cellular response in the dermis was consistent with type I and type IV hypersensitivity responses. The most prominent histological findings in non-dermal tissues were lymphoid hyperplasia, leukocytosis, congestion and the presence of amyloid deposits. The increase in serum concentrations of acetylcholinesterase and amyloid A protein correlated positively with the establishment of the inflammatory response in mangy skin and the presence of systemic amyloidosis. A wide variety of bacterial agents were isolated and the simultaneous presence of these in mangy skin, lymph nodes and internal organs such as lungs, liver, spleen and kidney was compatible with a septicaemic pattern of infection.

Conclusions: The alteration of biomarkers of inflammation and its implication in the pathogenesis of the disease and development of lesions in non-dermal tissues and septicaemic processes are serious conditioners for the survival of the mangy ibex. This severe clinical picture could be an important factor when considering the decision to eliminate animals that exceed a certain disease threshold from a population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2542-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5715492PMC
December 2017

Long-term dynamics of Mycoplasma conjunctivae at the wildlife-livestock interface in the Pyrenees.

PLoS One 2017 9;12(10):e0186069. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.

Functional roles of domestic and wild host populations in infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC) epidemiology have been extensively discussed claiming a domestic reservoir for the more susceptible wild hosts, however, based on limited data. With the aim to better assess IKC epidemiology in complex host-pathogen alpine systems, the long-term infectious dynamics and molecular epidemiology of Mycoplasma conjunctivae was investigated in all host populations from six study areas in the Pyrenees and one in the Cantabrian Mountains (Northern Spain). Detection of M. conjunctivae was performed by qPCR on 3600 eye swabs collected during seven years from hunted wild ungulates and sympatric domestic sheep (n = 1800 animals), and cluster analyses of the strains were performed including previous reported local strains. Mycoplasma conjunctivae was consistently detected in three Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica) populations, as well as in sheep flocks (17.0% of sheep) and occasionally in mouflon (Ovis aries musimon) from the Pyrenees (22.2% in one year/area); statistically associated with ocular clinical signs only in chamois. Chamois populations showed different infection dynamics with low but steady prevalence (4.9%) and significant yearly fluctuations (0.0%- 40.0%). Persistence of specific M. conjunctivae strain clusters in wild host populations is demonstrated for six and nine years. Cross-species transmission between chamois and sheep and chamois and mouflon were also sporadically evidenced. Overall, independent M. conjunctivae sylvatic and domestic cycles occurred at the wildlife-livestock interface in the alpine ecosystems from the Pyrenees with sheep and chamois as the key host species for each cycle, and mouflon as a spill-over host. Host population characteristics and M. conjunctivae strains resulted in different epidemiological scenarios in chamois, ranging from the fading out of the mycoplasma to the epidemic and endemic long-term persistence. These findings highlight the capacity of M. conjunctivae to establish diverse interactions and persist in host populations, also with different transmission conditions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0186069PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5633175PMC
October 2017

Postepizootic Persistence of Asymptomatic Mycoplasma conjunctivae Infection in Iberian Ibex.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2017 08 17;83(15). Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge, Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

The susceptibility of the Iberian ibex () to ocular infection and the changes in their interaction over time were studied in terms of clinical outcome, molecular detection, and IgG immune response in a captive population that underwent a severe infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC) outbreak. was detected in the Iberian ibex, coinciding with the IKC outbreak. Its prevalence had a decreasing trend in 2013 that was consistent with the clinical resolution (August, 35.4%; September, 8.7%; November, 4.3%). Infections without clinical outcome were, however, still detected in the last handling in November. Sequencing and cluster analyses of the strains found 1 year later in the ibex population confirmed the persistence of the same strain lineage that caused the IKC outbreak but with a high prevalence (75.3%) of mostly asymptomatic infections and with lower DNA load of in the eyes (mean quantitative PCR [qPCR] cycle threshold [ ], 36.1 versus 20.3 in severe IKC). Significant age-related differences of prevalence were observed only under IKC epizootic conditions. No substantial effect of systemic IgG on DNA in the eye was evidenced with a linear mixed-models selection, which indicated that systemic IgG does not necessarily drive the resolution of infection and does not explain the epidemiological changes observed. The results show how both epidemiological scenarios, i.e., severe IKC outbreak and mostly asymptomatic infections, can consecutively occur by entailing mycoplasma persistence. infections are reported in a wide range of epidemiological scenarios that involve severe disease to asymptomatic infections. This study allows a better understanding of the transition between two different epidemiological scenarios described in wild host populations and highlights the ability of to adapt, persist, and establish diverse interactions with its hosts. The proportion of asymptomatic and clinical infections in a host population may not be regarded only in response to intrinsic host species traits (i.e., susceptibility) but also to a specific host-pathogen interaction, which in turn influences the infection dynamics. Both epidemic infectious keratoconjunctivitis and a high prevalence of asymptomatic infections may occur in the same host population, depending on the circulation of , its maintenance, and the progression of the host-pathogen interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00690-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514678PMC
August 2017

The physiological cost of male-biased parasitism in a nearly monomorphic mammal.

Parasit Vectors 2017 Apr 21;10(1):200. Epub 2017 Apr 21.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Wildlife Health Service, Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animal, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, E-08193, Bellaterra, Spain.

Background: Even though male-biased parasitism is common in mammals, little effort has been made to evaluate whether higher parasitic burden in males results in an extra biological cost, and thus a decrease in fitness. Body condition impairment and the augmentation of oxidative stress can be used as indicators of the cost of parasite infections. Here, we examined relationships between gastrointestinal and respiratory helminths, body condition and oxidative stress markers (glutathione peroxidase, paraoxonase-1) in 28 Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica) sampled in autumn.

Results: Only male chamois showed a reduction in body condition and higher oxidative stress due to parasite infection, likely because of the extremely high parasite burdens observed in males.

Conclusions: This study made evident a disparity in the physiological cost of multiple parasitism between sexes in a wild mammal, mainly due to parasitic richness. Because of the similar life expectancy in male and female chamois, we suggest that males may have developed natural mechanisms to compensate for higher parasite loads during the rut.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2060-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5399856PMC
April 2017

Lead Poisoning Due to Lead-Pellet Ingestion in Griffon Vultures ( Gyps fulvus ) From the Iberian Peninsula.

J Avian Med Surg 2016 Sep;30(3):274-279

Avian scavengers that typically include game birds and mammals in their diets are at risk of lead poisoning from ingestion of carcasses with fragmented or residual lead ammunition that is used in hunting. Thus, lead may be one of the threats that the griffon vulture ( Gyps fulvus ) faces in the Iberian Peninsula and particularly in Portugal, where their conservation status is considered to be near-threatened. This is the first report that details 3 cases of lead poisoning, associated with the ingestion of lead shot, in adult female griffon vultures found in the Iberian Peninsula. The birds were found prostrate and immediately transferred to a wildlife rehabilitation center, where they died within 24 hours after supportive treatment. Necropsy and histopathologic examinations were done in 2 birds and metal analyses were done in all birds to determine the birds' causes of death. In one vulture, 9 uneroded lead pellets were recovered from the stomach, and moderate to severe hemosiderosis was seen histologically in the liver, lungs, and kidneys. Diagnosis of lead poisoning was confirmed by results of metal analyses, which revealed extremely high lead concentrations in blood (969-1384 μg/dL), liver (309-1077 μg/g dry weight), and kidneys (36-100 μg/g dry weight) for all 3 vultures. To prevent lead poisoning in vultures and preserve their populations in the Iberian Peninsula, more resources are needed for diagnosis and treatment of wildlife in rehabilitation centers, new regulations enabling the abandonment of fallen stock in the field must be approved, and lead ammunition must be prohibited in big-game hunting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1647/2014-051DOI Listing
September 2016

Identification of a gammaherpesvirus belonging to the malignant catarrhal fever group of viruses in Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica).

Arch Virol 2016 Nov 17;161(11):3249-53. Epub 2016 Aug 17.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge, Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193, Bellaterra, Spain.

High prevalence (46 %) of a gammaherpesvirus was confirmed by molecular detection in the lungs of hunted Pyrenean chamois. The partial glycoprotein B sequence up to the DNA polymerase gene showed 96.6 % nucleotide sequence identity to the Rupicapra rupicapra gammaherpesvirus 1 and 81.5 % to ovine herpesvirus 2. This novel sequence clusters within sequences derived from the malignant catarrhal fever group of viruses, and the corresponding virus is tentatively named Rupicapra pyrenaica gammaherpesvirus 1 (RpHV-1). No specific histological lesions were associated with RpHV-1, nor were any detrimental effects on host health. The epidemiological, phylogenetic and histopathological results suggest that Pyrenean chamois is the natural host of RpHV-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-016-3011-8DOI Listing
November 2016

Coprological tests underestimate Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus burden in wild boar.

Parasitol Res 2016 May 14;115(5):2103-5. Epub 2016 Mar 14.

Departament de Sanitat i d'Anatomia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.

The present study evaluated the limitations of the coprological sedimentation test to assess Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus infestation in 59 wild boars (Sus scrofa) from central Spain. The coprological sedimentation test appeared to be a poor predictor of both prevalence of infestation and the real parasite burden due to the high number of false negative results (prevalence was reduced from 61 to 16 %). Because of the potential increased risk of this zoonosis, it is suggested that alternative techniques be used in wildlife surveillance programmes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-016-4976-7DOI Listing
May 2016

Border Disease Virus: An Exceptional Driver of Chamois Populations Among Other Threats.

Front Microbiol 2015 18;6:1307. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge, Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Barcelona, Spain.

Though it is accepted that emerging infectious diseases are a threat to planet biodiversity, little information exists about their role as drivers of species extinction. Populations are also affected by natural catastrophes and other pathogens, making it difficult to estimate the particular impact of emerging infectious diseases. Border disease virus genogroup 4 (BDV-4) caused a previously unreported decrease in populations of Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) in Spain. Using a population viability analysis, we compared probabilities of extinction of a virtual chamois population affected by winter conditions, density dependence, keratoconjunctivitis, sarcoptic mange, and BD outbreaks. BD-affected populations showed double risk of becoming extinct in 50 years, confirming the exceptional ability of this virus to drive chamois populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.01307DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4683209PMC
January 2016

Sex-biased severity of sarcoptic mange at the same biological cost in a sexually dimorphic ungulate.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Nov 10;8:583. Epub 2015 Nov 10.

Espacio Natural Sierra Nevada, Carretera Antigua de Sierra Nevada, Km 7, Pinos Genil, Granada, E-18071, Spain.

Background: In sexually dimorphic species, male susceptibility to parasite infection and mortality is frequently higher than in females. The Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) is a sexually dimorphic mountain ungulate endemic to the Iberian Peninsula commonly affected by sarcoptic mange, a chronic catabolic skin disease caused by Sarcoptes scabiei. Since 1992, sarcoptic mange affects the Iberian ibex population of the Sierra Nevada Natural Space (SNNS). This study aims at exploring whether mange severity, in terms of prevalence and its effects on body condition, is male-biased in Iberian ibex.

Findings: One thousand and seventy-one adult Iberian ibexes (439 females and 632 males) were randomly shot-harvested in the SNNS from May 1995 to February 2008. Sarcoptic mange stage was classified as healthy, mildly infected or severely infected. Sex-biased prevalence of severe mange was evaluated by a Chi-square test whereas the interaction between mange severity and sex on body condition was assessed by additive models. Among scabietic individuals, the prevalence of severely affected males was 1.29 times higher than in females. On the other hand, both sexes were not able to take profit of a higher availability of seasonal food resources when sarcoptic, particularly in the severe stages.

Conclusions: Sarcoptic mange severity is male-biased in Iberian ibex, though not mange effects on body condition. Behavioural, immunological and physiological characteristics of males may contribute to this partial sex-biased susceptibility to sarcoptic mange.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-1186-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4641373PMC
November 2015

Sarcoptic mange breaks up bottom-up regulation of body condition in a large herbivore population.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Nov 6;8:572. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193, Aveiro, Portugal.

Background: Both parasitic load and resource availability can impact individual fitness, yet little is known about the interplay between these parameters in shaping body condition, a key determinant of fitness in wild mammals inhabiting seasonal environments.

Methods: Using partial least square regressions (PLSR), we explored how temporal variation in climatic conditions, vegetation dynamics and sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) severity impacted body condition of 473 Iberian ibexes (Capra pyrenaica) harvested between 1995 and 2008 in the highly seasonal Alpine ecosystem of Sierra Nevada Natural Space (SNNS), southern Spain.

Results: Bottom-up regulation was found to only occur in healthy ibexes; the condition of infected ibexes was independent of primary productivity and snow cover. No link between ibex abundance and ibex body condition could be established when only considering infected individuals.

Conclusions: The pernicious effects of mange on Iberian ibexes overcome the benefits of favorable environmental conditions. Even though the increase in primary production exerts a positive effect on the body condition of healthy ibexes, the scabietic individuals do not derive any advantage from increased resource availability. Further applied research coupled with continuous sanitary surveillance are needed to address remaining knowledge gaps associated with the transmission dynamics and management of sarcoptic mange in free-living populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-1188-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4636837PMC
November 2015

The two sides of border disease in Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica): silent persistence and population collapse.

Anim Health Res Rev 2015 Jun;16(1):70-7

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge,Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals,Facultat de Veterinària,Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona,08193-Bellaterra,Spain.

In 2001, border disease virus (BDV) was identified as the cause of a previously unreported disease in Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica) in Spain. Since then, the disease has caused a dramatic decrease, and in some cases collapse, of chamois populations and has expanded to nearly the entire distribution area in the Pyrenees. Chamois BDV was characterized as BDV-4 genotype and experimental studies confirmed that it was the primary agent of the disease. The infection has become endemic in the Central and Eastern Pyrenees. However, while most Pyrenean chamois populations have been severely affected by the disease, others have not, despite the circulation of BDV in apparently healthy individuals, suggesting the existence of different viral strategies for persisting in the host population. Changes in the interplay of pathogen, host and environmental factors may lead to the formation of different disease patterns. A key factor influencing disease emergence may be pathogen invasiveness through viral mutation. Host factors, such as behavior, immunity at the population level and genetic variability, may also have driven different epidemiological scenarios. Climatic and other ecological factors may have favored secondary infections, such as pneumonia, that under particular circumstances have been major contributing factors in the high mortality observed in some areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1466252315000055DOI Listing
June 2015

Male-biased gastrointestinal parasitism in a nearly monomorphic mountain ungulate.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Mar 18;8:165. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Wildlife Health Service - Departament de Medicina i Cirugia Animal, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.

Background: Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) is a nearly monomorphic mountain ungulate with an unbiased sex-specific overwinter adult survival. Few differences in gastrointestinal parasitism have been reported by coprology as yet. This study aims to assess diversity, prevalence, intensity of infection and aggregation of gastrointestinal nematodes in male and female adult chamois. We expect no differences in the parasite infection rates between sexes.

Findings: Gastrointestinal tracts of 28 harvested Pyrenean chamois in the Catalan Pyrenees (autumn 2012 and 2013) were necropsied and sexual differences in the diversity and structure of parasite community, prevalence, intensity of infection, and richness were investigated. We found 25 helminth species belonging to 13 different genera.

Conclusions: Contrary to our expectations, male chamois showed different parasite communities, higher prevalence, intensity of infection and richness than females. Such sexual differences were clear irrespective of age of individuals. Hence, male chamois must cope with a more diverse and abundant parasite community than females, without apparent biological cost. Further research will be required to confirm this hypothesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0774-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4408582PMC
March 2015

Uses and limitations of faecal egg count for assessing worm burden in wild boars.

Vet Parasitol 2015 Apr 16;209(1-2):133-7. Epub 2015 Feb 16.

Servei d́Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain; CESAM, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.

The most widely used technique to assess helminth infection in both domestic and wild mammals is the faecal egg count (FEC). Most efforts to test the reliability of FEC as a proxy for parasite load are in small ruminant studies and limited work has evaluated the use of FEC in pigs. The aim of this study was to explore whether FEC is a reliable indicator of helminth load, and to evaluate the effects of sample storage on FEC accuracy in 59 wild boars. Though FEC was useful for assessing most helminth infections (e.g., Metastrongylus spp., Ascaris suum, Trichuris suis), stomach nematodes were often missed. The accuracy of FEC decreased over time, and thus it is recommended that samples be processed within 5 days of collection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2015.02.006DOI Listing
April 2015

Management of a caseous lymphadenitis outbreak in a new Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) stock reservoir.

Acta Vet Scand 2014 Dec 10;56:83. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193, Bellaterra, Spain.

Background: In 2010, an Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica) stock reservoir was established for conservation purposes in north-eastern Spain. Eighteen ibexes were captured in the wild and housed in a 17 hectare enclosure. Once in captivity, a caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) outbreak occurred and ibex handlings were carried out at six-month intervals between 2010 and 2013 to perform health examinations and sampling. Treatment with a bacterin-based autovaccine and penicillin G benzatine was added during the third and subsequent handlings, when infection by Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis was confirmed. Changes in lesion score, serum anti-C. pseudotuberculosis antibodies and haematological parameters were analyzed to assess captivity effects, disease emergence and treatment efficacy. Serum acute phase proteins (APP) Haptoglobin (Hp), Amyloid A (SAA) and Acid Soluble Glycoprotein (ASG) concentrations were also determined to evaluate their usefulness as indicators of clinical status. Once in captivity, 12 out of 14 ibexes (85.7%) seroconverted, preceding the emergence of clinical signs; moreover, TP, WBC, eosinophil and platelet cell counts increased while monocyte and basophil cell counts decreased. After treatment, casualties and fistulas disappeared and both packed cell volume (PCV) and haemoglobin concentration significantly increased. Hp, SAA and ASG values were under the limit of detection or showed no significant differences.

Conclusions: A role for captivity in contagion rate is suggested by the increase in antibody levels against C. pseudotuberculosis and the emergence of clinical signs. Although boosted by captivity, this is the first report of an outbreak of caseous lymphadenitis displaying high morbidity and mortality in wild ungulates. Treatment consisting of both vaccination and antibiotic therapy seemed to prevent mortality and alleviate disease severity, but was not reflected in the humoural response. Haematology and APP were not useful indicators in our study, perhaps due to the sampling frequency. Presumably endemic and irrelevant in the wild, this common disease of domestic small ruminants is complicating conservation efforts for the Iberian ibex in north-eastern Spain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13028-014-0083-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4280031PMC
December 2014

Severity of bovine tuberculosis is associated with co-infection with common pathogens in wild boar.

PLoS One 2014 28;9(10):e110123. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

Red de Grupos de Investigación en Recursos Faunísticos, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.

Co-infections with parasites or viruses drive tuberculosis dynamics in humans, but little is known about their effects in other non-human hosts. This work aims to investigate the relationship between Mycobacterium bovis infection and other pathogens in wild boar (Sus scrofa), a recognized reservoir of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in Mediterranean ecosystems. For this purpose, it has been assessed whether contacts with common concomitant pathogens are associated with the development of severe bTB lesions in 165 wild boar from mid-western Spain. The presence of bTB lesions affecting only one anatomic location (cervical lymph nodes), or more severe patterns affecting more than one location (mainly cervical lymph nodes and lungs), was assessed in infected animals. In addition, the existence of contacts with other pathogens such as porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), Aujeszky's disease virus (ADV), swine influenza virus, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Haemophilus parasuis and Metastrongylus spp, was evaluated by means of serological, microbiological and parasitological techniques. The existence of contacts with a structured community of pathogens in wild boar infected by M. bovis was statistically investigated by null models. Association between this community of pathogens and bTB severity was examined using a Partial Least Squares regression approach. Results showed that adult wild boar infected by M. bovis had contacted with some specific, non-random pathogen combinations. Contact with PCV2, ADV and infection by Metastrongylus spp, was positively correlated to tuberculosis severity. Therefore, measures against these concomitant pathogens such as vaccination or deworming, might be useful in tuberculosis control programmes in the wild boar. However, given the unexpected consequences of altering any community of organisms, further research should evaluate the impact of such measures under controlled conditions. Furthermore, more research including other important pathogens, such as gastro-intestinal nematodes, will be necessary to complete this picture.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0110123PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211659PMC
June 2015

An identification key for the five most common species of Metastrongylus.

Parasitol Res 2014 Sep 26;113(9):3495-500. Epub 2014 Jul 26.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), E-08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain,

Species of the Metastrongylus genus, the lung nematodes of pigs that require an intermediate host (earthworm) to complete their cycle, pose a potential risk to both livestock and humans. This parasite which can result in lung pathology and mixed infections with other pathogens (e.g. viruses) can be fatal to pigs. Although this genus is distributed worldwide, there are no classification keys for identifying this common parasite species. In this work, we take advantage of parasitological surveys of wild boar (Sus scrofa) in northern and central Spain and southern Poland to develop a morphological identification key for the five most common Metastrongylus species (Metastrongylus apri, Metastrongylus pudendotectus, Metastrongylus salmi, Metastrongylus confusus and Metastrongylus asymetricus). In addition, we provide the first record of M. confusus in Spain, probably unidentified until now due to the lack of appropriate identification keys. We hope that this user-friendly identification key will enable parasitologists and veterinary practitioners to avoid further misclassifications of Metastrongylus species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-014-4001-yDOI Listing
September 2014

Factors associated with the prevalence and pathology of Calodium hepaticum and C. splenaecum in periurban micromammals.

Parasitol Res 2014 Aug 31;113(8):3001-6. Epub 2014 May 31.

Facultad de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Andrés Bello, República 252, Santiago, Chile,

Calodium hepaticum (syn. Capillaria hepatica) and Calodium splenaecum (syn. Capillaria splenaecum) are nematodes that infect the liver and spleen, respectively, of mammals. While the host range, distribution, pathology and zoonotic potential of C. hepaticum are well known, very little is known about C. splenaecum. The observed prevalence of these two parasites, the factors associated with prevalence, and the lesions resulting in the different host species were studied in 408 micromammals captured in two periurban areas of Barcelona (NE Spain) from 2011 to 2013. C. hepaticum was found in 4% of 322 wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) (with local prevalence up to 16%) and 1 of 2 Norwegian rats (Rattus norvegicus). C. splenaecum was found in 10 % of 38 greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) (local prevalence up to 30%). Neither parasite was detected in 29 Algerian mice (Mus spretus) and 17 black rats (Rattus rattus). Prevalence of C. hepaticum was significantly higher in wood mice captured in natural areas (6.4%) than those from residential areas (0%), and infected mice were in better body condition. No differences in prevalence were found among age and sex groups, years and seasons. Lesions of hepatic capillariasis in wood mice consisted mainly of mild to moderate multifocal granulomas around degenerating adult parasites and/or eggs, while lesions seen in a rat consisted of multifocal granulomatous hepatitis and bridging fibrosis extending from the necrotic areas caused by the parasites. Splenic lesions found in shrews due to C. splenaecum, representing the first histological description of this parasite, were single nodules that corresponded to finely encapsulated clusters of eggs with adult parasites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-014-3962-1DOI Listing
August 2014

Long-term assessment of wild boar harvesting and cattle removal for bovine tuberculosis control in free ranging populations.

PLoS One 2014 18;9(2):e88824. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animal, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain ; Estadística i Investigació Operativa, Departament de Matemàtica. Universitat de Lleida, Lleida, Spain.

Wild boar is a recognized reservoir of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in the Mediterranean ecosystems, but information is scarce outside of hotspots in southern Spain. We describe the first high-prevalence focus of TB in a non-managed wild boar population in northern Spain and the result of eight years of TB management. Measures implemented for disease control included the control of the local wild boar population through culling and stamping out of a sympatric infected cattle herd. Post-mortem inspection for detection of tuberculosis-like lesions as well as cultures from selected head and cervical lymph nodes was done in 745 wild boar, 355 Iberian ibexes and five cattle between 2004 and 2012. The seasonal prevalence of TB reached 70% amongst adult wild boar and ten different spoligotypes and 13 MIRU-VNTR profiles were detected, although more than half of the isolates were included in the same clonal complex. Only 11% of infected boars had generalized lesions. None of the ibexes were affected, supporting their irrelevance in the epidemiology of TB. An infected cattle herd grazed the zone where 168 of the 197 infected boars were harvested. Cattle removal and wild boar culling together contributed to a decrease in TB prevalence. The need for holistic, sustained over time, intensive and adapted TB control strategies taking into account the multi-host nature of the disease is highlighted. The potential risk for tuberculosis emergence in wildlife scenarios where the risk is assumed to be low should be addressed.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0088824PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3928305PMC
December 2014

Experimental infection of pregnant Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica) with border disease virus subtype 4.

J Wildl Dis 2013 Jan;49(1):55-68

ANSES, Laboratoire de Sophia-Antipolis, Unité Pathologie des Ruminants, 105 Route des Chappes B.P.111, 06902 Sophia-Antipolis Cedex, France.

Border disease virus (BDV) causes high mortality in Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica) on the French and Spanish sides of the Pyrenees Mountains. We investigated the pathology induced by BDV in pregnant chamois via experimental infection. Three females were inoculated during the second third of pregnancy with a BDV-4 subgroup strain isolated from a wild Pyrenean chamois during an acute epizootic. A fourth pregnant chamois and one nonpregnant ewe were kept as negative controls. Animals were monitored to assess clinical signs, hematology, viremia, and serology. Postmortem examinations included necropsy, histopathology, and quantification of viral RNA in organs. Pregnancy was unsuccessful in all inoculated animals. One died 24 days postinoculation (dpi) without showing any precursory clinical signs. The second animal had profuse diarrhea from 13 dpi to its death at 51 dpi. The third aborted at 46 dpi and was euthanized at 51 dpi. All animals were viremic from 4 dpi until death. Neutralizing antibodies against BDV-4 were detected from 12 dpi. Necropsies showed generalized lymphadenomegaly, associated in one case with disseminated petechial hemorrhages in the digestive tract. Seventy-eight of 79 organs from inoculated adults and their fetuses had detectable viral RNA. The main histologic lesions in adults were mild lymphohistiocytic encephalitis associated with moderate or moderately severe lymphoid depletion. Control animals remained negative for virus (in blood and organs), antibody, and lesions upon postmortem examination. BDV infection during pregnancy in Pyrenean chamois causes severe disease leading to abortion, then death. Despite 100% fetal death following inoculation, viral RNA was recovered from all organs of infected fetuses, suggesting that persistently infected offspring could be born. Our results may help explain the reported decrease in chamois populations in several areas and suggest that great care must be taken when interpreting infection status for wildlife.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2011-09-260DOI Listing
January 2013

Septicemic salmonellosis caused by Salmonella Hessarek in wintering and migrating Song Thrushes (Turdus philomelos) in Spain.

J Wildl Dis 2012 Jan;48(1):113-21

Servei d'Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge, Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

We investigated two mortality events in wintering and migrating Song Thrushes (Turdus philomelos) in Catalonia, northeastern Spain in 2009 and 2010. Both episodes occurred in late February to mid-March during the spring migration. Salmonellosis produced by the serotype Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype Hessarek (S. Hessarek) was identified as the cause of death in both episodes. Poor body condition, marked splenomegaly, and microscopic disseminated intravascular coagulation with numerous intravascular and tissular bacteria were the most consistent findings. Macro-restriction profiling by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) using XbaI was performed for epidemiologic typing of the S. Hessarek isolates. Two clusters were discernible, that are possibly related, with a similarity of 82.8%. Analysis comparing pectoral muscle and subcutaneous fat scores from the Song Thrushes that died from S. Hessarek with those from healthy Song Thrushes from nearby areas during 2009 and 2010 suggest that poor body condition was associated with the S. Hessarek infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-48.1.113DOI Listing
January 2012