Publications by authors named "Sasha Ross"

4 Publications

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High prevalence, intensity, and genetic diversity of Trichinella spp. in wolverine (Gulo gulo) from Yukon, Canada.

Parasit Vectors 2021 Mar 8;14(1):146. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

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

Background: Species of Trichinella are globally important foodborne parasites infecting a number of domestic and wild vertebrates, including humans. Free-ranging carnivores can act as sentinel species for detection of Trichinella spp. Knowledge of the epidemiology of these parasites may help prevent Trichinella spp. infections in northern Canadian animals and people. Previous research on Trichinella spp. in wildlife from Yukon did not identify risk factors associated with infection, or the diversity and identity of species of Trichinella in regional circulation, based on geographically extensive sampling with large sample sizes.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we determined the prevalence, infection intensity, risk factors, and species or genotypes of Trichinella in wolverine (Gulo gulo) in two regions of Yukon, Canada, from 2013-2017. A double separatory funnel digestion method followed by mutiplex PCR and PCR-RFLP were used to recover and identify species of Trichinella, respectively.

Results: We found larvae of Trichinella in the tongues of 78% (95% CI 73-82) of 338 wolverine sampled. The odds of adult (≥ 2 years) and yearling (1 year) wolverine being Trichinella spp.-positive were four and two times higher, respectively, compared to juveniles (<1 year). The odds of Trichinella spp. presence were three times higher in wolverine from southeast than northwest Yukon. The mean intensity of infection was 22.6 ± 39 (SD, range 0.1-295) larvae per gram. Trichinella T6 was the predominant genotype (76%), followed by T. nativa (8%); mixed infections with Trichinella T6 and T. nativa (12%) were observed. In addition, T. spiralis was detected in one wolverine. Out of 22 isolates initially identified as T. nativa in multiplex PCR, 14 were analyzed by PCR-RFLP to distinguish them from T. chanchalensis, a recently discovered cryptic species, which cannot be distinguished from the T. nativa on multiplex PCR. Ten isolates were identified either as T. chanchalensis alone (n = 7), or mixed infection with T. chanchalensis and T. nativa (n = 2) or T. chanchalensis and Trichinella T6 (n = 1)].

Conclusions: Wolverine hosted high prevalence, high larval intensity, and multiple species of Trichinella, likely due to their scavenging habits, apex position in the food chain, and wide home range. Wolverine (especially adult males) should be considered as a sentinel species for surveys for Trichinella spp. across their distributional range.
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March 2021


J Wildl Dis 2019 07 28;55(3):619-626. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

1 Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5B4, Canada.

Transmission dynamics of , a parasite of importance for wildlife and human health, are enigmatic in the Arctic tundra, where free-ranging wild and domestic felid definitive hosts are absent and rarely observed, respectively. Through a multiyear mark-recapture study (2011-17), serosurveillance was conducted to investigate transmission of in Arctic foxes () in the Karrak Lake region, Nunavut, Canada. Sera from adult foxes and fox pups were tested for antibodies to by using serologic methods, including the indirect fluorescent antibody test, direct agglutination test, and modified agglutination test. The overall seroprevalence was 39% in adults and 17% in pups. Mature foxes were more likely to be exposed (seroconvert) than young foxes (less than 1 yr old), with the highest level of seroprevalence in midaged foxes (2-4 yr old). Pups in two different litters were seropositive on emergence from the den, around 5 wk old, which could have been due to passive transfer of maternal antibody or vertical transmission of from mother to offspring. The seropositive pups were born of seropositive mothers that were also seropositive the year before they gave birth, suggesting that vertical transmission might not be limited to litters from mothers exposed to for the first time in pregnancy. All recaptured seropositive foxes remained seropositive on subsequent captures, suggesting that antibodies persist or foxes are constantly reexposed or a combination of both. The results of this study provided insights into how foxes were likely exposed to , the dynamics of antibody persistence and immune response, and how the parasite was maintained in a terrestrial Arctic ecosystem in the absence of felid definitive hosts.
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July 2019

Gender trends in dental leadership and academics: a twenty-two-year observation.

J Dent Educ 2010 Apr;74(4):372-80

Department of Restorative Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry, Chicago, IL 60612-7211, USA.

The purpose of this study was to examine gender disparities in dental leadership and academics in the United States. Nine journals that represent the dental specialties and high published impact factors were selected to analyze the percentage of female dentists' first and senior authorship for the years 1986, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2008. Data on appointment status and female deanship were collected from the American Dental Association (ADA) survey, and the trends were studied. The proportion of female presidents in ADA-recognized specialty organizations was also calculated. Overall, the increase in first female authorship was not statistically significant, but the increase of last female authorship was statistically significant in a linear trend over the years. The percentage of tenured female faculty members and female deans in U.S. dental schools increased by factors of 1.7 and 9, respectively, during the study period. However, female involvement in professional organizations was limited. Findings from this study indicate that female participation in authorship and leadership has increased over time. Nevertheless, females are still a minority in dental academics and leadership.
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April 2010

Root growth during molar eruption in extant great apes.

Front Oral Biol 2009 21;13:128-133. Epub 2009 Sep 21.

While there is gradually accumulating knowledge about molar crown formation and the timing of molar eruption in extant great apes, very little is known about root formation during the eruption process. We measured mandibular first and second molar root lengths in extant great ape osteological specimens that died while either the first or second molars were in the process of erupting. For most specimens, teeth were removed so that root lengths could be measured directly. When this was not possible, roots were measured radiographically. We were particularly interested in the variation in the lengths of first molar roots near the point of gingival emergence, so specimens were divided into early, middle and late phases of eruption based on the number of cusps that showed protein staining, with one or two cusps stained equated with immediate post-gingival emergence. For first molars at this stage, Gorilla has the longest roots, followed by Pongo and Pan. Variation in first molar mesial root lengths at this stage in Gorilla and Pan, which comprise the largest samples, is relatively low and represents no more than a few months of growth in both taxa. Knowledge of root length at first molar emergence permits an assessment of the contribution of root growth toward differences between great apes and humans in the age at first molar emergence. Root growth makes up a greater percentage of the time between birth and first molar emergence in humans than it does in any of the great apes.
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March 2010