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Article

Disease Surveillance during the Reintroduction of the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Southwestern Spain

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Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Asistencia Técnica de la Dirección General del Medio Natural y Desarrollo Sostenible de la Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha, Plaza del Cardenal Siliceo s/n, 45071 Toledo, Spain
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GPEX-Dirección General de Medio Ambiente, Junta de Extremadura, Avda. Luis Ramallo s/n, 06800 Mérida, Spain
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Organismo Autónomo Parques Nacionales, Zarza de Granadilla, 10710 Cáceres, Spain
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Dirección General de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Extremadura, Avda. Luis Ramallo s/n, 06800 Mérida, Spain
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Fundación CBD-Hábitat, C/Gustavo Fernández Balbuena 2, Entreplanta, Oficina A, 28002 Madrid, Spain
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Centro de Análisis y Diagnóstico de la Fauna Silvestre, Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua de Andalucía, Consejería de Agricultura, Ganadería, Pesca y Desarrollo Sostenible, Junta de Andalucía, Avenida Lope de Vega 9, 29010 Málaga, Spain
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Servicio de Recepción y Diagnostico de Muestras Biológicas, Hospital Clínico Veterinario, Universidad de Extremadura, Avda. Universidad s/n, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
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Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos-(CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luigi Boitani
Animals 2021, 11(2), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020547
Received: 12 January 2021 / Revised: 4 February 2021 / Accepted: 12 February 2021 / Published: 19 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
The restoration of Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) populations in Extremadura (Southwestern Spain) have been carried out since 2014. To evaluate the effect that infectious diseases may have on their reintroduction, we performed a molecular and sero-epidemiological survey in reintroduced and wild-born lynxes and sympatric carnivores. From 2015 to 2019, 69 Iberian lynxes were screened against 10 viral, bacterial and piroplasmid agents. In parallel, 195 sympatric carnivores were tested against current or past infections to six common canine/feline viruses. In the Iberian lynx, low contact rates of active infection were obtained for feline leukemia provirus (FeLV: 1.5%; 1/67), feline parvovirus (FPV: 1.5%; 1/67) and Cytauxzoon sp. (6.7%; 1/15). We confirmed the emergence of Aujeszky’s disease (suid herpesvirus-1) in this population (SuHV-1: 11.8%; 2/17). We detected the circulation of FeLV, parvovirus, canine distemper virus (CDV), feline calicivirus (FCV) and feline immunodeficiency virus within the sympatric carnivore community and FCV, FPV, CDV and feline coronavirus in lynxes. Due to the low contact rate of infectious agents in such a small, endangered population, we recommend continuing a disease surveillance program to determine the prognostic factors of survival, understand the role that disease may play during the reintroduction and anticipate disease outbreaks that may pose a risk for the entire reintroduced population.
The restoration of Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) populations in Extremadura (Southwestern Spain) have been carried out since 2014. One of the measures to ensure the success of this program is to examine the effects that diseases may have on reintroduction. Since diseases may be greatly located at certain sites because of the specific ecological requirements of the pathogens and/or vectors, reintroduced individuals may present a risk of infection once released. To determine which pathogens the reintroduced individuals may encounter, we performed a molecular and sero-epidemiological survey in reintroduced and wild-born lynxes. From 2015 to 2019, 69 Iberian lynxes (40 reintroduced and 29 wild-born) were sampled and screened against 10 viral, bacterial and piroplasmid agents. In parallel, 195 sympatric carnivores from the families Canidae, Felidae, Viverridae, Herpestidae and Mustelidae were tested against current or past infections to six common canine/feline viruses. In the Iberian lynx, low contact rates of active infection were obtained for the feline leukemia provirus (FeLV: 1.5%; 1/67), feline parvovirus (FPV: 1.5%; 1/67) and Cytauxzoon sp. (6.7%; 1/15). We also confirmed the emergence of Aujeszky’s disease (suid herpesvirus-1) in this population (SuHV-1: 11.8%; 2/17). Evidence of previous exposure was detected for canine distemper virus (CDV: 5.8%; 3/52), feline coronavirus (1.9%; 1/52), FPV (7.7%; 1/13) and feline calicivirus (FCV: 5.3%; 1/19). From 25 recovered lynx carcasses, we could confirm infectious etiology involvement in the death of four individuals (SuHV-1 in two individuals, coinfection of Cytauxzoon spp. and Aeromonas veronii in one lynx and a Streptococcus canis myositis in another lynx). We confirmed the circulation of CDV, FPV, FeLV, FCV and the feline immunodeficiency virus within the sympatric carnivore community. Due to the low contact rate of infectious agents in such a small, endangered population, we recommend continuing a disease surveillance program to determine the prognostic factors of survival, understand the role that disease may play during the reintroduction and anticipate disease outbreaks that may pose a risk for the entire reintroduced population. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aujeszky’s disease; canine distemper virus; disease surveillance; feline leukemia virus; Lynx pardinus; reintroduction Aujeszky’s disease; canine distemper virus; disease surveillance; feline leukemia virus; Lynx pardinus; reintroduction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nájera, F.; Grande-Gómez, R.; Peña, J.; Vázquez, A.; Palacios, M.J.; Rueda, C.; Corona-Bravo, A.I.; Zorrilla, I.; Revuelta, L.; Gil-Molino, M.; Jiménez, J. Disease Surveillance during the Reintroduction of the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Southwestern Spain. Animals 2021, 11, 547. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020547

AMA Style

Nájera F, Grande-Gómez R, Peña J, Vázquez A, Palacios MJ, Rueda C, Corona-Bravo AI, Zorrilla I, Revuelta L, Gil-Molino M, Jiménez J. Disease Surveillance during the Reintroduction of the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Southwestern Spain. Animals. 2021; 11(2):547. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020547

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nájera, Fernando, Rebeca Grande-Gómez, Jorge Peña, Anastasio Vázquez, María J. Palacios, Carmen Rueda, Ana I. Corona-Bravo, Irene Zorrilla, Luis Revuelta, María Gil-Molino, and José Jiménez. 2021. "Disease Surveillance during the Reintroduction of the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) in Southwestern Spain" Animals 11, no. 2: 547. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020547

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