Special Issue "Wild Animals' Infectious Disease: The Wild–Domestic–Human Interface"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal System and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Fabrizio Bertelloni
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, 56122 Pisa, Italy
Interests: Salmonella; Leptospira; antimicrobial resistance; wildlife; veterinary infectious diseases
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the “One World—One Health” era, wildlife plays an important role. Indeed, many wild animals could be a reservoir of pathogens which affect humans and domestic animals. Moreover, migratory animals, especially birds, and those exported/imported for human activity could carry infectious agents in new geographic areas. Furthermore, wild animals could be the source of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. In recent years, in many parts of the world, the diffusion of extensive breeding has promoted contact between wild and domestic animals and the spreading of pathogens in both senses. Moreover, the constant modification of ecosystems and wildlife habitats has pushed a constantly increasing number of animal species toward urban or periurban areas, increasing the possibility for direct or indirect contacts between wildlife and humans.

The topic of this Special Issue is investigating the role of wildlife in the epidemiology of infectious diseases. Works reporting the evidence of wild animals as a source of infection for humans or domestic animals are the main goal of this issue. Investigations on the presence and diffusion of infectious disease in wildlife are of high interest. Reports of disease affecting wild animals and surveillance studies focused on antimicrobial-resistant bacteria diffusion in wildlife are also accepted.

Dr. Fabrizio Bertelloni
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • infectious diseases
  • wild animals
  • domestic animals
  • humans
  • epidemiology
  • antimicrobial resistance

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Escherichia coli Producing Extended-Spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) from Domestic Camels in the Canary Islands: A One Health Approach
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1295; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081295 - 29 Jul 2020
Abstract
Objective: This work aimed to determine the carriage rate of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli as well as their genetic characteristics in camels from the Canary Islands, Spain. Methods: Fecal samples were recovered from 58 healthy camels from Gran Canaria (n = 32) and Fuerteventura [...] Read more.
Objective: This work aimed to determine the carriage rate of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli as well as their genetic characteristics in camels from the Canary Islands, Spain. Methods: Fecal samples were recovered from 58 healthy camels from Gran Canaria (n = 32) and Fuerteventura Islands (n = 26) during July 2019. They were seeded on MacConkey (MC) agar no supplemented and supplemented (MC + CTX) with cefotaxime (2 µg/mL). Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by disk diffusion test (CLSI, 2018). The presence of blaCTX-M, blaSHV, blaTEM,blaCMY-2 and blaOXA-1/48 genes was tested by PCR/sequencing. Furthermore, the mcr-1 (colistin resistance), tetA/tetB (tetracycline resistance), int1 (integrase of class 1 integrons) and stx1,2 genes were analyzed. Phylogenetic groups and sequence types were determined by specific-PCR/sequencing for selected isolates. Results: E. coli was obtained from all the 58 camels in MC media (100%) and in five of them in MC + CTX media (8.6%). Furthermore, 63.8% of E. coli isolates recovered from MC agar were susceptible to all the antibiotics tested. The five E. coli isolates recovered from MC + CTX media were characterized and two of them were ESBL-producers (3.4%). Both ESBL-producer isolates carried the blaCTX-M-15 gene and belonged to the lineages ST3018 (phylogroup A) and ST69 (phylogroup B1). The 3 ESBL-negative isolates recovered from MC-CTX plates were ascribed to phylogroup-B1. Conclusions: Camels can be a source of ESBL-producer bacteria, containing the widespread blaCTX-M-15 gene associated with the lineages ST3018 and ST69. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Fallow Deer (Dama dama) as a Reservoir of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC)
Animals 2020, 10(5), 881; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10050881 - 19 May 2020
Abstract
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia (E.) coli (STEC) are responsible for the outbreaks of serious diseases in humans. Only a few reports on fallow deer as a reservoir of foodborne pathogens have been published to date. The purpose of this study was to [...] Read more.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia (E.) coli (STEC) are responsible for the outbreaks of serious diseases in humans. Only a few reports on fallow deer as a reservoir of foodborne pathogens have been published to date. The purpose of this study was to determine the occurrence of STEC strains in the fallow deer population in Poland. In all, 94 fallow deer swabs were tested. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to detect the virulence profile of stx1, stx2 and eae or aggR genes, to identify the subtypes of stx1 and stx2 genes and to perform O and H serotyping. STEC and attaching and effacing (AE)-STEC were identified in 13 isolates (13.83%). The most hazardous virulence profile was detected in three strains, namely stx2d serotype O103:HNM, eae/stx1a serotype O26:HNM and eae/stx1a serotype O157:H7. The predominant stx gene was stx2, which was identified in 76.92% of isolates. E. coli O157 was detected in 4/94 (4.26%). Other E. coli serogroups, O26, O103, O111 and O145, were identified in 14/94 fallow deer (14.89%). The present findings suggest that fallow deer are carriers of STEC/AE-STEC that are potentially pathogenic to humans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pathotypes and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Escherichia Coli Isolated from Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) in Tuscany
Animals 2020, 10(4), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040744 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Wild boar are among the most widespread wild mammals in Europe. Although this species can act as a reservoir for different pathogens, data about its role as a carrier of pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli are still scarce. The aim of this study [...] Read more.
Wild boar are among the most widespread wild mammals in Europe. Although this species can act as a reservoir for different pathogens, data about its role as a carrier of pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli are still scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant and pathogenic Escherichia coli in wild boar in the Tuscany region of Italy. During the hunting season of 2018–2019, E. coli was isolated from 175 of 200 animals and subjected to antimicrobial resistance tests and PCR for detection of resistance and virulence factor genes. The highest resistance rates were against cephalothin (94.3%), amoxicillin–clavulanic acid (87.4%), ampicillin (68.6%), and tetracycline (44.6%). The most detected resistance genes were blaCMY-2 (54.3%), sul1 (38.9%), sul2 (30.9%), and tetG (24.6%). Concerning genes encoding virulence factors, 55 of 175 isolates (31.4%) were negative for all tested genes. The most detected genes were hlyA (47.4%), astA (29.1%), stx2 (24.6%), eaeA (17.1%), and stx1 (11.4%). E. coli was classified as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) (21.7%), enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) (6.3%), enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) (5.1%), and atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (aEPEC) (3.4%). Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC), and typical enteropathogenic E. coli (tEPEC) were not detected. Our results show that wild boars could carry pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant E. coli, representing a possible reservoir of domestic animal and human pathogens. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Identification and Genetic Characterization of a Novel Respirovirus in Alpine Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra rupicapra)
Animals 2020, 10(4), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040704 - 17 Apr 2020
Abstract
The Respirovirus genus, family Paramamixoviridae, includes respiratory viral pathogens. Here we report the identification and genetic characterization of a respirovirus in an Alpine chamois showing interstitial pneumonia associated with catarrhal bronchopneumonia. The full-genome characterization of this respirovirus, named ChamoisRV/IT2014, revealed low similarities [...] Read more.
The Respirovirus genus, family Paramamixoviridae, includes respiratory viral pathogens. Here we report the identification and genetic characterization of a respirovirus in an Alpine chamois showing interstitial pneumonia associated with catarrhal bronchopneumonia. The full-genome characterization of this respirovirus, named ChamoisRV/IT2014, revealed low similarities to caprine respirovirus (77.1%), bovine respirovirus (74.5%) and human respirovirus (72.0%). The phylogenetic analyses based on the full-length genome sequence of the novel isolate and reference respirovirus strains showed that ChamoisRV/IT2014 clustered with caprine respirovirus but formed a separate branch. The phylogenetic tree topology of complete large protein amino acid sequences, representing the current species demarcation criterion for Respirovirus genus, showed a 0.05 branch length of ChamoisRV/IT2014 sequence between the nearest node and the tip of the branch, suggesting that this virus belongs to a novel species. This new isolate in a new host species raises several questions to be addressed on the epidemiological role of chamois and the risks of cross-transmission between wild ruminants and livestock. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Molecular Detection of Arthropod-Borne Pathogens in Eurasian Badgers (Meles meles) from the United Kingdom
Animals 2020, 10(3), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030446 - 06 Mar 2020
Abstract
Arthropod-borne diseases (ABD) are of increasing interest in veterinary and public health. Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) are known to harbor a wide range of pathogens, but information on their role as ABD reservoirs and their potential epidemiological relevance is limited. This [...] Read more.
Arthropod-borne diseases (ABD) are of increasing interest in veterinary and public health. Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) are known to harbor a wide range of pathogens, but information on their role as ABD reservoirs and their potential epidemiological relevance is limited. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of arthropod-borne pathogens, specifically piroplasmids and the bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia canis, Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis and Bartonella spp., in badgers from Great Britain (GB). Blood and heart samples from 18 badgers were examined using PCR and sequencing. A neighbour-joining (NJ) phylogram was also produced. Nine animals tested positive for Babesia sp., while none of the samples was positive for the investigated bacteria. The sequences obtained clustered with other sequences of Babesia sp. from badgers from GB and elsewhere, including China, Hungary, Spain and Italy, showing a widespread distribution of this parasite in badgers. Badger-associated Babesia DNA was also found recently in a wild cat in Bosnia Herzegovina, in a wolf in Italy and in dogs in Hungary. Further investigations are needed to understand the epidemiology of this putative pathogen and its impact on the health of wild and domestic carnivores. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Eco-Virological Preliminary Study of Potentially Emerging Pathogens in Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) Recovered at a Wildlife Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Northern Italy
Animals 2020, 10(3), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030407 - 01 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The Western European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is one of the four hedgehog species belonging to the genus Erinaceus. Among them, E. amurensis is extant in East Asia’s areas only, whereas E. europaeus, E. roumanicus and E. concolor are mainly [...] Read more.
The Western European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is one of the four hedgehog species belonging to the genus Erinaceus. Among them, E. amurensis is extant in East Asia’s areas only, whereas E. europaeus, E. roumanicus and E. concolor are mainly found in Europe. E. europaeus is endemically distributed from western to central and southern Europe, including Italy. Western European hedgehogs’ ecological and feeding habits, along with their high population densities, notable synanthropic attitudes, frequent contacts with sympatric wild and domestic species, including humans, implicate the possible involvement of E. europaeus in the ecology of potentially emerging viruses, such as coronaviruses, influenza A and influenza D viruses, canine distemper virus, pestiviruses and Aujeszky’s disease virus. We examined 24 E. europaeus individuals found injured in urban and rural areas of Northern Italy. Of the 24 fecal samples collected and tested for the above-mentioned pathogens by both PCR-based and virus isolation methods, 14 were found PCR-positive for betacoronaviruses belonging to lineage C and related to the known Erinaceus coronaviruses (EriCoVs), as determined by partial sequencing of the virus genome. Our findings suggest that hedgehogs could be considered natural reservoirs of CoVs, and also act as chronic shedding carriers of these potentially emerging RNA viruses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Preliminary Study: Antibiotic Resistance Patterns of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus Species from Wildlife Species Subjected to Supplementary Feeding on Various South African Farms
Animals 2020, 10(3), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030396 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Studies have shown that antibiotic resistance among wild animals is becoming a public health concern, owing to increased contact and co-habitation with domestic animals that, in turn, results in increased human contact, indirectly and directly. This type of farming practice intensifies the likelihood [...] Read more.
Studies have shown that antibiotic resistance among wild animals is becoming a public health concern, owing to increased contact and co-habitation with domestic animals that, in turn, results in increased human contact, indirectly and directly. This type of farming practice intensifies the likelihood of antibiotic resistant traits in microorganisms transferring between ecosystems which are linked via various transfer vectors, such as rivers and birds. This study aimed to determine whether the practice of wildlife supplementary feeding could have an influence on the antibiotic resistance of the bacteria harboured by the supplementary fed wildlife, and thus play a potential role in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance throughout nature. Escherichia coli and Enterococcus were isolated from the faeces of various wildlife species from seven different farms across South Africa. The Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method was used according to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute 2018 guidelines. The E. coli (F: 57%; N = 75% susceptible) and Enterococcus (F: 67%; N = 78% susceptible) isolates from the supplementary fed (F) wildlife were in general, found to be more frequently resistant to the selection of antibiotics than from those which were not supplementary fed (N), particularly towards tetracycline (E. coli F: 56%; N: 71%/Enterococcus F: 53%; N: 89% susceptible), ampicillin (F: 82%; N = 95% susceptible) and sulphafurazole (F: 68%; N = 98% susceptible). Interestingly, high resistance towards streptomycin was observed in the bacteria from both the supplementary fed (7% susceptible) and non-supplementary fed (6% susceptible) wildlife isolates. No resistance was found towards chloramphenicol and ceftazidime. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Detection of Pseudorabies Virus in Wild Boar Foetus
Animals 2020, 10(2), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020366 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Pseudorabies, or Aujeszky’s disease, is a notifiable worldwide infection of domestic and feral swine that causes economic losses for the swine industry. In domestic pigs, the virus is responsible for nervous and/or respiratory symptoms; in pregnant sows, it is one of the major [...] Read more.
Pseudorabies, or Aujeszky’s disease, is a notifiable worldwide infection of domestic and feral swine that causes economic losses for the swine industry. In domestic pigs, the virus is responsible for nervous and/or respiratory symptoms; in pregnant sows, it is one of the major causes of stillbirth, mummification, embryonic death, and infertility (SMEDI). It is known that PRV infection in wild boar is associated with low pathogenicity and attenuated or absent symptomatology, but limited information is available about the ability of the virus to infect the foetuses of infected wild boar pregnant sows. Due to scarce information about the reproductive consequences, we investigate the possible intrauterine vertical transmission of the virus in wild boar pregnant sow living in a highly infected area. A number of 54 hunted wild boar were sampled during 2018–2019, and blood, genital and nasal swabs, placenta, and fetuses were collected for serological and molecular investigations. A seroprevalence of 74% (40/54) was detected, while 1/24 pregnant sow and 1/24 pooled foetuses tested positive by PCR (gene gB). This is the first evidence of viral detection in foetuses from seropositive pregnant wild boar. This finding suggests the possible pathogenetic role of PRV on pregnancy in wild boar and the existence of an additional transmission route. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
A Case Report of a Botulism Outbreak in Beef Cattle Due to the Contamination of Wheat by a Roaming Cat Carcass: From the Suspicion to the Management of the Outbreak
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121025 - 25 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
We report a botulism outbreak in Charolais cattle fed with wheat flour contaminated by Clostridium botulinum type C and the management of the outbreak at each step from the clinical suspicion to the cleaning and disinfection operations. Diagnosis was based on typical suggestive [...] Read more.
We report a botulism outbreak in Charolais cattle fed with wheat flour contaminated by Clostridium botulinum type C and the management of the outbreak at each step from the clinical suspicion to the cleaning and disinfection operations. Diagnosis was based on typical suggestive clinical signs and detection of C. botulinum type C using real-time PCR in samples collected from three young affected bulls. All young exposed bulls and cows (18 animals) eventually died, but three young bulls and one cow were recovering when it was decided to euthanize them. C. botulinum type C was detected in the liver of these four animals. Analysis of the ration components demonstrated that wheat flour, wheat, and the mill used to make flour were positive for C. botulinum type C. A dead cat positive for C. botulinum type C was discovered in the silo where wheat grain was stored and was considered the source of contamination. The cat’s entire body was found mummified, well preserved, and not rotting in the silo. Specific measures, in particular, vaccination of the rest of the herd and cleaning and disinfection operations, were implemented to prevent any recurrence of the outbreak. The presence of wild animal carcasses in feed harboring anaerobic conditions like silage, in particular during harvesting, are known to be at risk for the initiation of a botulism outbreak. This outbreak is a reminder that the presence of an animal carcass in feed, regardless of the kind of feed and whenever the contamination occurs, either during harvesting or storage, is sufficient to induce a botulism outbreak. Full article
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