Special Issue "Advances and New insights in Laboratory Diagnosis of Infectious (Viral and Bacterial) Diseases in Wildlife Conservation Medicine"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 3990

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Cristina Esmeralda Di Francesco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy
Interests: virology; morbillivirus; parvovirus; microbiology; wildlife; avian and mammalian infectious diseases; antimicrobial resistance
Dr. Camilla Smoglica
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy
Interests: viral and bacterial infections of domestic and wild animals; laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases; viral isolation and characterization; microbiology; molecular biology; PCR; RT-PCR; qPCR; sequence analysis; antimicrobial resistance in domestic animals and wildlife
Dr. Simone Angelucci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Majella National Park, Sulmona, Italy
Interests: wildlife disease monitoring; wildlife disease ecology; capture and handling methods for wildlife research and management; wildlife forensics; wildlife conservation and management (large carnivores and ungulates); conservation medicine; wildlife-livestock interface; human/wildlife coexistence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Wildlife conservation medicine requires adequate tools for the diagnosis of emergent or re-emergent diseases, able to menace the survival of threatened free-ranging species, or potentially transmissible to the humans. Many laboratory tests are specifically designed for domestic species, and their sensitivity and specificity in wild animals are unknown. In recent years, a lot of progress has been achieved in the diagnosis of infectious diseases in wildlife, but more appropriate investigations are necessary to improve the capacity to quickly detect pathogens in these species, starting from innovative, non-invasive sampling methods, applying new technologies for exhaustive antigenic/genetic characterization of the microorganisms, and choosing more appropriate tools for data analysis and surveillance/monitoring plan design. Furthermore, estimating transmission across host species remains a key challenge in disease ecology. Animal behavior investigation, for example, by means of telemetry data from radio-collared animals, is just as important a tool to study wildlife and human disease dynamics but remains difficult to investigate for researchers.

The aim of this Special Issue is to publish original paper or reviews focused on more innovative methodologies and techniques to diagnose viral and bacterial infections in wild species (terrestrial and aquatic), with special focus on the diseases and their dynamics that have recently emerged as consequences of the environmental changes caused by the anthropogenic activities.

Prof. Dr. Cristina Esmeralda Di Francesco
Dr. Camilla Smoglica
Dr. Simone Angelucci
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Wildlife
  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Laboratory diagnosis
  • Pathogen characterization

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Infectious Diseases and Wildlife Conservation Medicine: The Case of the Canine Distemper in European Wolf Population
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2426; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122426 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 624
Abstract
Canine distemper is a contagious infectious disease, caused by canine distemper virus (CDV) belonging to Morbillivirus genus, Paramyxoviridae family, representing a serious threat for domestic and wild carnivores [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Combining Analytical Approaches and Multiple Sources of Information to Improve Interpretation of Diagnostic Test Results for Tuberculosis in Wild Meerkats
Animals 2021, 11(12), 3453; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11123453 - 04 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
Diagnostic tests are used to classify individual animals’ infection statuses. However, validating test performance in wild animals without gold standard tests is extremely challenging, and the issue is further complicated in chronic conditions where measured immune parameters vary over time. Here, we demonstrate [...] Read more.
Diagnostic tests are used to classify individual animals’ infection statuses. However, validating test performance in wild animals without gold standard tests is extremely challenging, and the issue is further complicated in chronic conditions where measured immune parameters vary over time. Here, we demonstrate the value of combining evidence from different diagnostic approaches to aid interpretation in the absence of gold standards, large sample sizes, and controlled environments. Over a two-year period, we sampled 268 free-living meerkats (Suricata suricatta) longitudinally for Mycobacterium suricattae (a causative agent of tuberculosis), using three ante-mortem diagnostic tests based on mycobacterial culture, and antigen-specific humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, interpreting results both independently and in combination. Post-mortem cultures confirmed M. suricattae infection in 22 animals, which had prior ante-mortem information, 59% (13/22) of which were test-positive on a parallel test interpretation (PTI) of the three ante-mortem diagnostic assays (95% confidence interval: 37–79%). A similar ability to detect infection, 65.7% (95% credible interval: 42.7–84.7%), was estimated using a Bayesian approach to examine PTI. Strong evidence was found for a near doubling of the hazard of death (Hazard Ratio 1.75, CI: 1.14–2.67, p = 0.01), associated with a positive PTI result, thus demonstrating that these test results are related to disease outcomes. For individual tests, small sample sizes led to wide confidence intervals, but replication of conclusions, using different methods, increased our confidence in these results. This study demonstrates that combining multiple methodologies to evaluate diagnostic tests in free-ranging wildlife populations can be a useful approach for exploiting such valuable datasets. Full article
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Article
Integrated Use of Molecular Techniques to Detect and Genetically Characterise DNA Viruses in Italian Wolves (Canis lupus italicus)
Animals 2021, 11(8), 2198; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11082198 - 24 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1435
Abstract
In this study, internal organs (tongue, intestine, and spleen) of 23 free-ranging Italian wolves (Canis lupus italicus) found dead between 2017 and 2019 were tested for Carnivore protoparvovirus 1, Canine adenovirus (CAdV), and Canine circovirus (CanineCV) using real-time PCR assays. [...] Read more.
In this study, internal organs (tongue, intestine, and spleen) of 23 free-ranging Italian wolves (Canis lupus italicus) found dead between 2017 and 2019 were tested for Carnivore protoparvovirus 1, Canine adenovirus (CAdV), and Canine circovirus (CanineCV) using real-time PCR assays. Genetic characterisation of the identified viruses was carried out by amplification, sequencing, and analysis of the complete viral genome or informative viral genes. All the wolves tested positive for at least one of the DNA viruses screened, and 11/23 were coinfected. Carnivore protoparvoviruses were the most frequently detected viruses (21/23), followed by CanineCV (11/23) and CAdV (4/23). From the analysis of the partial VP2 gene of 13 carnivore protoparvoviruses, 12 were canine parvovirus type 2b, closely related to the strains detected in dogs and wild carnivores from Italy, and one was a feline panleukopenia-like virus. Of the four CAdV identified, two were CAdV-1 and two were CAdV-2. The complete genome of seven CanineCVs was sequenced and related to the CanineCV identified in dogs, wolves, and foxes worldwide. Close correlations emerged between the viruses identified in wolves and those circulating in domestic dogs. Further studies are needed to investigate if these pathogens may be potentially cross-transmitted between the two species. Full article
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