Wildlife Diseases

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 60830

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Guest Editor
Department of Biology & CESAM, University of Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: wildlife ecology and management; reintroduction biology; role of ungulates as disease reservoirs; wildlife monitoring; landscape ecology
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As human populations grow and transform landscapes, contact with wildlife concurrently increases. Disease emergence has been an important consequence of this acceleration in interaction, with the majority of emerging infectious diseases in humans now arising from wildlife reservoirs. The recent coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is a stark reminder of the role that wildlife reservoirs play in public health. In fact, the wildlife–human interfaces are increasingly recognized as driving inter-species transmission between animals and subsequent potential spillover to humans, as they provide settings where wildlife and humans interact directly or indirectly. Given the intimate wildlife–human interface in many countries worldwide, wildlife species can represent key epidemiological links between humanized and natural areas.

We are now at an exciting and turning point where One Health can lead to a paradigm shift that will set the foundation to a more integrated and multidisciplinary action for addressing some of the major current challenges in infectious disease.

The aim of this Special Issue is to present recent research and reviews on the implications of wildlife–human interactions, exploring the role that wildlife plays in the emergence, maintenance, and dispersal of infectious diseases under the One Health framework, with the aim of stimulating interest, understanding, and exploration of this important subject.

Dr. Rita Tinoco Torres
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • zoonoses
  • One Health
  • infectious diseases
  • wildlife

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 1601 KiB  
Article
First Study of Pharingomyia picta and Cephanemyia auribarbis in Wild Populations of Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) in Portugal
by Rui Miranda, João Serejo, Jesús M. Pérez, José Aranha, Carlos Venâncio and Madalena Vieira-Pinto
Animals 2022, 12(15), 1896; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12151896 - 26 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Nasopharyngeal myiasis in red deer has never been studied in Portugal. For this reason, from December 2015 to February 2016 a study was derived on hunted red deer in Idanha-a-Nova county to evaluate the Diptera larvae presence. During the initial examination on the [...] Read more.
Nasopharyngeal myiasis in red deer has never been studied in Portugal. For this reason, from December 2015 to February 2016 a study was derived on hunted red deer in Idanha-a-Nova county to evaluate the Diptera larvae presence. During the initial examination on the spot, the larvae was analysed at the nasopharynx. When present, larvae were collected for further species identification. The infestation prevalence was 50.6 ± 7.61% (CI 95%), and the mean parasitism intensity was 11.38 larvae per affected host. Two larvae species were found, Pharyngomyia picta and Cephenemyia auribarbis, both on single or concomitant infection, with the first species having a higher prevalence and mean infestation intensity than the second. The larvae’s prevalence was significantly higher (X2 = 4.35; p = 0.0370) in males (62.16 ± 11.05%) than in females (41.30 ± 10.06%). Within age groups, younger animals showed a higher prevalence. This study shows the presence of P. picta and C. auribarbis larvae in the wild red deer population in Portugal for the first time. The high parasitic prevalence and mean intensity highlight the importance of this parasitosis in this wild species. For this reason, more scientific research is required to accurately assess its prevalence in other geographic areas, and evaluate the risk factors as well effects of this parasitosis on the deer population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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14 pages, 8342 KiB  
Article
Lafora Disease and Alpha-Synucleinopathy in Two Adult Free-Ranging Moose (Alces alces) Presenting with Signs of Blindness and Circling
by Madhu Ravi, Atilano Lacson, Margo Pybus and Mark C. Ball
Animals 2022, 12(13), 1633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12131633 - 25 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2571
Abstract
Lafora disease is an autosomal recessive glycogen-storage disorder resulting from an accumulation of toxic polyglucosan bodies (PGBs) in the central nervous system, which causes behavioral and neurologic symptoms in humans and other animals. In this case study, brains collected from two young adult [...] Read more.
Lafora disease is an autosomal recessive glycogen-storage disorder resulting from an accumulation of toxic polyglucosan bodies (PGBs) in the central nervous system, which causes behavioral and neurologic symptoms in humans and other animals. In this case study, brains collected from two young adult free-ranging moose (Alces alces) cows that were seemingly blind and found walking in circles were examined by light and electron microscopy. Microscopic analysis of the hippocampus of the brain revealed inclusion bodies resembling PGBs in the neuronal perikaryon, neuronal processes, and neuropil. These round inclusions measuring up to 30 microns in diameter were predominantly confined to the hippocampus region of the brain in both animals. The inclusions tested α-synuclein-negative by immunohistochemistry, α-synuclein-positive with PAS, GMS, and Bielschowsky’s staining; and diastase-resistant with central basophilic cores and faintly radiating peripheral lines. Ultrastructural examination of the affected areas of the hippocampus showed non-membrane-bound aggregates of asymmetrically branching filaments that bifurcated regularly, consistent with PGBs in both animals. Additionally, α-synuclein immunopositivity was noted in the different regions of the hippocampus with accumulations of small granules ultrastructurally distinct from PGBs and morphologically compatible with alpha-synucleinopathy (Lewy body). The apparent blindness found in these moose could be related to an injury associated with secondary bacterial invasion; however, an accumulation of neurotoxicants (PGBs and α-synuclein) in retinal ganglions cells could also be the cause. This is the first report demonstrating Lafora disease with concurrent alpha-synucleinopathy (Lewy body neuropathy) in a non-domesticated animal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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11 pages, 9578 KiB  
Article
Prevalence and Genotyping of Anaplasma phagocytophilum Strains from Wild Animals, European Bison (Bison bonasus) and Eurasian Moose (Alces alces) in Poland
by Anna W. Myczka, Stanisław Kaczor, Katarzyna Filip-Hutsch, Michał Czopowicz, Elwira Plis-Kuprianowicz and Zdzisław Laskowski
Animals 2022, 12(9), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12091222 - 9 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2022
Abstract
Wild large ungulates, like European bison (Bison bonasus) and Eurasian moose (Alces alces), form an important part of the circulation of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, a Gram-negative, intracellular, tick-transmitted bacterium, in the natural environment. Bison and moose tissue samples were [...] Read more.
Wild large ungulates, like European bison (Bison bonasus) and Eurasian moose (Alces alces), form an important part of the circulation of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, a Gram-negative, intracellular, tick-transmitted bacterium, in the natural environment. Bison and moose tissue samples were subjected to 16S rDNA, groEL and ankA partial gene marker amplification with specific primers using various variants of PCR. Out of 42 examined individuals, Anaplasma sp. were detected in 4/13 Eurasian moose (31%) and 7/29 European bison (24%). In addition, 12 groEL and 5 ankA partial gene positive samples were obtained from the examined animals. The phylogenetic analysis of the groEL partial gene classified samples from European bison to ecotype I, and samples from Eurasian moose to ecotype I and II; the analysis of the ankA partial gene assigned the samples to clusters I and IV. This study extends knowledge about A. phagocytophilum in wild large ungulates in Poland. This is the first report about the occurrence of Anaplasma sp. in one of the largest populations of free living European bison in the world. Our findings confirm that strains of A. phagocytophilum from Bison bonasus and Alces alces may constitute a natural reservoir of pathogenic HGA Anaplasma strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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16 pages, 4151 KiB  
Article
African Swine Fever (ASF) Trend Analysis in Wild Boar in Poland (2014–2020)
by Maciej Piotr Frant, Anna Gal-Cisoń, Łukasz Bocian, Anna Ziętek-Barszcz, Krzysztof Niemczuk and Anna Szczotka-Bochniarz
Animals 2022, 12(9), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12091170 - 3 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
African swine fever (ASF) is a lethal hemorrhagic disease of Suidae, i.e., domestic pigs and wild boars. The disease was introduced to Poland in 2014 and is now present in the wild boar population. Appropriate ASF prevention requires further research for answers [...] Read more.
African swine fever (ASF) is a lethal hemorrhagic disease of Suidae, i.e., domestic pigs and wild boars. The disease was introduced to Poland in 2014 and is now present in the wild boar population. Appropriate ASF prevention requires further research for answers to fundamental questions about the importance of vectors in virus transmission, the impact of environmental factors on the presence of ASFV in wild boar habitats, and the role of survivors as potential virus carriers and their part in the potential endemicity of ASF. In order to analyze the changes in the molecular and serological prevalence of ASFV in wild boar population in Poland, real-time PCR and ELISA/IPT tests were conducted. In the analyzed period (2014–2020), most of the ASF-positive wild boars were molecular/virus-positive, however, over the years the percentage and the number of seropositive animals has increased. At the beginning of the epidemic, the disease was limited to a small area of the country. Since then, it has spread to new provinces of Poland. From the beginning and until today, most notifications of ASF-positive wild boars were for carcasses (passive surveillance), however, the number of serologically positive animals is still increasing. Despite the fact that notifications of ASF outbreaks are still being received near the eastern border of Poland, the old ASF area seems to be limited mainly to ASF serologically positive animals, which may indicate the beginning of ASF endemicity in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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9 pages, 1065 KiB  
Article
Molecular Detection and Genetic Characterization of Porcine Circovirus 2 (PCV-2) in Black-Backed Jackal (Lupulella mesomelas) in Namibia
by Umberto Molini, Lauren Michelle Coetzee, Leandra Van Zyl, Siegfried Khaiseb, Giovanni Cattoli, William G. Dundon and Giovanni Franzo
Animals 2022, 12(5), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12050620 - 1 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2055
Abstract
Members of the genus Circovirus have been identified in several host species. While initially considered host-specific, there is growing evidence of their presence in unexpected hosts. Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV-2) is no exception, having been reported in animals belonging to different orders, including [...] Read more.
Members of the genus Circovirus have been identified in several host species. While initially considered host-specific, there is growing evidence of their presence in unexpected hosts. Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV-2) is no exception, having been reported in animals belonging to different orders, including carnivores. Recently, PCV-2 was detected in domestic pigs, warthogs and antelopes in Namibia. Considering the potential contact between these populations and wild carnivores, the presence of PCV-2 was investigated in 32 black-backed jackals (Lupulella mesomelas) shot between February and July 2021 as part of predator control operations in Namibia. Two lung lymph nodes tested positive for PCV-2 by PCR, confirming the broader-than-expected PCV-2 host tropism and the susceptibility of canids. Sequence analysis demonstrated a close association between the PCV-2s identified in the jackals and PCV-2b strains collected from South African domestic pigs. Although several hypotheses regarding the source of the jackal’s infection are proposed, further studies should be performed to properly assess how PCV-2 is acquired and maintained in the wild and its potential impact on wild and domestic species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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10 pages, 2828 KiB  
Article
Detection and Molecular Characterization of a Novel Species of Circovirus in a Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) in Southern Italy
by Matteo Legnardi, Laura Grassi, Giovanni Franzo, Maria Luisa Menandro, Claudia Maria Tucciarone, Adriano Minichino, Ludovico Dipineto, Luca Borrelli, Alessandro Fioretti and Mattia Cecchinato
Animals 2022, 12(2), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12020135 - 7 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1769
Abstract
Thanks to recent developments in molecular methods, many new species have been discovered within the genus Circovirus, which comprises viruses of veterinary relevance found in a broad range of hosts. In particular, several circoviruses are known to infect birds, often causing immunosuppression [...] Read more.
Thanks to recent developments in molecular methods, many new species have been discovered within the genus Circovirus, which comprises viruses of veterinary relevance found in a broad range of hosts. In particular, several circoviruses are known to infect birds, often causing immunosuppression and feathering disorders. Nonetheless, nothing is known about their circulation in birds of prey. In this study, samples from 61 birds of prey representing ten different species, recovered by a wildlife rescue centre in Southern Italy, were taken at necropsy and analysed by PCR with pan-Circovirus primers. Only one sample, collected from a tawny owl (Strix aluco), tested positive. Its genome, sequenced by primer walking, displays the typical features of circoviruses. Based on demarcation criteria, the detected strain qualifies as a novel species, which was named “tawny owl-associated circovirus” (ToCV). Phylogenetically, ToCV clustered with mammalian rather than avian circoviruses, and its closeness to a rodent circovirus suggests that its host may have been a micromammal eaten by the tawny owl. On the other hand, its detection in the spleen fits with the tropism of other avian circoviruses. Little can be therefore said on its biology and pathogenicity, and further efforts are needed to better characterize its epidemiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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10 pages, 529 KiB  
Article
Molecular Survey of Babesia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Roe Deer from a Wildlife Rescue Center in Italy
by Alessandra Cafiso, Chiara Bazzocchi, Martina Cavagna, Elena Di Lorenzo, Valentina Serra, Riccardo Rossi and Stefano Comazzi
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113335 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2498
Abstract
Babesia ssp. and Anaplasma spp. are tick-borne microorganisms representing a possible health risk for domestic and wild animals, as well as humans. Roe deer serve as a suitable reservoir host for some species ascribed to Babesia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum taxa, also due [...] Read more.
Babesia ssp. and Anaplasma spp. are tick-borne microorganisms representing a possible health risk for domestic and wild animals, as well as humans. Roe deer serve as a suitable reservoir host for some species ascribed to Babesia spp. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum taxa, also due to its important role in the maintenance of large populations of Ixodes ricinus, the main tick vector of these pathogens in Europe. Roe deer populations have been recently expanding throughout Europe, namely in Italy. However, the collection of samples from free-ranging wild animals for diagnostic investigations often includes several practical issues. This problem can be overcome using samples provided by wildlife rescue centers making them available for investigations following routine analyses. The presence of Babesia spp. and Anaplasma spp. in blood samples of 43 roe deer rescued by a wildlife rescue center in Emilia-Romagna region (Italy) was molecularly investigated. PCR screening revealed the presence of at least one pathogen in 86.05% of the animals, while co-infection occurred in 18.92% of the tested individuals. Zoonotic Babesia venatorum was found in 6.98% of the samples, while Babesia capreoli and Anaplasma phagocytophilum were detected in 74.42% and in 20.93%, respectively. No hematological signs compatible with clinical anaplasmosis or piroplasmosis, as well as absence of intracellular circulating microorganisms in blood smears, were observed, suggesting asymptomatic infection in the tested animals. These results confirm the usefulness of wild rescued animals as convenient source of biological samples for tick-borne pathogens investigation and the role of roe deer as a key factor in the endemic cycle of Babesia species and A. phagocytophilum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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8 pages, 451 KiB  
Article
High Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Slovenian Wild Boars (Sus scrofa)
by Petra Bandelj, Diana Žele Vengušt, Rok Blagus, Aleksandra Vergles Rataj and Branko Krt
Animals 2021, 11(11), 3139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11113139 - 3 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1853
Abstract
Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic parasite of great public health concern. Wild boars could be considered an emerging source of toxoplasmosis in humans due to the popularity of venison and their increasing population. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence [...] Read more.
Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic parasite of great public health concern. Wild boars could be considered an emerging source of toxoplasmosis in humans due to the popularity of venison and their increasing population. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of T. gondii in the Slovenian wild boar population and evaluate risk factors for human infection. Of 353 samples, 62% were positive for T. gondii using ELISA tests. This is the highest T. gondii seroprevalence reported to date in wild boar worldwide. The increase in prevalence with increasing age (p = 0.003) and weight (p = 0.002) were statistically significant, whereas gender was not (p = 0.781). Odds for being T. gondii-positive increased with age with the largest difference being between 2–3-year-old and 1–2-year-old animals (OR = 2.66, 95%CI: 1.03–6.85). Animals weighing 20–40 kg had a higher risk than animals weighing 0–20 kg (OR = 2.74, 95%CI: 1.21–6.20), whereas a further increase in the weight was not associated with increasing the odds. Due to the high Toxoplasma prevalence, the study concluded that the risk of exposure to T. gondii from handling raw or undercooked wild boar meat is high. Surveillance protocols should be established at the national level together with increased awareness within the hunting community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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18 pages, 2364 KiB  
Article
A Longitudinal Study of Hematology and Stress Biomarker Profiles in Young Asian Elephants (Elephas Maximus) in Relation to Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) in Thailand
by Khajohnpat Boonprasert, Yaoprapa Yun, Worapong Kosaruk, Patcharapa Towiboon, Pallop Tankaew, Veerasak Punyapornwithaya, Thittaya Janyamathakul, Panida Muanghong, Janine L. Brown, Chatchote Thitaram and Chaleamchat Somgird
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2530; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092530 - 28 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3932
Abstract
Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus hemorrhagic disease (EEHV-HD) is a virulent disease that causes severe hemorrhage and sudden death in Asian elephant calves. A change in hematology profiles is one indicator of infection before clinical signs appear; however, to be effective, individual baselines and age-matched [...] Read more.
Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus hemorrhagic disease (EEHV-HD) is a virulent disease that causes severe hemorrhage and sudden death in Asian elephant calves. A change in hematology profiles is one indicator of infection before clinical signs appear; however, to be effective, individual baselines and age-matched reference values are needed. Stress has been speculated to be a factor in clinical EEHV cases, but relationships have not been demonstrated empirically. This study evaluated blood hematology and several stress response markers—salivary cortisol, fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM), salivary Immunoglobulin A (SIgA), and fecal IgA (FIgA) in samples collected for 1 year from three healthy calves with no EEHV history (non-EEHV), and six that had previously been infected, developed clinical signs and survived (prior-EEHV). Hematology values between non-EEHV and prior-EEHV elephants were not different and within published reference ranges. Concentrations of salivary cortisol, FGM, SIgA, and FIgA also were variable and showed seasonal differences, but no relationships to prior EEHV status. One of the prior EEHV calves became re-infected, developed hemorrhagic disease (HD), and died during the study period. That calf exhibited lymphocytopenia, monocytopenia, and thrombocytopenia. Additionally, all stress biomarker concentrations were lower in the 12 days before viremia was observed. Thus, as in other studies, changes in hematology occur with EEHV infection, while preliminary data in one calf suggests that stress-response measures might also be informative and should be studied further. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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11 pages, 330 KiB  
Communication
Survey of Zoonotic Bacterial Pathogens in Native Foxes in Central Chile: First Record of Brucella canis Exposure
by Nicolás Galarce, Sebastián de la Fuente, Beatriz Escobar, Phillip Dettleff, Pedro Abalos, Juan Carlos Hormazábal, Roberto Flores, Nicole Sallaberry-Pincheira and Víctor Martínez
Animals 2021, 11(7), 1980; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11071980 - 2 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4411
Abstract
Brucella abortus, B. canis, and pathogenic Leptospira are zoonotic pathogens that infect humans, as well as domestic and wild animals. In wild canids, they may affect their fertility and reproduction, threatening their conservation. Wild canids play a crucial role in [...] Read more.
Brucella abortus, B. canis, and pathogenic Leptospira are zoonotic pathogens that infect humans, as well as domestic and wild animals. In wild canids, they may affect their fertility and reproduction, threatening their conservation. Wild canids play a crucial role in the environment as meso- and top-predators and environmental sentinels for zoonotic pathogens. In Chile, three species of wild canids are present, and due to changes in land use and environmental dynamics, it is of utmost relevance to determine the role of these species in the epidemiology of brucellosis and leptospirosis. This study aimed to detect the exposure to B. abortus, B. canis, and pathogenic Leptospira by serologic, bacteriologic, and molecular techniques in native foxes from rehabilitation and exhibition centers in Central Chile. Forty-six blood samples were obtained from Lycalopex culpaeus and L. griseus, detecting 10.9% of seropositivity to B. canis and 7.7% to L. Javanica. No seropositivity was seen for B. abortus. Exposure was not registered by culture and qPCR in any of the sampled animals. Our findings are the first register of exposure to any Brucella species in wild canids in Chile and highlight the need to establish surveillance programs of these emerging pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
15 pages, 1171 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Determinants of the Seroprevalence of the Hepatitis E Virus in Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)
by Patricia Barroso, María A. Risalde, Ignacio García-Bocanegra, Pelayo Acevedo, José Ángel Barasona, Javier Caballero-Gómez, Saúl Jiménez-Ruiz, Antonio Rivero-Juárez, Vidal Montoro and Joaquín Vicente
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061805 - 17 Jun 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3381
Abstract
The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging zoonotic pathogen whose main reservoir is suids. Most of the ecological and epidemiological aspects of its sylvatic cycle remain unknown. Thus, in this work, we study the drivers of HEV exposure in the wild boar [...] Read more.
The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging zoonotic pathogen whose main reservoir is suids. Most of the ecological and epidemiological aspects of its sylvatic cycle remain unknown. Thus, in this work, we study the drivers of HEV exposure in the wild boar population of Doñana National Park (DNP, southwest Spain) operating in the medium and long-term (2005–2018). Anti-HEV antibodies are widely distributed throughout the wild boar (46.7 ± 3.8%, 327 out of 700 sampled), showing a statistically significant age-increasing pattern. The temporal pattern displayed important interannual fluctuations. This could be mediated by marked variations in the population control of the wild boar, and subsequent changes in abundance rates, and its interplay with climatic conditions; as wet years together with a low abundance of wild boar led to the lowest seroprevalence. The fact that seroprevalence is high during conditions of high abundance, and not affected by rainfall level, is probably due to the increased interactions among the animals, and possibly, the subsequent higher environmental contamination with HEV particles. The proximity to the marshland (the main water body of the study area) is associated with a higher risk of testing positive, which is probably mediated by the preferential use of this area during the dry season and the favourable environmental conditions for the survival of HEV particles. A deeper understanding of the epidemiology of HEV in host communities deserves future research concerning other susceptible species. Most importantly, wild boar population control remains a challenge at the international level, and an increase of shared pathogen-related conflicts associated with this species is expected, as exemplified by HEV. Therefore, surveillance of wild boar diseases, including integrated population monitoring and sustainable population control programmes, will be essential to control the associated risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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13 pages, 4736 KiB  
Article
Spatial Clustering by Red Deer and Its Relevance for Management of Chronic Wasting Disease
by Atle Mysterud, Isa Nergård Skjelbostad, Inger Maren Rivrud, Øystein Brekkum and Erling L. Meisingset
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051272 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2918
Abstract
Herbivores like cervids usually graze on widely scattered forage, but anthropogenic food sources may cause spatial revisitation and aggregation, posing a risk for transmission of infectious diseases. In 2016, chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first detected in Norway. A legal regulation to ban [...] Read more.
Herbivores like cervids usually graze on widely scattered forage, but anthropogenic food sources may cause spatial revisitation and aggregation, posing a risk for transmission of infectious diseases. In 2016, chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first detected in Norway. A legal regulation to ban supplemental feeding of cervids and to fence stored hay bales was implemented to lower aggregation of cervids. Knowledge of further patterns and causes of spatial revisitation can inform disease management. We used a recently developed revisitation analysis on GPS-positions from 13 red deer (Cervus elaphus) to identify the pattern of spatial clustering, and we visited 185 spatial clusters during winter to identify the causes of clustering. Anthropogenic food sources were found in 11.9% of spatial clusters, which represented 31.0% of the clusters in agricultural fields. Dumping of silage and hay bales were the main anthropogenic food sources (apart from agricultural fields), and unfenced hay bales were available despite the regulation. The probability of the clusters being in agricultural fields was high during winter. It may be necessary to find other ways of disposing of silage and enforcing the requirement of fencing around hay bales to ensure compliance, in particular during winters with deep snow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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12 pages, 13598 KiB  
Article
Twenty Years of Passive Disease Surveillance of Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) in Slovenia
by Diana Žele Vengušt, Urška Kuhar, Klemen Jerina and Gorazd Vengušt
Animals 2021, 11(2), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020407 - 5 Feb 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2720
Abstract
In this paper, we provide an overview of the causes of death of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) diagnosed within the national passive health surveillance of roe deer in Slovenia. From 2000 to 2019, postmortem examinations of 510 free-ranging roe deer provided [...] Read more.
In this paper, we provide an overview of the causes of death of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) diagnosed within the national passive health surveillance of roe deer in Slovenia. From 2000 to 2019, postmortem examinations of 510 free-ranging roe deer provided by hunters were conducted at the Veterinary Faculty, Slovenia. A comprehensive necropsy was performed. According to the results of the necropsy, the samples were subjected to microscopic, histopathological, bacteriological, parasitological, or virological examination. The most frequent causes of death in roe deer were infectious diseases (67%), followed by noninfectious diseases (28%). Of all deaths, parasitic infections represented 48%, bacterial infections 14.8%, trauma 12.5%, and metabolic disorders 9.8%. Less frequent causes were diseases like neoplasia and mycotic infections, winter starvation, hernias, and lightning strike. This study covered an estimated 1% of the total disease-related mortality of roe deer in Slovenia. Comparisons of sex/age structure indicated that hunters did not provide random samples (e.g., young males were disproportionately represented). Therefore, such monitoring does not ensure an unbiased assessment of the significance of the individual disease for the mortality of the population; however, it can provide credible evidence of whether or not a particular disease is present in a population. We show that no identified disease in roe deer in Slovenia can be considered a significant health threat to roe deer, other wildlife species, or humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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Review

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18 pages, 4442 KiB  
Review
Emergence and Spread of Cephalosporinases in Wildlife: A Review
by Josman D. Palmeira, Mónica V. Cunha, João Carvalho, Helena Ferreira, Carlos Fonseca and Rita T. Torres
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1765; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061765 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4641
Abstract
In the last decade, detection of antibiotic resistant bacteria from wildlife has received increasing interest, due to the potential risk posed by those bacteria to wild animals, livestock or humans at the interface with wildlife, and due to the ensuing contamination of the [...] Read more.
In the last decade, detection of antibiotic resistant bacteria from wildlife has received increasing interest, due to the potential risk posed by those bacteria to wild animals, livestock or humans at the interface with wildlife, and due to the ensuing contamination of the environment. According to World Health Organization, cephalosporins are critically important antibiotics to human health. However, acquired resistance to β-lactams is widely distributed and is mainly mediated by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase and AmpC beta-lactamases, such as cephalosporinases. This work thus aimed to compile and analyse the information available on the emergence and dissemination of cephalosporinases in wildlife worldwide. Results suggest a serious scenario, with reporting of cephalosporinases in 46 countries from all continents (52% in Europe), across 188 host species, mainly birds and mammals, especially gulls and ungulates. The most widely reported cephalosporinases, CTX-M-1, CTX-M-14, CTX-M-15 and CMY-2, were also the most common in wild animals, in agreement with their ubiquity in human settings, including their association to high-risk clones of Escherichia coli (E. coli), such as the worldwide distributed CTX-M-15/ST131 E. coli. Altogether, our findings show that anthropogenic activities affect the whole ecosystem and that public policies promoting animal and environmental surveillance, as well as mitigation measures to avoid antimicrobial misuse and AMR spread, are urgently needed to be out in practise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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13 pages, 344 KiB  
Review
Hedgehogs as a Potential Source of Zoonotic Pathogens—A Review and an Update of Knowledge
by Jakub J. Ruszkowski, Mateusz Hetman, Hanna Turlewicz-Podbielska and Małgorzata Pomorska-Mól
Animals 2021, 11(6), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11061754 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4934
Abstract
Hedgehogs are small insectivorous mammals common across Europe, Asia, and Africa. The increased encroachment of humans into hedgehog habitats has disrupted the human-animal-environment interface. With growing interest in the zoonotic diseases of wildlife species, more studies have been devoted to this subject in [...] Read more.
Hedgehogs are small insectivorous mammals common across Europe, Asia, and Africa. The increased encroachment of humans into hedgehog habitats has disrupted the human-animal-environment interface. With growing interest in the zoonotic diseases of wildlife species, more studies have been devoted to this subject in the last few years. These papers provide information about known and new emerging diseases. Here we review the current knowledge regarding bacterial, viral, protozoic, and mycotic pathogens with zoonotic potential and assess the importance of hedgehogs as their carriers. Both wild and pet hedgehogs were included in the review. Data from several countries and various hedgehog species were included. The study shows the importance of hedgehogs as carriers of zoonotic diseases and reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens in varied habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)

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8 pages, 11031 KiB  
Case Report
A Case of XX Disorder of Sexual Development in a Female-Phenotype Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) Associated with Antlers Growth with Retained Velvet
by Filipe Silva, Isabel Pires, Justina Prada, Miguel Queirós, Aurora Monzón, José Almeida, Roberto Sargo, Filipa Loureiro, Luís Sousa, Joana Valente, Carlos Viegas, Mário Ginja, Estela Bastos, Ana Martins-Bessa and Isabel Dias
Animals 2022, 12(7), 865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070865 - 29 Mar 2022
Viewed by 13070
Abstract
A 3-to-4-year-old roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) was admitted to the Veterinary Hospital. Although it showed well-developed antlers with retained velvet, an external female appearance and genitalia were evident. External biometrical measurements were taken for the antlers, and a computed tomography was [...] Read more.
A 3-to-4-year-old roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) was admitted to the Veterinary Hospital. Although it showed well-developed antlers with retained velvet, an external female appearance and genitalia were evident. External biometrical measurements were taken for the antlers, and a computed tomography was performed. Molecular studies targeting the SRY gene were performed, and a PIS (polled intersex syndrome) mutation diagnosis was implemented. The gonads consisted of a right testicle paired with a left ovotestis. Histologically, the ovary-like structures in the ovotestis were functional, but the testis, as the testis-like structure in the ovotestis, did not show active spermatogenesis. No evidence of SRY gene was detected by PCR, suggesting an XX-chromosome constitution. Additionally, polled intersex syndrome (PIS) deletion was not detected in the case under study. The clinical and histopathological findings confirmed the DSD with the presence of a testicle and a contralateral ovotestis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Diseases)
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