Special Issue "Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics of Transboundary Animal Infectious Diseases"

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Evolutionary Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 July 2022) | Viewed by 1015

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Joseph Neigel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, PO Box 42451, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA
Interests: population genetics; molecular evolution; ecology and evolution of marine animals; marine conservation genetics; disease ecology; invasive species
Dr. Timothy Sullivan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
4084 NE Jefferson Dr., Hamilton, MO 64644, USA
Interests: marine Ecology; conservation biology; genetics; ecology and evolution; ecology; rivers; biodiversity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Safe, effective, sustainable animal production is vital to global food security, local economies, and long-established cultural practices. Animal diseases reduce production, often severely, with many having the potential to become human diseases. Great progress has been made in controlling and even eradicating some animal diseases. However, new diseases emerge and reemerge at alarming rates and expand by crossing boundaries between species, ecosystems, and geographic regions. Whereas the science behind pathogen identification, prevention, management, and response has benefited from centuries of progress, we are just beginning to understand the complex processes and mechanisms that determine how and when infectious diseases cross boundaries. The scope of this problem encompasses many disciplines, including microbiology, epidemiology, veterinary science, ecology, genetics, and evolution. For this Special Issue, we invite contributions that shed light on transboundary infectious diseases as ecological and evolutionary phenomena. Our aim is to bring together insights and approaches from multiple disciplines in the hope that synthesis, collaboration, and deeper understanding will follow. Topics could include but are not limited to the following questions: How and why do infectious agents evolve and adapt over time in the face of human intervention? Why do some agents suddenly emerge or reemerge and cause widespread damage? What roles do abiotic and biotic factors play in shaping the transmission dynamics and evolutionary trajectories of pathogens within their own unique systems? Importantly, how can a clear understanding of the fundamental processes that underlie the evolution and ecology of these diseases inform the management, protection, and biosecurity of animal agriculture operations around the world?

Dr. Joseph Neigel
Dr. Timothy Sullivan
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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Canine Distemper Virus in Wild Carnivore Populations from the Czech Republic (2012–2020): Occurrence, Geographical Distribution, and Phylogenetic Analysis
Life 2022, 12(2), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020289 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 812
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease in carnivores and represents a serious threat for both wild and domestic animals. The aim of our study was to monitor the occurrence of the canine distemper virus in wildlife from the Czech Republic, reveal [...] Read more.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease in carnivores and represents a serious threat for both wild and domestic animals. The aim of our study was to monitor the occurrence of the canine distemper virus in wildlife from the Czech Republic, reveal the H gene heterogeneity in positive samples and perform subsequent phylogenetic analysis. In total, 412 wild animals of 10 species were included in the study: 219 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 79 European badgers (Meles meles), 47 European otters (Lutra lutra), 40 stone martens (Martes foina), 10 pine martens (M. martes), 7 raccoons (Procyon lotor), 5 undetermined martens (Martes sp.), 2 wolves (Canis lupus), 1 European polecat (Mustela putorius), 1 free-ranging ferret (Mustela putorius furo), and 1 free-ranging American mink (Neovison vison). Most animals were found dead or were killed by hunters during hunting seasons in the years 2012–2020 and came from all 14 regions of the Czech Republic. In the animals that were hunted, symptoms such as apathy, loss of shyness or disorientation were reported. Canine distemper virus (CDV) was detected by real-time RT-PCR in the tissues of 74 (18%) of the animals, including 62 (28%) red foxes, 4 (10%) stone martens, 3 (43%) raccoons, 2 (20%) pine martens, 2 (2.5%) European badgers and 1 (20%) undetermined marten. There was a statistical difference in positivity among animal species (p < 0.0001), regions (p = 0.0057), and the years of sampling (p = 0.0005). To determine the genetic characteristics of circulating variants of CDV in wildlife, 23 of 74 CDV variants were partially sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis showed that 21 variants belonged to the European lineage and two strains belonged to the European-Wildlife lineage. This study provides the first comprehensive overview of the prevalence and spatial distribution of CDV in wildlife in the Czech Republic, including molecular phylogenetic analysis of currently circulating CDV lineages. Full article
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