Wild Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica, n=44) from the Russian Far East were tested for antibodies to feline leukemia virus, feline corona virus (FCoV), feline immunodeficiency virus, feline parvovirus (FPV), canine distemper virus (CDV), Toxoplasma gondii, and Bartonella henselae. Antibodies to FCoV, CDV, FPV, and T. gondii were detected in 43, 15, 68, and 42% of tigers, respectively. No differences were detected in antibody prevalence estimates between tigers captured as part of a research program and those captured to mitigate human-tiger conflicts. Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) were tested as a potential source for CDV; 16% were vaccinated against CDV and 58% of unvaccinated dogs were antibody positive for CDV. A high percentage of tigers were exposed to potential pathogens that could affect the survival of this species. We recommend continued monitoring of wild tigers throughout Asia, development of standardized sampling and postmortem examination procedures, and additional research to better understand potential domestic and wild animal sources for these pathogens.
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Vol. 48 • No. 1