We investigated the exposure of jaguar (Panthera onca) populations and domestic carnivores to selected viral infections in the Cerrado, Amazon, and Pantanal biomes of Brazil. Between February 2000 and January 2010, we collected serum samples from 31 jaguars, 174 dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), and 35 domestic cats (Felis catus). Serologic analyses for antibodies to rabies virus, canine distemper virus (CDV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigen were conducted. The jaguars from Cerrado and Pantantal were exposed to rabies virus, while the jaguars from the Pantanal and the dogs from all three areas were exposed to CDV. Two cats from the Amazonian site were antigen-positive for FeLV, but no jaguars had FeLV antigen or FIV antibody. Canine distemper and rabies viruses should be carefully monitored and considered potential threats to these jaguar populations. Currently FIV and FeLV do not appear to represent a health threat for jaguar populations in this area. Domestic dogs and cats in these areas should be vaccinated, and the movement of domestic animals around protected areas should be restricted.
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Vol. 49 • No. 3