Introduced animals impact endemic populations through predation, competition, and disease transmission. Populations of endemic carnivores in Madagascar are declining, and pathogens transmitted from introduced species may further endanger these unique species. We assessed the exposure of introduced and endemic carnivores to common viral and parasitic pathogens in two national parks of Madagascar (Kirindy Mitea National Park and Ankarafantsika National Park) and their neighboring villages. We also identified variables associated with the presence of antibodies to these pathogens in fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox). Introduced and endemic species were exposed to canine parvovirus, canine herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and Toxoplasma gondii. Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and cats (Felis catus) may be sources of infection for these pathogens. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma in captured fosa was >93%, and adults were more likely to be exposed than immature individuals. Our data provide a basis upon which to evaluate and manage risks of pathogen transmission between species.
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Vol. 52 • No. 3