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Over a 7-year period in Trinidad, 9,514 birds were examined for avian pox and four species were found infected: the golden-headed manakin, Pipra erythrocephala (7% infected), the white-bearded manakin, Manacus manacus (5%), the violaceous euphonia, Euphonia violacea (1%), and the bare-eyed thrush, Turdus nudigenis (<1%). The elaborate courtship displays of manakins may have a bearing on a “common source” type of infection. The apparently abrupt appearance of the disease at three localities in Trinidad in 1964 perhaps indicates introduction of the virus by migratory birds.
Cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) were treated daily with corticosteroids and then inoculated with Keystone virus. Viremia and neutralizing antibody profiles were determined in treated and untreated rats. Compared to untreated rats, the treated rats were substantially more susceptible to infection, and their viremia lasted much longer. This experimental model suggests that stress associated with excess glucocorticoid synthesis within a natural population could cause an increase in transmission of arboviruses. It also suggests that the effects of stress should be considered when experimental laboratory studies are designed.
Newcastle disease virus was isolated from the cloaca of 1-5% of live-trapped waterfowl in Wisconsin in the fall from 1978-1980. Antibody to NDV was detected in 8% of the birds tested, with no apparent difference between sex and age classes. Experimental infection resulted in persistence of virus shedding for months after exposure. Lack of detectable antibody in some of the experimentally infected birds suggests that reported antibody prevalence may not be indicative of the true prevalence of the infection. Isolation of NDV for the last 9 years as well as the detection of antibody in waterfowl over 25 years ago, suggests a well-adapted host-parasite relationship. Experimental evidence of virus persistence in individual mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) provides a mechanism for maintenance of the virus in the wild population.
Salmon poisoning disease (SPD) was experimentally induced in juvenile coyotes (Canis latrans). The disease was lethal in 11 of 12 coyotes within 15 days after inoculation with 1,000 or 4,000 metacercariae of Nanophyetus salmincola. Clinical manifestations of the disease included lymph node enlargement, anorexia, pyrexia, diarrhea and death. Coccoid bodies indistinguishable from rickettsiae were observed in macrophages of spleen, liver, lymph nodes, and duodenum. Percentage recovery of adult trematodes from metacercariae administered was 23% from 12 inoculated coyotes, compared to 13% in one inoculated dog. Juvenile coyotes appear to be highly susceptible to experimental SPD.
During 1979–1980 acute fibrinopurulent bronchopneumonia resulted in high mortality or total loss of herds of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in California and Washington. Contact with domestic sheep occurred shortly before the onset of disease in each case. Circumstantial evidence indicated that the apparently healthy domestic sheep transmitted pathogenic bacteria to the bighorns, resulting in mortality. Pasteurella multocida and Corynebacterium pyogenes were isolated from pulmonary tissue of dead bighorns. The presence of domestic sheep may have been an important stress which initiated or compounded the disease.
A system to designate and define isolates of Trichinella spiralis is proposed. The designation gives the host from which the isolate was recovered, geographic origin, and year of recovery. Isolates of T. spiralis recovered from frozen muscles from four species of wild carnivores had low and different infectivity to laboratory mice. Viable larvae of T. spiralis were obtained from muscle samples of marten, wolverine, polar bear and arctic fox which had been frozen for 5, 6, 12 and 14 mo, respectively.
Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) from the Atlantic seaboard (Florida to Massachusetts) were examined at the Marine Pathology Laboratory, University of Rhode Island, from March through December, 1980. Three genera of blood flukes (spirorchids) were found in 14 (33%) of the 43 turtles. Gross signs in heavily infected animals included cachexia, anemia and enteritis. Histopathological lesions were similar to those present in homeotherms with schistosomiasis. Granulomatous gastritis, enteritis, hepatitis, pneumonitis, and nephritis were present. Acute and chronic vasculitis accompanied metastasis of eggs. Infected animals had severe hepatic hemosiderosis, indicative of the anemia observed grossly. Evidence is presented that spirorchidiasis is prevalent in sub-adult loggerhead sea turtles, is responsible for extensive lesions and may be responsible for significant debilitation and mortality.
The prevalence of Sarcocystis in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and mule deer (O. hemionus) in South Dakota was determined through microscopic examination of tongue samples. The percentage of Sarcocystis infection for both species of deer was determined for prairies east of the Missouri River, west of the Missouri River, and the Black Hills of western South Dakota. Sixteen percent (N=62) of the white-tailed deer tongues from East River, 69% (N=42) from West River, and 74% (N=23) from the Black Hills were infected. Prevalence for mule deer was 88% (N=24), 78% (N=63), and 75% (N=12) from East River, West River, and the Black Hills, respectively. Of 50 tongue samples obtained from both species of deer during a special antlerless deer hunt in the Black Hills in 1978, 66% were infected. Coyotes (Canis latrans), dogs (Canis familiaris), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), a gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), bobcat (Felis rufus), and raccoon (Procyon lotor) were fed muscle from white-tailed deer and mule deer naturally infected with Sarcocystis to determine their role as definitive hosts. All coyotes, dogs, and the gray fox shed sporocysts, while none were recovered from the other animals. Sporocysts shed by coyotes were counted and concentrated into an inoculum and administered to a white-tailed deer fawn, which was necropsied 85 days after inoculation. Sections of heart, tongue, esophagus, diaphragm, and skeletal muscle were found to be heavily infected with sarcocysts, while sarcocysts were not detected in a control fawn.
Sarcocysts were found by light microscopic examination of muscle in 199 (51%) of 390 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) from the southeastern United States. Sarcocystis infections were detected more frequently in histologic sections of tongue (45%) than of heart (9%). Sarcocysts were significantly more prevalent in adult deer (54%) than fawns (26%) (P<.01). Statistically significant differences in prevalence were not found in deer from different physiographic provinces or between sexes. Artificial digestion was more sensitive in detecting Sarcocystis infections than examination of histologic sections when both techniques were used to examine tongues of 35 deer. Three different size sporocysts, possibly representing at least two species of Sarcocystis, were recovered during feeding trials. Seven dogs (Canis familiaris) shed sporocysts 9 to 12 days after eating infected venison. Sporocysts measured 13.4–16.8 × 9.0–12.3 μm with an average measurement of 15.2 × 10.9μm (N=195). One of three cats (Felis catus) and one of two red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) first shed sporocysts of Sarcocystis 10 days after eating infected venison. Sporocysts from the cat measured 11.2–13.4 × 6.72–8.96μm (avg 12.0 × 8.7μm, N= 18), and those from the fox measured 11.2–15.7 × 9.0–11.2μm (avg 13.6 × 10.2μm, N=7).
Blood smears were examined from 3,715 birds from four areas in the Republic of Panama. Hematozoa were present in at least 142 (50%) of the 281 species examined. An overall prevalence of 18% of the individual birds was noted: Haemoproteus 9%, Plasmodium 5%, Leucocytozoon <1%, Trypanosoma 2%, Atoxoplasma/Lankesterella <1% and microfilariae 3%. Prevalence in each of the four study areas varied from 13% to 28%. Distribution is analyzed by orders, families and individual species of Plasmodium are tabulated. New host records from 170 species of birds are recorded.
Hematologic and serum chemical values were determined for two groups of adult female Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) from New Mexico and Oklahoma. Although considerable variation in values was observed between elk from the same group, the mean values for 16 of the 20 blood parameters tested were significantly different between the two groups. Of these, the most significant variations were observed in values which were likely to be influenced by nutritional condition and health status. The results of this study indicate that when evaluating the health status of different herds kept under known conditions, hematologic and serum chemical values are of optimal significance when the mean values of the herds are compared.
Blood from 10 clinically healthy West Indian manatees (8 wild, 2 captive) was analyzed for the common blood chemical substances. No sex differences were found. The results were comparable for the most part to those of the common domestic mammals. Notable exceptions were the anion gaps, and total proteins and A/G ratios which were higher than those for domestic species. Some of these differences were no doubt due to the stress of capture.
The Mexican Ixtoc oil well blowout resulted in extensive oil contamination along the Texas Gulf coast. This oil posed a potential hazard to migrating birds including the endangered peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Laboratory tests with the American kestrel (Falco sparverius) indicated that the oil:water mixture gathered at the surface of the blowout site posed little acute hazard to falcons.