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Duck plague (DP) carrier mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were subjected to seven environmental and physiological conditions in an attempt to stimulate DP virus shedding. The conditions were: food quality, social interaction, reproductive state, time dependency of food and water, noise, exercise, and sex of bird. Cloacal and oral swabs were taken daily for 10 days and assayed for DP virus content. The stimulated carrier ducks shed DP virus intermittently in amounts up to 108 ffus/swab/day (the highest 10-fold dilution still showing specific fluorescence). Unstimulated DP carrier ducks shed only up to 103 ffus/swab/day. Reproductive state and exercise were the only two factors that acted in concert to stimulate the shedding of virus in oral secretions.
Two experiments were conducted with five gallinaceous and one passerine bird species to determine their responses to Turlock (TUR) virus inoculations. Inoculation of TUR strain 847-32 into bob whites, chukars, ring-necked pheasants, chickens, and Japanese quail did not produce detectable viremias. The first four species, however, did respond with neutralizing antibody. Inoculation of chickens with strain 69V-1095 resulted in a viremia which lasted 5 days and had a peak mean titer of 2.0 log10PFU per 0.2 ml of blood on the third day after infection. The observation that viremic birds exhibited no noticeable virus associated morbidity or mortality suggested that TUR virus does not have a detrimental effect on free ranging populations of the avian hosts studied during this investigation.
Three calicivirus isolations were made from walrus feces collected in 1977 off sea ice in the south central Chukchi Sea and all were of a single serotype. Individual sera from 40 walruses sampled in 1976 about 100 km east of the Pribilof Islands, Alaska were examined for sera neutralizing antibodies to the walrus calicivirus. Three animals tested positive and these were between the ages of 11 and 18 yr. In 1981, sera from 18 walruses sampled near the Soviet coast were tested and two animals, ages 8 and 12 yr, were positive. This is the first report of a walrus virus isolate and is the first time a calicivirus has been isolated from a host whose natural habitat is confined to northern waters.
Two outbreaks of botulism in central Saskatchewan in which mortality of waterfowl continued into late autumn and then recurred in the same marshes the following spring are described. Small numbers of birds were involved in each instance. Dabbling ducks (predominantly mallards, Anas platyrhynchos and pintails, Anas acuta) and American coots, Fulica americana were affected most commonly in autumn; whereas only diving ducks (predominantly lesser scaup, Aythya affinis) were found to be involved in spring. Live maggots present in carcasses despite sub-freezing temperatures were the probable source of intoxication in the autumn; the source of toxin in the spring was not determined.
Avian cholera is reported for the first time in Canada geese, Branta canadensis, of the Mississippi Valley population. The disease was detected in weekly surveillance transects and was responsible to the loss of about 850 geese during the winter of 1978–1979 at localized areas in southern Illinois. Necropsies performed on 480 geese that died at Union County Conservation Area and on 133 birds at Horseshoe Lake Conservation Area during January and February 1979 revealed that the majority of losses (649%) were caused by avian cholera. Lead poisoning was responsible for the death of 14% of the geese analyzed and the remaining 22%, most of which were decomposed, were undiagnosed. Lethal lead levels and Pasteurella multocida occurred concomitantly in a few instances.
Nasal, pharyngeal, cervical and vaginal swab specimens were obtained from 74 desert bighorn sheep for the purpose of investigating the normal aerobic bacterial flora of wild sheep. A total of 281 isolates was obtained and identified by standard microbiologic tests. One hundred seven of these isolates were gram positive and included Bacillus sp. (36%), Staphylococcus epidermidis (8%), S. aureus (4%), Corynebacterium sp. (diphtheroids, 4%), and Streptococcus sp. (48%). Gram negative isolates totaled 174 and included Neisseria sp. (18%), Citrobacter sp. (3%), Enterobacter sp. (2%), Escherichia coli (2%), Proteus sp. (2%) and non-fermentative bacilli (NFB) (73%). Of the NFB isolates, Pseudomonas sp. (25%), Acinetobacter sp. (18%), Moraxella sp. (15%) were identified.
Six species of abomasal nematodes were recovered from Svalbard reindeer. Marshallagia niarshalli and Ostertagia grühneri were more prevalent than Skrjabinagia lyrata, Teladorsagia circumcincta, Ostertagia occidentalis and Ostertagia trifurcata. Of 24 reindeer examined all harbored adult abomasal nematodes. There was no significant difference in intensity of infection between winter (April) and autumn (October) for either adult males or females. In winter, intensity of infection of adult males was significantly higher than that of females. In calves, during the autumn, intensity of infection was low.
Sea turtles found dead when the Ixtoc I oil spill reached Texas waters were necropsied and tissues were analyzed for residues of petroleum hydrocarbons. Two of the three turtles were in poor flesh, but had no apparent oil-caused lesions. There was evidence of oil in all tissues examined and indications that the exposure had been chronic. Comparisons with results of studies done on birds indicate consumption of 50,000 ppm or more of oil in the diet. Some possible mechanisms of mortality are suggested.
American kestrels were fed a diet containing 0, 10, or 50 ppm lead (Pb) powder for at least 5 mo. Blood δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) activity in birds receiving 50 ppm Pb was as low as 20% of controls but no significant effects were noted in packed cell volume (PCV) or hemoglobin concentration (Hb). Mean liver Pb residues in birds fed 50 ppm Pb were 1.3 and 2.4 ppm (dry wt) for males and females, respectively. Liver Pb residues in birds fed 10 ppm Pb were not significantly greater than controls. There was no significant correlation between blood ALAD activity and blood Pb concentration, no consistent histopathological lesions were noted, and body and organ weights were not affected.
Liver, breast muscle and body fat from 50 juvenile and five adult wood ducks (Aix sponsa) collected on the Holston River, Tennessee were analyzed for total mercury content. Black fly larvae (Simulium vittatum), sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus), tapegrass (Vallisneria americanus), water stargrass (Heteranthera dubia), Elodea canadensis, and river bottom sediments were also analyzed to elucidate the distribution of mercury in the wood duck's environment. Liver tissues of juveniles contained the highest mean concentration of mercury (0.42 ppm). Mercury in breast muscle and body fat of juveniles averaged 0.15 and 0.10 ppm, respectively. Residues in corresponding tissues of adults were lower. Of environmental component: tested, sediments had the highest mean concentration (0.76 ppm). Black fly larvae and aquatic plants had mean levels below 0.10 ppm.
Between 1978 and 1981, 20 platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) which had been held in exhibits for varying periods, were submitted for necropsy. The most common gross and histologic lesions were adrenal enlargement, pulmonary pathology consistent with shock or aspiration pneumonia, intestinal coccidiosis, the presence of trypanosomes, myocarditis and nephritis. Other conditions encountered included infestation with ticks (Ixodes ornithorhynchi), a mild infection of intestinal trematodes (Mehlisia ornithorhynchi), myocardial toxoplasmosis, and focal hepatic necrosis. Adrenal weights, both absolute and relative to body weight, were determined in 12 specimens, and used as parameters of each animal's response to the stress associated with captivity. The results showed that, in platypus held in captivity from about 1 day up to 6 mo, both parameters were higher than in animals which were examined within a few hr of capture. In view of the general lack of conclusive necropsy findings, it was considered that these results indicated that stress may have been a significant underlying factor in the death of these animals in captivity.
Between 1975 and 1980, necropsy investigations were conducted on 44 wild koalas (24 males, 20 females) from several localities in Victoria, Australia. An additional 11 (5 males, 6 females) were presented for clinical appraisal and treatment. Traumatic injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents and intra-specific conflict were the commonest reason for submission (19 of 55; 35%). Keratoconjunctivitis (8 of 55; 15%), ascending urinary tract infections (6 of 20 females; 30%), ascending genital tract inflammation (10 of 20 females; 50%) and sarcoptic mange (2 of 55; 4%) were recognized as specific diseases or disease syndromes. A peracute syndrome characterized by lassitude, depression, anorexia and coma was identified in moribund koalas submitted from the wild and also in hospitalized animals. The condition, termed koala stress syndrome, was thought to be initiated by intercurrent disease or trauma, long term hospitalization and frequent manipulation and treatments. Hematological observations in 54 apparently healthy wild koalas from five different populations and on 17 sick or injured animals are also presented. Certain blood parameters are discussed in relation to the health status of the populations or individuals. Areas for further research into koala diseases are also discussed.
Cytomegalic lesions were detected in nine dusky antechinus (Antechinus swainsonii), three bettongs (Bettongia gaimardi) and two little pygmy possums (Cercartetus lepidus). Virus particles were demonstrated in inclusions in A. swainsonii and B. gaimardi, but electron microscopy was not performed on tissues from C. lepidus.
In June 1979, 73 Dall's sheep were captured near Tok, Alaska to determine selected hematologic and serum metabolite parameters and to determine the presence of antibodies to selected pathogens. Hematology and serum metabolite values were compared with values for domestic sheep and bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). Antibodies were detected against Brucella sp. (4%), Campylobacter feti (30%), contagious ecthyma virus (23%), and bovine parainfluenza type 3 virus (1%). Antibodies were not detected against Anaplasma sp., Leptospira sp., bovine virus diarrhea virus, bluetongue virus, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus, ovine progressive pneumonia, and Toxoplasma sp.
Sixty-four free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were immobilized using carfentanil at doses ranging from 1.0–38.0 μg/kg (mean 20 ± 8 μg/kg). Induction was rapid (5.0 min) (n = 46) and the bears showed good muscle relaxation. Respiratory rate was depressed (mean 3.8 bpm). The mean arousal after the administration of narcotic antagonists was longer than 5 min. Recurrence of narcotic effects—so called recycling—was seen in some bears and in a separate black bear trial was consistently observed in animals given doses of 10 μg/kg or more of carfentanil. The rapid induction, low drug volume and excellent muscle relaxation related to carfentanil immobilization make this a potentially useful drug for polar bear immobilization.