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Nine percent of 198 serum samples from striped skunks, Mephitis mephitis (Schreber) from five areas of Alberta were positive for rabies neutralizing antibody. Positive samples were minimal (2%) from specimens sampled in an area enzootic for rabies and occurred at greater rates in areas negative for skunk rabies. Transmission of rabies virus to skunks may have been from a source other than skunks in those areas, most probably from bats.
Four captive-raised axis deer, Axis axis (Erxleben), which were negative serologically to Brucella were inoculated with 1 × 108 virulent Brucella abortus biotype 1 organisms (Texas #221 isolate) administered bilaterally into the conjunctival sac. Sera collected from each deer prior to inoculation and 30 days post-inoculation (PI) were examined for Brucella antibodies by the buffered Brucella antigen (card), the rivanol precipitation, the standard tube agglutination, and the cold complement fixation tube serologic tests. All four axis deer converted serologically as determined by all tests at 30 days PI. Brucella abortus biotype 1 was isolated from 26 of 32 tissue samples collected at necropsy and also from milk from the lactating female.
During a 5 wk period beginning May 25, 1983, 329 amphibians, which included specimens of Rana catesbeiana Shaw, Rana clamitans Latreille, Rana septentrionalis Baird, Rana sylvatica LeConte, Hyla crucifer Wied, Bufo americanus Holbrook, and Plethodon cinereus Green, from Lake Sasajewun, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada were examined for blood parasites. The prevalences of species of Trypanosoma, Haemogregarina, Lankesterella, Babesiasoma, and Thrombocytozoons in these amphibians were determined. Two species of microfilaria (probably Foleyella spp.) and two intraerythrocytic forms, inclusions of an icosahedral cytoplasmic DNA virus (ICDV) and groups of rickettsial organisms, were also observed. The following are new host records: Trypanosoma ranarum (Lankester, 1871) in B. americanus; Trypanosoma ranarum (Lankester, 1871) in R. sylvatica; Trypanosoma pipientis Diamond, 1950, Babesiasoma stableri Schmittner and McGhee, 1961 and Thrombocytozoons ranarum Tchacarof, 1963 in R. septentrionalis. The aquatic frogs generally showed a much higher prevalence of infection with blood parasites than the terrestrial frogs, toads and salamanders, which is suggestive of an aquatic vector. The leech Batracobdella picta Verrill, 1872, which was found on many of the aquatic frogs, is the most likely vector in the study area. Also, an increasing prevalence of parasites was noted with increasing sizes (ages) of Rana clamitans and R. catesbeiana suggesting that longer exposure to water makes these species more likely to acquire blood parasites. The presence of Trypanosoma ranarum in B. americanus appeared to coincide with their attainment of sexual maturity.
Fifty-nine gastrointestinal tracts and 52 blood samples were collected from eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris Vieillot) during the spring turkey hunts of 1979–1980 from two areas in western Kentucky and Tennessee. Eight species of parasites were recovered, and included (combined prevalence): Haemoproteus meleagridis Levine, 1961 (25%), Hymenolepis carioca (Magalhaes, 1898) (44%), Metroliasthes lucida Ransom, 1900 (25%), Raillietina georgiensis (Reid and Nugara, 1961) (15%), R. williamsi Fuhrmann, 1932 (64%), Ascaridia dissimilis Perez Vigueras, 1931 (83%), Capillaria caudinflata (Molin, 1858) (2%), and Heterakis gallinarum (Schrank, 1788) (27%). A significant difference existed between the intensities of A. dissimilis from the two states. Twenty-two subinoculations of collected blood were made in 1979, but no Plasmodium infections were recovered. Helminths of wild turkeys from 11 southeastern states were compared using similarity and diversity indices. High similarities were observed in helminth populations of two groups of states: 1) Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Virginia, and Tennessee; and 2) Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois. Simpson's diversity index indicated helminth populations of wild turkeys in Florida were the most diverse (0.10), while those in Louisiana turkeys were the least diverse (0.33).
Dirofilaria scapiceps was found between the synovial sheath and tendons, i.e., within the tendon sheath, in the ankle region of eastern cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) and snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus). In cottontail rabbits, tendons and sheaths appeared normal and all worms were adults. Only one (4%) of 24 infected rabbits contained dead worms. All female worms were gravid in rabbits killed in late winter or early spring. Microfilaremias in rabbits were high (approximately 30–100 microfilariae/60 μl blood) and of long duration (at least 8–28 mo), and rabbits were considered normal hosts of D. scapiceps. In some snowshoe hares, tendons and sheaths also appeared normal; however, in other hares a chronic proliferative tenosynovitis, characterized by fibrinous exudate, hyperplasia and hypertrophy of the intima and inflammatory cell (predominantly lymphocytes and plasma cells) infiltration of the intimal and fibrous layers of the synovial sheath led to encapsulation of worms. Dead subadult, dead adult, and live adult worms were found in the ankles of hares; 86 (46%) of 186 infected hares contained some or only dead worms. Fibrosis commonly occurred around dead worms. Dead subadults were also found in subcutaneous connective tissues over the trunk of the body. Degenerate embryos and amorphous material were observed in uteri of some female worms in hares killed in late winter or early spring. Few (1–5 microfilariae/60 μl blood) or no microfilariae were observed in the peripheral blood of hares and microfilaremias were of short duration (less than 8 mo). Microfilariae in hares are probably trapped and destroyed in the chronic inflammatory lesions in the tendon sheaths since normal, degenerate, and calcified microfilariae were observed in the capsules around adult worms. Some microfilariae might also be destroyed in lymph nodes. Although D. scapiceps can be maintained within snowshoe hare populations, hares are considered abnormal hosts of D. scapiceps. Dirofilaria scapiceps may have spread from cottontail rabbits to snowshoe hares relatively recently.
Three species of trematode [Orchipedium jolliei Schell, 1967; Prohyptiamus grusi Kocan, Waldrup, Ramakka, and Iverson, 1982; Echinostoma revolutum (Froelich, 1802)], three species of nematode (Tetrameres grusi Shumakovich, 1946; Synhimanthus sp.; Contracaecum sp.), and one species of cestode (Anomotaenia sp.) were recovered from 146 sandhill cranes, Grus canadensis (Linnaeus), collected in Alaska, Canada, and two areas in Texas. The only common and abundant species were O. jolliei and T. grusi. Of cranes collected in Texas, those that came from the Canadian breeding grounds had significantly greater abundances of O. jolliei and T. grusi than those from Alaska. However, cluster analysis using rank abundances of helminth species across the four geographic regions and stepwise multiple discriminant analysis using the grouping variable of the presence or absence of a subspecies-specific pancreatic protein indicated that classification of cranes into populations based on helminth abundances was impractical as a management technique.
Seasonal variations in blood chemistry, urine chemistry, fat reserves, and crude protein levels of rumen contents were determined for free-ranging adult female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann) in central Texas. Seasonal variations (P < 0.05) existed for serum total protein, albumin, globulin, albumin/globulin ratios, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), cholesterol, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, phosphorus, and sodium; and urinary urea/creatinine (U/C) ratios, rumen crude protein, the kidney fat index (KFI), femur marrow fat (FMF), and dressed weights. Variations in BUN, urinary U/C ratios, dressed weights, KFI, and FMF were attributed partially to the nutritional demands of late gestation and lactation.
The mean liver concentrations of copper, manganese, zinc and cobalt were 0.25, 0.20, 2.97 mmol/kg and 2.81 μmol/kg respectively in free-living koalas in Victoria, Australia. The mean plasma copper concentration was 9.2 mmol/liter which was somewhat below the level in other hindgut fermenters. The mean concentrations of copper, manganese and zinc in their diet (Eucalyptus spp.) were 0.08, 4.46 and 0.27 mmol/kg respectively. Analysis of the data established a significant correlation between the age of the koalas and the inverse of the concentration of the copper (r = −0.67, P < 0.001) in the liver. There were no such correlations apparent for manganese, zinc or cobalt. The concentrations of trace metals in the Eucalyptus diet for the koala were comparable to those recommended in the diets for other hindgut fermenters such as horse, rabbits and rats. However there was evidence for suboptimal plasma copper levels (mean 9.2 mmol/liter) in some koalas, and reduced liver copper levels in older koalas. Liver histology revealed the presence of brown intracytoplasmic granules in hepatocytes. The size and number of these granules per cell was noted to increase with increasing age of the koala but the chemical nature and the role of the granules was not determined by the histochemical techniques used.