Serum samples from 14 lions (Panthera leo) from Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, were collected during 1998 and 1999 to determine infectious disease exposure in this threatened population. Sera were analyzed for antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline calicivirus (FCV), feline herpesvirus 1 (feline rhinotracheitis: FHV1), feline/canine parvovirus (FPV/CPV), feline infectious peritonitis virus (feline coronavirus: FIPV), and canine distemper virus (CDV) or for the presence of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigens. Ten lions (71%) had antibodies against FIV, 11 (79%) had antibodies against CDV, 11 (79%) had antibodies against FCV, nine (64%) had antibodies against FHV1, and five (36%) had antibodies against FPV. Two of the 11 CDV-seropositive lions were subadults, indicating recent exposure of this population to CDV or a CDV-like virus. No lions had evidence of exposure to FeLV or FIPV. These results indicate that this endangered population has extensive exposure to common feline and canine viruses.
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Vol. 42 • No. 3