The maned wolf, Chrysocyon brachyurus, is an endangered Neotropical canid that survives at low population densities. Diseases are a potential threat for its conservation but to date have been poorly studied. We performed clinical evaluations and investigated the presence of infectious diseases through serology and coprologic tests on maned wolves from Galheiro Natural Private Reserve, Perdizes City, Minas Gerais State, southeastern Brazil. Fifteen wolves were captured between 2003 and 2008. We found high prevalences of antibody to canine distemper virus (CDV; 13/14), canine parvovirus (CPV; 4/14), canine adenovirus type 2 (13/14), canine coronavirus (5/11), canine para-influenza virus (5/5), and Toxoplasma gondii (6/8), along with Ancylostomidae eggs in all feces samples. Antibodies against Leishmania sp. were found in one of 10 maned wolves, and all samples were negative for Neospora caninum. Evidence of high exposure to these viral agents was also observed in unvaccinated domestic dogs from neighboring farms. High prevalence of viral agents and parasites such as CDV, CPV, and Ancylostomidae indicates that this population faces considerable risk of outbreaks and chronic debilitating parasites. This is the first report of exposure to canine parainfluenza virus in Neotropical free-ranging wild canids. Our findings highlight that canine pathogens pose a serious hazard to the viability of maned wolves and other wild carnivore populations in the area and emphasize the need for monitoring and protecting wildlife health in remaining fragments of the Cerrado biome.
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Vol. 48 • No. 4