[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Globally, hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. are emerging or re-emerging zoonotic pathogens that affect livestock, wildlife, companion animals, and humans, potentially causing serious and economically important disease problems. Little is known about hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. prevalence, host-specificity, or route of transmission in most species, including wildlife. DNA amplification by PCR targeting the 16SrRNA and the RNaseP genes was used to establish the presence and prevalence of hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. in a white-tailed deer (O. virginianus) population in eastern North Carolina. Sixty-five deer (89%) tested positive for hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. where sequence analysis of the 16SsRNA and the RNaseP genes indicated the presence of at least three distinct species. This study represents the first detection of three distinct hemotropic Mycoplasma species in white-tailed deer and the first report of two novel hemotropic Mycoplasma species.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Physiological and morphological indices are useful for determining condi-tion of Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer; hereafter deer) and are important for deer management. However, information about deer condition in nutrient-deficient habitat types is sparse. Pocosins have a low nutritional plane and are characterized by deep, acidic, peat soils with a dense shrub layer that provides little or no hard and soft mast. In July 2008 and March 2009, we collected a total of 60 female deer (30 from each period) from a 31,565-ha pocosin forest managed intensively for Pinus taeda (Loblolly Pine) in coastal North Carolina. We recorded whole weight, eviscerated weight, spleen and adrenal gland weights, and kidney fat index (KFI). Abomasal para-site counts (APC) and femur marrow fat index (MFI) were determined post-collection in the laboratory, and blood samples were analyzed for packed cell volume and stan-dard serum chemistries. Serum chemistries were within expected ranges, with the exception of elevated potassium concentrations. The KFI and MFI were within levels reported in the literature, and APC levels did not indicate heavy parasite loads. Spleen (t 58 = 0.69, P = 0.492) and adrenal gland weights (t 58 = 1.46, P = 0.151) were similar between periods. Our results provide baseline physiological data for deer in a nutrient-deficient habitat type. Though managers need to consider nutritional plane of particu-lar habitat types, our results indicate that deer can achieve normal body weights and maintain body condition in nutrient-deficient sites.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii has not been detected previously in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). We tested whole blood from 60 white-tailed deer for Bartonella spp. DNA; three (5%) were positive for Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. This is the first detection of Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii in white-tailed deer.
Journal of wildlife diseases 04/2013; 49(2):468-70. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) have become overabundant in many urban and suburban areas, which can cause concern about exposure of humans and pets to zoonotic pathogens. Bald Head Island, NC is a small barrier island that has experienced ongoing residential development since the mid-1980s and has a relatively high deer density (15–17 deer/km 2). To address concerns expressed by residents, we screened ≈13% of the White-tailed Deer population for potential zoonotic pathogens. We collected blood from 8 deer in January through March 2008 and 5 deer in January 2009. We tested sera for antibodies to Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, and six serovars of Leptospira interrogans; and whole blood samples for Bartonella spp. and B. burgdorferi DNA. All sera were negative for antibodies to L. interrogans; two samples were seropositive for A. phagocytophilum, and one was seropositive for B. burgdorferi. Whole blood PCR results were negative for Bartonella spp. and B. burgdorferi. Con-tinued surveillance for wildlife diseases on Bald Head Island is necessary to determine prevalence of specifi c pathogens, their impacts on the White-tailed Deer population, and the risk of exposure to humans and pets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As feral swine (Sus scrofa) populations expand their range and the opportunity for feral swine hunting increases, there is increased potential for disease transmission that may impact humans, domestic swine, and wildlife. From September 2007 to March 2010, in 13 North Carolina, USA, counties and at Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center, we conducted a serosurvey of feral swine for Brucella suis, pseudorabies virus (PRV), and classical swine fever virus (CSFV); the samples obtained at Howell Woods also were tested for porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2). Feral swine serum was collected from trapped and hunter-harvested swine. For the first time since 2004 when screening began, we detected B. suis antibodies in 9% (9/98) of feral swine at Howell Woods and <1% (1/415) in the North Carolina counties. Also, at Howell Woods, we detected PCV-2 antibodies in 59% (53/90) of feral swine. We did not detect antibodies to PRV (n=512) or CSFV (n=307) at Howell Woods or the 13 North Carolina counties, respectively. The detection of feral swine with antibodies to B. suis for the first time in North Carolina warrants increased surveillance of the feral swine population to evaluate speed of disease spread and to establish the potential risk to commercial swine and humans.
Journal of wildlife diseases 04/2012; 48(2):462-6. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sampled 161 feral pigs in eastern North Carolina, USA, to determine the prevalence and antimicrobial resistance profile of Clostridium difficile and Salmonella. Seven (4.4%) and eight (5.0%) pigs tested positive for C. difficile and Salmonella, respectively, highlighting the importance of determining the epidemiology of these pathogens in feral pigs.
Journal of wildlife diseases 07/2011; 47(3):774-6. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In conjunction with efforts to assess pathogen exposure in feral pigs from the southeastern United States, we amplified Bartonella henselae, B. koehlerae, and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii from blood samples. Feral pigs may represent a zoonotic risk for hunters or butchers and pose a potential threat to domesticated livestock.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sixty adult and yearling female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were collected in July 2008 (n=30) and March 2009 (n=30) from eastern North Carolina as part of a population health assessment. During July 2008, standard serum analyses revealed hyperkalemia in all deer sampled. In March, the effect of processing time as a possible source of the hyperkalemia was investigated. For a subset of deer (n=10), blood tubes were centrifuged and processed at four time points (0, 30, 60, and 120 min) postcollection. Delayed centrifugation and plasma separation did not affect potassium (K(+)) concentration over time, indicating that a shift in intracellular K(+) did not occur and the hyperkalemia was not due to improper sample handling. Potassium levels were negatively correlated with age and varied across collection periods. Also, K(+) levels were positively correlated with glucose and not correlated with creatine kinase (CK). No single variable indicated a strong enough relationship to explain the hyperkalemia in the study.
Journal of wildlife diseases 04/2011; 47(2):307-13. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) survive in many climates, reproduce year-round, and are dietary generalists. In the United States, the size and range of the feral pig population has expanded, resulting in greater interaction with humans and domestic swine and increased potential for disease transmission. We conducted a serosurvey in feral pigs from eastern North Carolina to determine exposure to the zoonotic parasites, Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spp. Between September 2007 and March 2009, blood serum was collected from 83 feral pigs harvested at Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center, Four Oaks, North Carolina, USA. We used a modified agglutination test to test for T. gondii antibodies and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to test for Trichinella spp. antibodies. The prevalences of antibodies to T. gondii and Trichinella spp. were 27.7% and 13.3%, respectively and 4% (n=3) had antibodies to both agents. We detected an increased risk of T. gondii antibodies with age, whereas the risk of exposure to T. gondii across years and between sexes was similar. In eastern North Carolina, feral pigs have been exposed to T. gondii and Trichinella spp. and may pose a health risk to domestic swine and humans.
Journal of wildlife diseases 04/2011; 47(2):338-43. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common neoplasm diagnosed in domestic and wild animals, including several species of reptiles. However, reports of SCC invading vasculature or metastasizing in snakes are lacking. This report documents a case of SCC in an adult male eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) with a unique presentation and invasion into several small- to medium-sized vessels, suggestive of a metastatic process. What was initially suspected to be an abscessed tail was ultimately determined to be SCC originating at the base of the rattle.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 12/2010; 41(4):745-8. · 0.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A simple and dynamic pharmacokinetic model was developed to predict bioconcentration of organic contaminants in earthworms.
The model was parameterized experimentally by placing Lumbricus terrestris in soil contaminated with 200µg/cm2 of malathion. The toxicokinetics of malathion uptake, depuration, and degradation in soil is measured. After parameterization,
the model was able to accurately predict the bioconcentration factor of malathion at steady state. Sensitivity analyses were
performed and the rate of absorption was determined to be the most sensitive parameter. Varying the rate of malathion elimination
from earthworm tissues, malathion degradation, and the amount of malathion applied to the soil by 25-fold did not result in
the bioconcentration of malathion. An increase in the rate of malathion absorption into earthworm tissues by 25-fold did result
in bioconcentration. Previously published pharmacokinetic studies on xenobiotics with log K
ow values ranging up to 8.05 were used to test the predictive capacity of the model. The model was able to predict from 83%
to 105% of the experimentally derived bioconcentration factors.
Environmental Modeling and Assessment 01/2009; 14(3):411-418. · 1.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effect of soil organic matter content on the bioavailability of malathion to the common nightcrawler, Lumbricus terrestris. Earthworms were exposed for 72 h to malathion on two soil types, 8% organic matter and 55% organic matter. Two different measures of bioavailability, malathion body burdens and tissue cholinesterase activities, were then measured in the malathion exposed animals. There were no significant differences in body burden or cholinesterase levels in L. terrestris exposed to malathion on soils with differing organic matter content. This suggests that absorption into organic matter is not a limiting factor of malathion bioavailability to earthworm species.
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 04/2008; 80(3):220-4. · 1.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The kinetics of the bioaccumulation of malathion (O,O-dimethyl phosphorodithioate of diethyl mercaptosuccinate) and the biological impact of exposure for tiger salamanders, Ambystoma tigrinum, were assessed through exposure to soil surface contaminated with 50 microg/cm(2) or 100 microg/cm(2 )malathion and ingestion of an earthworm exposed to soil contaminated with 200 microg/cm(2) malathion. Malathion and malaoxon burdens in salamanders sampled at different times after exposure(s) were measured by gas chromatography in four tissue/organ subgroups: liver, epaxial muscle, pooled viscera (except the liver and brain), and pooled avisceral carcass (muscle, skin, and bone). The total tiger salamander xenobiotic burdens were calculated from these data. The malathion/malaoxon burden 1 day after exposure was greatest in the avisceral carcass and 2 days after exposure was greatest in the viscera. Bioconcentration and bioaccumulation factors remained less than unity throughout the experiment and did not support the hypothesis of bioaccumulation of malathion in the tiger salamander. Biological impact was assessed with a colorimetric brain cholinesterase microassay. Brain cholinesterase activities in salamanders exposed to malathion-contaminated soil (50 microg/cm(2) or 100 microg/cm(2 )malathion) were suppressed approximately 50-65% and 90%, respectively, compared to unexposed controls. The exposed animals did not exhibit overt clinical signs of malathion toxicosis.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 02/2008; 55(3):481-7. · 2.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine exposure to a variety of infectious diseases potentially important for native ungulates, livestock, and humans, serum samples from 114 (94 adults, 20 fawns) female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were collected during January 2000-03 from multiple locations in southeast (SE) and southwest (SW) Minnesota. Antibody prevalence was determined for the following pathogens: Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, Leptospira interrogans (six serovars), Anaplasma marginale, Borrelia burgdorferi, Brucella abortus, epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus, and bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) types 1 and 2. Samples collected in 2001 were screened for antibodies against Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and whole blood was submitted for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi. In addition, serum selenium concentrations were evaluated for samples collected during 2001-03. Antibody prevalence and selenium concentration were compared by age-class and geographic region. Antibodies to all of the infectious agents except A. marginale and B. abortus were detected; when detected, antibody prevalence was highest in adults. Deer collected from SE Minnesota had a higher antibody prevalence to B. burgdorferi than SW deer. Blood culture and PCR results for A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi were negative. Antibodies against BVDV (combined types 1 and 2) were more prevalent (chi(2) = 3.617, P< or = 0.029) in deer collected in SW (41%) than in SE (25%) Minnesota. No statistically significant differences in serum selenium concentrations were detected when data were analyzed by age-class or by geographic location.
Journal of wildlife diseases 01/2008; 44(1):181-7. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pallas' cats (Otocolobus manul) have a pronounced reproductive seasonality controlled by photoperiod. Previous studies of reproduction in captive Pallas' cats exposed to natural light showed a breeding season of December-April. This study evaluated the impact of artificial lighting timed to simulate natural photoperiods on male reproductive seasonality of four Pallas' cats housed indoors. Semen evaluation, blood collection, and body weight measurements were conducted every 1-2 months from November 2000-June 2001. Fecal samples were collected from each male twice weekly to assess testosterone and corticoid concentrations. Mean values for reproductive traits (sperm attributes, testicular volume) were highest from February-April, the defined breeding season. Fecal testosterone concentrations were highest from mid-January to mid-March. Male Pallas' cats managed indoors under simulated photoperiods experienced a delayed onset of the breeding season by 1-2 months and a decreased length of the breeding season. Over the course of the study, fecal corticoid concentrations did not seem to differ among seasons. Although mating attempts during this study were unsuccessful, subsequent pairings of male and female Pallas' cats in the same research colony during the 2002 and 2003 breeding seasons produced viable offspring. These results suggest that male Pallas' cats, housed indoors under simulated photoperiods, exhibit distinct reproductive cyclic patterns, characterized by a delayed and truncated breeding season. Adrenocortical activity varied among individuals, but did not adversely affect reproductive parameters. Housing Pallas' cats indoors under simulated photoperiods may represent a viable strategy for maintaining breeding success while limiting disease exposure. Zoo Biol 0:1-13, 2007. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding mechanisms responsible for meiotic resumption in mammalian oocytes is critical for the identification of strategies to enhance developmental competence of in vitro-matured oocytes. Improvement of in vitro oocyte maturation systems is dependent on a better understanding of mechanisms that regulate oocyte maturation both in vivo and in vitro as well as on the identification of methods to manipulate the meiotic progression of oocytes matured in vitro in a physiological manner. The purpose of this review is two-fold: first, to examine the mechanisms that underlie the acquisition of oocyte developmental competence and regulation of oocyte maturation in vivo and in vitro; second, to present data examining the role of transcription in mediating the ability of EGF and FSH to induce oocyte maturation in vitro. Results presented support the conclusions that (1) EGF-induced oocyte maturation does not require nascent gene transcription in both mice and domestic cats; (2) FSH requires gene transcription to induce oocyte maturation in both species; (3) EGF must be present in the maturation medium to optimize the effectiveness of FSH to promote oocyte maturation; (4) the mechanism used by FSH to induce oocyte maturation in vitro appears to predominate over that used by EGF when both EGF and FSH are present in maturation medium used for either murine or feline cumulus oocyte complexes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to establish an accurate in vitro model for cutaneous absorption in anurans. The harvested perfused anuran pelvic limb (HPAPL) model maintains the anatomic and physiologic integrity of the skin from the pelvic limb, including the intact capillary network. Radiolabeled malathion was applied to the skin of the dorsal thigh, and perfusate was collected over a 6h period. Residues from the skin surface, stratum externum, and dosed area beneath the stratum externum were analyzed. Kinetic parameters were calculated from these data. Absorption was significantly less for the HPAPL than previously reported for Teflon flow-through diffusion cells. However, partitioning effects were comparable. The HPAPL is an appropriate in vitro model for examining cutaneous absorption kinetics in the bullfrog.
Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 11/2006; 22(3):263-7. · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increased concern about the sublethal effects of organophosphorous (OP) compounds on human and animal health, including the potential role of OP compounds in the global decline of amphibian populations. Malathion is one of the most widely used OP pesticides with numerous agricultural and therapeutic applications, and exposure to environmentally applied malathion can lead to adverse systemic effects in anurans. Cutaneous absorption is considered a potentially important route of environmental exposure to OP compounds for amphibians, especially in aquatic environments. One in vitro system commonly used to determine the absorption kinetics of xenobiotics across the skin is the two-compartment Teflon flow-through diffusion cell system. To establish cutaneous absorption kinetics of malathion, six full thickness skin samples taken from both the dorsal and ventral surfaces of each of three bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) and three marine toads (Bufo marinus) were placed into two-compartment Teflon flow-through diffusion cells perfused with modified amphibian Ringer's solution. A 26μg/cm(2) dose of malathion-2,3-(14)C diluted in 100% ethanol was applied to each sample (0.44-0.45μCi). Perfusate was collected at intervals over a 6h period and analyzed for (14)C in a scintillation counter. At the end of 6h, surface swabs, tape strips, biopsy punches of the dosed area of skin, and peripheral samples were oxidized and analyzed for residue effects. Malathion absorption was greater across the ventral skin compared to dorsal skin in both bullfrogs and marine toads.
Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology 11/2006; 22(3):255-62. · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although herpesviruses are known to contaminate the semen of several mammalian species, the occurrence of feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1) in semen of infected cats has not been reported. Our objectives in this study were to investigate the presence of FHV-1 DNA in seminal fluid and frozen-thawed spermatozoa from FHV-1 infected Pallas' cats (Otocolobus manul) and assess the functionality of their frozen-thawed spermatozoa in vitro. Over a 3-yr period, semen (n = 33 ejaculates) was collected periodically via electroejaculation from four Pallas' cats chronically infected with FHV-1. Spermic ejaculates were frozen by pelleting on dry ice and stored in liquid nitrogen. After thawing, sperm motility and acrosome status were assessed over time during in vitro culture. For vitro fertilization (IVF), viable domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) oocytes were inseminated with frozen-thawed Pallas' cat spermatozoa and evaluated for embryo cleavage. For FHV-1 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, DNA was extracted from seminal fluid, frozen-thawed spermatozoa, inseminated oocytes, heterologous IVF embryos, and conjunctival biopsies and analyzed for presence of a 322-base pair region of the FHV-1 thymidine kinase gene. Immediately post-thaw, sperm motility and percentage of intact acrosomes were decreased (P < 0.05) compared to fresh samples, and declined further (P < 0.05) during culture. However, all frozen-thawed IVF samples were capable of fertilizing domestic cat oocytes (overall, 46.1 +/- 6.0% cleavage). PCR analysis did not identify FHV-1 DNA in any reproductive sample despite the repeated detection of FHV-1 DNA in conjunctival biopsies. These results suggest that semen collected from Pallas' cats infected with FHV-1 does not contain cell-associated or non-cell-associated virus and that frozen-thawed spermatozoa exhibit adequate function for potential genetic rescue with minimal risk of FHV-1 transmission.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 09/2006; 37(3):336-46. · 0.32 Impact Factor