Frances Cassirer

Frances Cassirer
Washington State University | WSU · College of Veterinary Medicine

PhD

About

47
Publications
8,248
Reads
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1,275
Citations
Citations since 2016
20 Research Items
841 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
Controlling persistent infectious disease in wildlife populations is an on‐going challenge for wildlife managers and conservationists worldwide, and chronic diseases in particular remain a pernicious problem. Here, we develop a dynamic pathogen transmission model capturing key features of M. ovipneumoniae infection, a major cause of population decl...
Article
Full-text available
A respiratory disease epizootic at the National Bison Range (NBR) in Montana in 2016–2017 caused an 85% decline in the bighorn sheep population, documented by observations of its unmarked but individually identifiable members, the subjects of an ongoing long-term study. The index case was likely one of a small group of young bighorn sheep on a shor...
Article
Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) populations in the western United States have undergone widespread declines and extirpations since the late nineteenth century as a consequence of introduced diseases, competition with livestock, and unregulated hunting. Washington, Idaho, USA, and British Columbia, Canada were historically thought to be occupied by...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Genetic composition can influence host susceptibility to, and transmission of, pathogens, with potential population‐level consequences. In bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), pneumonia epidemics caused by Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae have been associated with severe population declines and limited recovery across North America. Adult survivors ei...
Article
Full-text available
1. Chronic pathogen carriage is one mechanism that allows diseases to persist in populations. We hypothesized that persistent or recurrent pneumonia in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) populations may be caused by chronic carriers of Mycoplasma ovi-pneumoniae (Mo). Our experimental approach allowed us to address a conservation need while investigati...
Article
Full-text available
Spillover diseases have significant consequences for human and animal health, as well as wildlife conservation. We examined spillover and transmission of the pneumonia-associated bacterium Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in domestic sheep, domestic goats, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats across the western United States using 594 isolates, collected from...
Article
Managing pathogen spillover at the wildlife–livestock interface is a key step towards improving global animal health, food security and wildlife conservation. However, predicting the effectiveness of management actions across host–pathogen systems with different life histories is an on-going challenge since data on intervention effectiveness are ex...
Preprint
Full-text available
A BSTRACT Managing pathogen spillover at the wildlife-livestock interface is a key step toward improving global animal health, food security, and wildlife conservation. However, predicting the effectiveness of management actions across host-pathogen systems with different life histories is an on-going challenge since data on intervention effectiven...
Article
Full-text available
Association of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae with pneumonia in domestic small ruminants has been described in Europe, Asia, and New Zealand but has received less attention in the United States. In 2011, the US Department of Agriculture's National Animal Health Monitoring System detected M. ovipneumoniae shedding in 88% of 453 domestic sheep operations t...
Article
The development of high‐throughput sequencing technologies is dramatically increasing the use of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the field of genetics, but most parentage studies of wild populations still rely on microsatellites. We developed a bioinformatic pipeline for identifying SNP panels that are informative for parentage analys...
Article
Superspreading, the phenomenon where a small proportion of individuals contribute disproportionately to new infections, has profound effects on disease dynamics. Superspreading can arise through variation in contacts, infectiousness or infectious periods. The latter has received little attention, yet it drives the dynamics of many diseases of criti...
Article
Full-text available
Infectious disease contributed to historical declines and extirpations of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in North America and continues to impede population restoration and management. Reports of pneumonia outbreaks in free-ranging bighorn sheep following contact with domestic sheep have been validated by the results of 13 captive commingling expe...
Article
Background Bronchopneumonia is a population limiting disease of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) that has been associated with contact with domestic Caprinae. The disease is polymicrobial but is initiated by Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae, which is commonly carried by both domestic sheep (O. aries) and goats (Capra aegagrus hircus). However, while previou...
Data
Clinical scores of bighorn sheep and domestic goats. (XLSX)
Article
Understanding both contact and probability of transmission given contact are key to managing wildlife disease. However, wildlife disease research tends to focus on contact heterogeneity, in part because probability of transmission given contact is notoriously difficult to measure. Here we present a first step toward empirically investigating probab...
Article
Full-text available
Reliable diagnostic tests are essential for disease investigation and management. This is particularly true for diseases of free-ranging wildlife where sampling is logistically difficult precluding retesting. Clinical assays for wildlife diseases frequently vary among laboratories because of lack of appropriate standardized commercial kits. Results...
Article
Full-text available
Transmission of pathogens commonly carried by domestic sheep and goats poses a serious threat to bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) populations. All-age pneumonia die-offs usually ensue, followed by asymptomatic carriage of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae by some of the survivors. Lambs born into these chronically infected populations often succumb to pneumo...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological theory suggests that pathogens are capable of regulating or limiting host population dynamics, and this relationship has been empirically established in several settings. However, although studies of childhood diseases were integral to the development of disease ecology, few studies show population limitation by a disease affecting juven...
Article
Full-text available
Group living facilitates pathogen transmission among social hosts, yet temporally stable host social organizations can actually limit transmission of some pathogens. When there are few between-subpopulation contacts for the duration of a disease event, transmission becomes localized to subpopulations. The number of per capita infectious contacts ap...
Article
Full-text available
Background Bronchopneumonia is a population limiting disease of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). The cause of this disease has been a subject of debate. Leukotoxin expressing Mannheimia haemolytica and Bibersteinia trehalosi produce acute pneumonia after experimental challenge but are infrequently isolated from animals in natural outbreaks. Mycopla...
Article
Full-text available
Individual host immune responses to infectious agents drive epidemic behavior and are therefore central to understanding and controlling infectious diseases. However, important features of individual immune responses, such as the strength and longevity of immunity, can be challenging to characterize, particularly if they cannot be replicated or con...
Data
Lambs: logistic regression results. (DOCX)
Data
Data collection and pneumonia histories within Hells Canyon populations of bighorn sheep. A. Individual pneumonia histories of 15 ewes within the Wenaha (population 2 in Fig. 2). Top panel: annual pneumonia status of the population based on a study-based time-scale. Bottom panel: annual pneumonia status of the population on an age-based time-scale....
Data
Ewe relative risk of dying as a function of birth year pneumonia status for cementum-aged ewes. (DOCX)
Data
Full-text available
Ewe pneumonia survival probability as a function of age. The shaded area represents the 95% confidence bounds for the probability that a ewe of a given age died of pneumonia, using data included in the age-based proportional hazards models of ewe pneumonia mortality. Inclusion of an individual in each category of age is conditional on its survival...
Article
1. Bighorn sheep mortality related to pneumonia is a primary factor limiting population recovery across western North America, but management has been constrained by an incomplete understanding of the disease. We analysed patterns of pneumonia-caused mortality over 14 years in 16 interconnected bighorn sheep populations to gain insights into underl...
Article
Pneumonia of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) is a dramatic disease of high morbidity and mortality first described more than 80 years ago. The etiology of the disease has been debated since its initial discovery, and at various times lungworms, Mannheimia haemolytica and other Pasteurellaceae, and Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae have been proposed as prim...
Article
Full-text available
Mycoplasma species are of interest as possible primary pathogens in the pneumonia complex of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). Previous investigations have not commonly detected low frequencies of Mycoplasma spp. from free-ranging bighorn sheep, possibly due to the fastidious and slow growth of these organisms. We developed a culture protocol that e...
Article
Full-text available
Epizootic pneumonia of bighorn sheep is a devastating disease of uncertain etiology. To help clarify the etiology, we used culture and culture-independent methods to compare the prevalence of the bacterial respiratory pathogens Mannheimia haemolytica, Bibersteinia trehalosi, Pasteurella multocida, and Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in lung tissue from 44...
Article
To test the hypothesis that Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae is an important agent of the bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) pneumonia that has previously inevitably followed experimental commingling with domestic sheep (Ovis aries), we commingled M. ovipneumoniae-free domestic and bighorn sheep (n=4 each). One bighorn sheep died with acute pneumonia 90 days...
Article
We investigated the dynamics of 8 populations of a bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) metapopulation in Hells Canyon, USA from 1997 to 2003. Pneumonia was the most common cause (43%) of adult mortality and the primary factor limiting population growth. Cougar (Puma concolor) predation was the second most-frequent source (27%) of adult mortality but di...
Article
Full-text available
Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae has been isolated from the lungs of pneumonic bighorn sheep (BHS). However experimental reproduction of fatal pneumonia in BHS with M. ovipneumoniae was not successful. Therefore the specific role, if any, of M. ovipneumoniae in BHS pneumonia is unclear. The objective of this study was to determine whether M. ovipneumoniae...
Article
Full-text available
Mannheimia haemolytica causes pneumonia in both bighorn sheep (BHS, Ovis canadensis) and domestic sheep (DS, Ovis aries). Under experimental conditions, co-pasturing of BHS and DS results in fatal pneumonia in BHS. It is conceivable that certain serotypes of M. haemolytica carried by DS are non-pathogenic to them, but lethal for BHS. M. haemolytica...
Article
Full-text available
Bronchopneumonia is a population-limiting disease in bighorn sheep in much of western North America. Previous investigators have isolated diverse bacteria from the lungs of affected sheep, but no single bacterial species is consistently present, even within single epizootics. We obtained high-quality diagnostic specimens from nine pneumonic bighorn...
Article
A comprehensive study of a pneumonic epizootic was initiated when the first signs of disease were noted in a metapopulation of bighorn sheep inhabiting Hells Canyon, bordering Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. A total of 92 bighorn sheep were tested for etiologic agents during the following 6-mo study period. The study population included bighorn shee...
Article
Wild and domestic animal populations are known to be sources and reservoirs of emerging diseases. There is also a growing recognition that horizontal genetic transfer (HGT) plays an important role in bacterial pathogenesis. We used molecular phylogenetic methods to assess diversity and cross-transmission rates of Pasteurellaceae bacteria in populat...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the effectiveness of culture-independent molecular methods for determining host-associated microbial diversity in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis). Results from bacterial culture attempts have been the primary source of information on host-associated bacteria, but studies have shown that culture-based results significantly underestim...
Article
Full-text available
Pasteurella spp. were isolated from feral goats and free-ranging bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensis) in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area bordering Idaho, Oregon, and Washington (USA). Biovariant 1 Pasteurella haemolytica organisms were isolated from one goat and one of two bighorn sheep found in close association. Both isolates prod...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted field and laboratory experiments to evaluate whether treating pregnant bighorn ewes with a combination of an experimental Pasteurella trehalosi and Mannheimia haemolytica (formerly P. haemolytica) vaccine and a commercially-available bovine P. multocida and M. haemolytica vaccine would increase lamb survival following a pneumonia epide...

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