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Francis Vercammen

Francis Vercammen
Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp · Veterinary Department

DVM

About

83
Publications
12,241
Reads
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1,768
Citations
Citations since 2016
11 Research Items
840 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Introduction
Additional affiliations
June 1987 - May 2001
Institute Of Tropical Medicine
Position
  • Veterinarian

Publications

Publications (83)
Article
Full-text available
Background Captive breeding of bonobos (Pan paniscus) has proven to be successful, but maintaining genetic diversity remains a challenge. Cryopreservation of semen is an important potential tool to maintain genetic diversity by preserving current genetic material for future use, as well as facilitating the transport and exchange of genetic material...
Article
Full-text available
Broad-spectrum beta-lactamase (BSBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae impose public health threats. With increased popularity of zoos, exotic animals are brought in close proximity of humans, making them important BSBL reservoirs. However, not much is known on the presence of BSBLs in zoos in Western Europe. Fecal carriage of BSBL-producing Enterobacte...
Article
Four captive slender‐horned gazelles (Gazella leptoceros) died in a short period. The clinical signs were lethargy progressing rapidly to stupor and death. Differential diagnoses included trauma, intoxication, hepatic and renal failure. Blood analyses revealed increased blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotrans...
Article
Full-text available
Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) may cause acute, often lethal, hemor-rhagic disease (EEHV-HD) in young elephants. Prevalence of EEHV in different elephant populations is still largely unknown. In order to improve diagnostic tools for the detection of EEHV infections and to obtain insight into its spread among elephants, we developed...
Preprint
Full-text available
Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) are a group of evolutionary divergent herpesviruses that may cause acute, often lethal, hemorrhagic disease (EEHV-HD) in young elephants. Although EEHV was first discovered over 20 years ago, its prevalence in different elephant populations is still largely unknown, partially due to the lack of readil...
Article
Helicobacter and Campylobacter species (spp.) colonize the gastrointestinal tract of various domesticated animals. Apart from their pathogenic significance in animals, several species are of zoonotic importance as well. For most non-domesticated animal spp., however, little is known on the presence and importance of these agents. Therefore, we inve...
Article
Full-text available
There are four lineages of primate T-cell lymphocytic viruses (human T-cell lymphocytic virus [HTLV]/simian T-cell lymphocytic virus [STLV]), which are further divided into subtypes. To date, there is only one full-length HTLV-1 subtype b genome available. Here, we report the genome of a new STLV-1 subtype b from a 43-year-old male gorilla with T-c...
Article
Full-text available
A 5-month-old female captive Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) died suddenly without preceding symptoms. Gross necropsy revealed numerous white circular and linear foci in the myocard. Differential diagnosis all turned out negative, except for encephalomyocarditis virus. Histopathology revealed mineralisation of myocardial cells and interstitial infi...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, the first outbreak of a penguinpox virus (PPV) in Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti) and four outbreaks of fowlpox virus (FPV) in layer chickens are reported. Clinically, cutaneous wart-like growths were observed around the eyes in four juvenile Humboldt penguins and cutaneous nodular lesions in the comb, wattles, around...
Article
Full-text available
Four out of nine (4/9; 44.4%) zoo workers who were exposed to newly arrived lories by cleaning cages and working at the quarantine unit of the zoo of Planckendael (Belgium), tested positive on C. psittaci, and developed clinical psittacosis in May 2014. They presented significantly rising titers (IgM, IgG) tested positive with ELISA to C. psittaci...
Article
Full-text available
Chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) poses a serious threat to urodelan diversity worldwide. Antimycotic treatment of this disease using protocols developed for the related fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), results in therapeutic failure. Here, we reveal that this therapeutic failure is pa...
Article
Full-text available
A 2.7-year-old male captive Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) died unexpectedly without preceding symptoms. Gross necropsy revealed liver and lung tumours, which proved to be haemangiosarcomas by histopathology. Some of the liver tumours were ruptured, leading to massive intra-abdominal haemorrhage and death. Haemangiosarcomas are rare in domesti...
Article
Full-text available
The recently emerged chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans currently causes amphibian population declines. We hypothesized that temperature dictates infection dynamics of B. salamandrivorans, and that therefore heat treatment may be applied to clear animals from infection. We examined the impact of environmental temperature on B. salaman...
Article
Glucosuria in okapis (Okapia johnstoni) was first documented in 1980, yet the etiology remains unclear. In August 2006, an attempt to lower glucosuria in captive okapi by diet modification (omitting all fruit and adding unmolassed beet pulp) was started at the Antwerp Zoo. To study the possible relationship between glucosuria and diet, stress, and/...
Article
Full-text available
In recent times, Devriesea agamarum has been diagnosed more frequently as the causative organism of dermatitis in lizards, particularly in spiny-tailed lizards (Uromastyx sp.). Other lizard species such as bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) are known to be asymptomatic carriers, posing a potential threat to the healthy animals in a collection. This...
Article
Full-text available
Chytridiomycosis is a lethal fungal disease contributing to declines and extinctions of amphibian species worldwide. The currently used molecular screening tests for chytridiomycosis fail to detect the recently described species Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans. In this study, we present a duplex real-time PCR that allows the simultaneous detectio...
Article
Detection of the lethal amphibian fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis relies on PCR-based techniques. Although highly accurate and sensitive, these methods fail to distinguish between viable and dead cells. In this study a novel approach combining the DNA intercalating dye ethidium monoazide (EMA) and real-time PCR is presented that allows quanti...
Article
Full-text available
Background The establishment of safe and effective protocols to treat chytridiomycosis in amphibians is urgently required. In this study, the usefulness of antibacterial agents to clear chytridiomycosis from infected amphibians was evaluated. Results Florfenicol, sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine and the combination of trimethoprim and sulfonamides w...
Article
Contrary to the numerous reports on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in domestic animals, only three articles concerning zoo animals are documented in the literature. A skin infection of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) calf was most likely acquired from an infected caretaker. Another zoo detected MRSA in the rumen content...
Article
Full-text available
Aspergillosis is one of the most common causes of death in captive birds. Aspergillosis in birds is mainly caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, a ubiquitous and opportunistic saprophyte. Currently it is not known whether there is a link between the environmental isolates and/or human isolates of A. fumigatus and those responsible for aspergillosis in b...
Article
Full-text available
In captivity some anurans can show poor growth and skeletal development due to inadequate levels of UV-B radiation. From metamorphosis for 84 days the growth and skeletal development of Amazonian milk frogs (Trachycephalus resinifictrix) were assessed between treatments receiving daily UV-B (UV/daily), intense UV-B for 30 min every two weeks (UV/bo...
Article
Full-text available
This study describes the molecular identification of 520 Entamoeba-positive fecal samples from a large and diverse population of captive nonhuman primates (NHP). The results revealed the presence of Entamoeba histolytica (NHP variant only), E. dispar, E. moshkovskii, E. hartmanni, E. coli, and E. polecki-like organisms.
Article
Giardia is frequently detected in stools of non-human primates (NHP). However, a molecular identification has been rarely applied to Giardia isolates from NHP, and the distribution of the zoonotic assemblages A and B remains unclear. Moreover, little is known about the genetic variability among the isolates, although this may contribute to the eluc...
Article
Full-text available
The in vitro susceptibilities of 59 avian Aspergillus fumigatus strains to amphotericin B, itraconazole, and voriconazole were determined using the standard microdilution broth method (CLSI M38-A2). Four isolates showed acquired resistance to itraconazole and voriconazole, harboring implications for the treatment of aspergillosis in both birds and...
Article
Both Cryptosporidium and Giardia are frequently found in the stool of domestic ruminants, especially young animals. Wild ruminants are also host to these protozoa, but the prevalence of these parasites in both free-ranging and captive nondomesticated ruminants needs to be further investigated. Moreover, the role of wild ruminants serving as reservo...
Article
Gastrointestinal parasites are important infectious causes of diarrhoea in captive non-human primates (NHP). However, prevalence data of gastrointestinal parasites in zoological gardens are scarce. Therefore, a cross-sectional survey was conducted to estimate the occurrence of gastrointestinal parasites in NHP of four zoological gardens in Belgium....
Article
Culturing of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map) remains difficult and is time consuming. An alternative for the rapid detection of Map in samples is PCR. We have developed a sensitive DNA-extraction method based on sequence capture for the rapid detection of M. avium subspecies paratuberculosis by PCR in fecal and tissue samples....
Article
To evaluate the environmental spread of Salmonella strains in the reptile department of Antwerp Zoo and to compare different isolation methods for Salmonella. One hundred environmental samples were collected in the service sections and public spaces of the reptile department. After pre-enrichment in buffered peptone water (BPW), selective enrichmen...
Article
Parasite control in wild ruminants is based mainly on anthelmintics. The objective of the present study was to evaluate three parasite control programs in seven herds of captive wild ruminants in 3 consecutive years. In the first year, a biannual spring-summer treatment regime with fenbendazole at 7.5 mg/kg body weight p.o. for 3 days was applied....
Article
Full-text available
The efficacy of in-feed fenbendazole at a dose rate of 7.5 mg/kg bodyweight for three consecutive days was assessed in five Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), six scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), 14 slender-horned gazelles (Gazella leptoceros), eight Soay sheep (Ovis aries aries soay), 13 alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex), six red deer (Cervus elaphus hi...
Article
Infections with helminths are a major health issue in captive and wild deer. In this study, fecal egg count patterns and clinical signs associated with gastrointestinal nematodes were assessed for 12 mo in nine cervid herds kept under different husbandry conditions at two sites. At site 1, an urban zoo, fecal egg counts remained low and no clinical...
Article
Paratuberculosis is a chronic intestinal disease of ruminants caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map). Very little is known about the status of paratuberculosis in European zoos. In this study, the presence of Map in the animal collection of the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp (RZSA) was investigated. Faecal and post mor...
Article
We measured macroscopic anatomical parameters of the digestive tract of 12 female Himalayan tahrs. According to morphological criteria used sensu Hofmann for the classification of ruminants into feeding types - in particular the reticuloruminal capacity measured as wet content weights, the ruminal pillar thickness, the reticular honeycomb structure...
Article
Faecal egg count patterns and clinical signs associated with gastro-intestinal (GI) nematodes of 107 zoo ruminants were monitored at fortnightly intervals for 1 year. The ruminants in this study were kept under different husbandry conditions at two sites of the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, the Antwerp Zoo and the Animal Park Planckendael. A...
Article
Full-text available
Between 1994 and 1999, 219 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were collected in northern Belgium and examined for intestinal helminths. The effects of host-related (age, sex, body mass/size ratio) and temporal factors on the prevalence and on the num- ber of parasite species per individual host were investigated. The following parasites were found: cestodes...
Article
Cryptococcosis was diagnosed postmortem in a striped grass mouse (Lemniscomys barbarus) housed in the nocturnal department of Antwerp Zoo. Eight of the remaining mice in the cage were captured. Cryptococcus neoformans was isolated from the lung of one animal. Two mice had an elevated serum cryptococcal antigen titre. On examination of the pooled fa...
Article
Recent publications reported the existence of IS900 like sequences in mycobacteria different from Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (Map). The primers used for IS900 detection of Map have amplified these sequences causing false positive results. In this study, we have developed two new PCR assays for the detection of Map. The first as...
Article
The first record of the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis (Cestoda, Taeniidae) in Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in northern Belgium is described. Between 1996 and 1999, 237 dead foxes were examined for the presence of this tapeworm using the intestinal scraping technique. Four foxes (1.7%) were found to be infected with E. multilocularis and showed...
Article
Faecal samples, collected from 200 healthy animals in Antwerp Zoo, were examined for the presence of pathogenic Listeria spp. A two-stage standard isolation (ISO) method was combined with immunomagnetic separation (IMS). ALOA agar, a chromogenic isolation medium, differentiating Listeria spp. on the basis of beta-glucosidase and phosphatidylinosito...
Article
Fourteen dogs naturally infected with Leishmania infantum and treated with allopurinol were monitored clinically and serologically with immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT, amastigotes and promastigotes), enzyme linked-immunosorbent-assay (ELISA, IgG1 and IgG2) and Western blotting (WB). In all dogs therapy lead to clinical improvement together w...
Article
Two Yellow Anacondas (Eunectes notaeus) were diagnosed with lymphoid leucosis after a history of anorexia. One snake presented a large tumoral mass in the intestinal wall; the other had several smaller neoplasms in different organs. Reptilian tumors are being diagnosed more frequently in recent decades.
Article
Concurrently with a survey for Echinococcus multilocularis in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Flanders, northern Belgium, serological and parasitological analyses for Trichinella spp. were carried out from 1996 to 1999. Muscle samples from foxes in Wallonia, southern Belgium, were obtained during a survey for rabies and alveolar echinococcosis from...
Article
Two juvenile scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah) at the Wild Animal Park Planckendael died from acute septicemia caused by Listeria monocytogenes serovar 4b. Subsequently, Listeria spp. were isolated from the feces, food, and environment of seven antelope species and examined using a two-stage enrichment procedure in Fraser Broth, followed by isolat...
Article
Concurrently with a survey for Echinococcus multilocularis in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Flanders, northern Belgium, serological and parasitological analyses for Trichinella spp. were carried out from 1996 to 1999. Muscle samples from foxes in Wallonia, southern Belgium, were obtained during a survey for rabies and alveolar echinococcosis from...
Article
A sero-epidemiological survey of Taenia saginata cysticercosis was carried out to determine the prevalence of the infection in cattle presented for slaughter in Belgium. Between November 1997 and June 1998, a total of 1164 serum samples were collected in 20 export abattoirs. Meat inspection was routinely carried out by veterinary inspectors. Serum...
Article
Full-text available
During a nine month survey in the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, E. coli O157 was isolated from six out of 300 faecal samples collected from 258 mammals, 33 birds and nine reptiles. Enterohaemorrhagic E.coli O157:H7 (EHEC) strains were isolated from a horse (Equus caballus) and two primates: a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) and a goeldi's mo...
Article
A very rapid, sensitive and specific Dot-ELISA was developed for diagnosing visceral leishmaniosis in dogs infected with Leishmania infantum. Sera from 26 healthy dogs and 127 dogs with different infectious disease including 40 dogs with leishmaniosis, and 87 dogs with other suspected or confirmed infectious diseases, was evaluated in an alkaline p...
Article
This retrospective study gives an overview of canine visceral leishmaniasis (Leishmania infantum) from 1987 till 1997. A total of 331 serum samples were analysed, 99 of which were positive (30%), or on average, ten animals per year. Some epidemiological data are discussed and compared with those from other non-endemic countries.
Article
A slide ELISA for canine leishmaniasis was developed by using promastigotes of Leishmania infantum, and compared with microimmunodiffusion, immunoelectrophoresis, direct agglutination and indirect immunofluorescence assays. The sensitivity of all the tests was 100 per cent. The specificity of the direct agglutination test was 95 per cent but it was...
Article
A case of acute episode of gastric anisakiasis in a patient, which was acquired through the consumption of infected cod meat and could be successfully resolved by endoscopic extraction, is described and discussed. This is the first report of cod as infection source as well as an authentic case of gastric anisakiasis in Belgium.
Article
Full-text available
Haematological and biochemical parameters of dogs experimentally infected with Babesia canis were followed during a period of 12 weeks. A few days after infection a normocytic, normochromic, anaemia developed that became slightly hypochromic and macrocytic after 12 days and regenerative after 28 days. Five weeks after infection red blood cell param...
Article
Three Beagle dogs were monitored clinically and serologically for 55 weeks following an experimental primo-infection and two challenge infections with a heterologous strain of Babesia canis. There was no cross-protection when dogs were challenged with the heterologous strain after 7 months, but there was complete protection when challenged a second...
Article
Full-text available
Doxycycline provided satisfactory prophylaxis against experimental infection with a highly pathogenic strain of Babesia canis. Rectal temperature, parasitaemia, packed cell volume and serology were monitored for evaluation of the prophylactic effect. Although a daily dose of 5 mg kg-1 of doxycycline did not completely prevent clinical disease, symp...
Article
A single subcutaneous injection of imidocarb at 6 mg kg-1 gave 2 weeks protection against experimental inoculation of Babesia canis merozoites in Beagle dogs. The prophylactic effect was evaluated by daily measurements of parasitaemia, rectal temperature, haematological values and specific antibodies.
Article
This case report describes the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of a dog that developed Trypanosoma brucei brucei infection during a stay in Sierra Leone. After a relapse occurred due to ineffective treatment with isometamidium, the dog was cured completely with suramin.
Article
Naive Beagle dogs (n = 5) were experimentally inoculated with two stocks of Babesia canis. Dogs were examined regularly for parasitaemia and for antibodies, using the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT). This test proved to be useful for the diagnosis of babesiosis. After primo-infection dogs seem to develop a certain degree of immunity...
Article
This case report describes the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of Ehrlichia canis infection in two dogs, the one imported from Portugal and the other from Mexico. Both animals showed high fever and epistaxis, and the dog from Mexico suffered from posterior paralysis and incontinence. Treatment with doxycycline rapidly cured one dog, though the ot...