Ocelots on Barro Colorado Island Are Infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus but Not Other Common Feline and Canine Viruses

Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA.
Journal of wildlife diseases (Impact Factor: 1.36). 08/2008; 44(3):760-5. DOI: 10.7589/0090-3558-44.3.760
Source: PubMed


Transmission of pathogens from domestic animals to wildlife populations (spill-over) has precipitated local wildlife extinctions in multiple geographic locations. Identifying such events before they cause population declines requires differentiating spillover from endemic disease, a challenge complicated by a lack of baseline data from wildlife populations that are isolated from domestic animals. We tested sera collected from 12 ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) native to Barro Colorado Island, Panama, which is free of domestic animals, for antibodies to feline herpes virus, feline calicivirus, feline corona virus, feline panleukopenia virus, canine distemper virus, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), typically a species-specific infection. Samples also were tested for feline leukemia virus antigens. Positive tests results were only observed for FIV; 50% of the ocelots were positive. We hypothesize that isolation of this population has prevented introduction of pathogens typically attributed to contact with domestic animals. The high density of ocelots on Barro Colorado Island may contribute to a high prevalence of FIV infection, as would be expected with increased contact rates among conspecifics in a geographically restricted population.

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    • "Sampling protocols were reviewed by the appropriate animal care committees, and the appropriate permits were obtained prior to collection. DNA was extracted from ocelot blood, as previously described (Franklin et al. 2008). Bobcat spleen tissues (n555) were collected from hunter-killed and roadkilled bobcats in western Colorado during 2007 and 2008 and frozen at 280 C, and DNA was extracted following Zheng et al. (2011). "
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