Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Contact between wild and domestic canids and virus transmision

Courtenay, O., Quinnell, R. J., & Chalmers, W. S. K. (2001). Contact rates between wild and domestic canids: no evidence of parvovirus or canine distemper virus in crab-eating foxes. Veterinary Microbiology, 81(1), 9-19.


Evaluating the risk of disease spill-over from domestic dogs to wildlife depends on knowledge of inter-specific contact rates and/or exposure to aetiological agents in dog environments. Here, contact rates of crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) with sympatric domestic dog populations were measured over 25 months in Amazon Brazil. Foxes and dogs were serologically and clinically monitored for exposure to canine parvovirus (CPV-2) and canine distemper virus (CDV), pathogens known to have caused wildlife population declines elsewhere. Twenty-two of 24 (92%) tagged foxes visited one or more houses in a median 2 (range 1–3) villages per night where dog densities ranged from 7.2 to 15.4 per km2 (mean 9.5 per km2). Foxes spent an average 6.4% (0–40.3%) of their 10 h nocturnal activity period in villages, the equivalent of 38 m (range 0–242) per night. The rate of potential exposure to disease agents was thus high, though varied by 3 orders of magnitude for individual foxes. Overall, 46% of the fox population was responsible for 80% of all contacts. None of the 37 monitored foxes however showed serological or clinical evidence of infection with CPV-2 or CDV. Seroprevalences for CPV-2 and CDV antibodies in the local domestic dog population were 13% (3/23) and 9% (2/23), respectively, and 89% of 97 monitored pups born during the study presented clinical signs consistent with active CPV-2 infection (haemorrhagic diarrhoea, vomiting, rapid morbidity and emaciation). Although there was no evidence for infection with either virus in foxes, the high level of contact of foxes with peridomestic habitats suggests that the probability of potential spill-over infections from dogs to foxes is high.

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