March 15, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


Virus blamed for eider duck deaths

A virus is not the kind of thing to have named after your town, but for the past six years scientists have focused on finding out why common eider ducks have been dying by the hundreds, sometimes thousands, in the fall along the shore of Wellfleet Bay.

... "It's pretty clear, between what the National Wildlife lab found and from the Southeast Cooperative, that there is a new virus found in eiders in Wellfleet that hasn't been detected before," said Sarah Courchesne, project director for the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network at Tufts veterinary school.

... Loosely related to the flu virus, it attacks the liver and gallbladders and seems to work very fast. Eider ducks collected from these mass die-offs appear healthy. They are not emaciated from a long illness in which they can't feed."They basically die from liver disease," Courchesne said.

...Fifty thousand or more have been spotted floating in huge groups in Nantucket Sound.
So far the disease appears to be confined to the portion of the eider population that summers in Maine and winters on the Cape.

Cape Cod Times -
10 Mar 2012
D Fraser
Location: Wellfleet Harbor, Massachusetts, USA - Map It

More News on New Wellfleet Virus
>>> Investigating the Newly Described Wellfleet Bay Virus. From National Wildlife Disease Program Newsletter: The Carrier - Page 4. [pdf]

WVDNR Fish Health Survey Discovers Presence of Largemouth Bass Virus in Four Lakes

Recent fish health surveys conducted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources revealed the presence of largemouth bass virus (LMBV) in four West Virginia lakes, according to Bret Preston, assistant chief of the Wildlife Resources Section.

Surveys performed during the summer and early fall of 2011 were focused on monitoring overall fish health in water bodies where WVDNR staff collects broodstock for hatchery production. Several species of fish were collected from 10 water bodies and samples were sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lamar Fish Health Laboratory for analysis.

Virology and bacteriology results were negative for targeted pathogens except for LMBV at East Lynn (Wayne County), North Bend (Ritchie County), Stonewall Jackson (Lewis County), and Sutton (Braxton County) lakes.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources -
09 Mar 2012
Location: Lynn Lake - Map It ; North Bend Lake - Map It ; Stonewall Jackson Lake - Map It ;
Sutton Lake - Map It
, West Virginia, USA

More News about Fish Health

New rabies virus discovered in Tanzania [Africa]

A new type of rabies virus has been discovered in Tanzania by scientists from the University of Glasgow and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA).

The virus was identified as part of a rabies surveillance research project funded by the Wellcome Trust and was investigated following an unusual incident when a child was attacked by a civet – a cat-like nocturnal mammal – in a part of the Serengeti which was thought to be rabies-free.

The samples that were collected tested positive for rabies at the Central Veterinary Laboratory, Dar es Salaam. Subsequent genetic tests showed that the virus was a new type of rabies virus that had not been previously described, but was similar to a bat rabies virus isolated in the Caucasian region of Eastern Europe.

Scientists believe the new virus is likely to originate in bats and that cross-over infection to civets and other mammalian species is likely to be relatively rare. However further studies are planned to determine the extent of infection and the degree of risk to human and animal health.

Health -
12 Mar 2012
Location: Tanzania, Africa - Map It

More Rabies News
>>> ProMED Archive #20120312.1068527: Rabies, bat - Paraguay
[The appearance for the 1st time this year [2012] of a rabies case in a bat...where this disease has been eradicated since 2004... ][Paraguay - Map It ]

Common North American frog identified as carrier of deadly amphibian disease

Known for its distinctive "ribbit" call, the noisy Pacific chorus frog is a potent carrier of a deadly amphibian disease, according to new research published today in the journal PLoS ONE. Just how this common North American frog survives chytridiomycosis may hold clues to protect more vulnerable species from the disease.

Chytrid has wiped out more than 200 frog species across the world and poses the greatest threat to vertebrate biodiversity of any known disease.

In California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, San Francisco State University biologist Vance Vredenburg has studied the impact of chytrid since 2003. His team's latest findings suggest the disease is widespread among Pacific chorus frogs but the species rarely shows symptoms, making it a highly effective carrier.

EurekAlert -
12 Mar 2012

Cited Article

Reeder NMM, Pessier AP, Vredenburg VT (2012) A Reservoir Species for the Emerging Amphibian Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Thrives in a Landscape Decimated by Disease. PLoS ONE 7(3): e33567. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033567

Marine Mammal Health
News About Coral Reef Health
News Courtesy of Australian Wildlife Health Network

No comments: