November 29, 2012

Today's Wildlife Disease News Stories


White-Nose Syndrome Bat Recovery May Present Challenges Similar to Those in Some Recovering AIDS Patients

Bats recovering from white-nose syndrome show evidence of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), according to a hypothesis proposed by the U.S. Geological Survey and collaborators at National Institutes of Health. This condition was first described in HIV-AIDS patients and, if proven in bats surviving WNS, would be the first natural occurrence of IRIS ever observed.

IRIS is a syndrome in which an organism's immune system, having been suppressed for a time, reactivates and, perceiving a serious infection around it, goes into overdrive resulting in severe inflammation and tissue damage in infected areas.

In both human patients with HIV-AIDS and bats with WNS, the functioning of the immune system is severely reduced. For humans, this occurs when the HIV virus attacks the patient's white blood cells, and for bats, this occurs during normal hibernation. For both humans and bats, IRIS can be fatal.

USGS Newsroom -
26 Nov 2012

O.C. bird die-off raising concerns among experts

In the last two weeks nearly three dozen dead and dying water fowl have been found in several areas across Orange County, including Lake Forest and Santa Ana. More than a dozen were found at the Village Pond in Lake Forest. At least 16 dead and dying ducks have been found at Carl Thornton Park near South Coast Plaza in Santa Ana. Most have been migratory birds such as the American wigeon, American coots and some mallards.

Wildlife experts worry what a rapidly spreading disease could mean for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds that use the Pacific flyway as a migration course between northern breeding grounds and southern winter spots. In September, more than 2,000 birds died in Oregon following a botulism outbreak.

In the case of the dying fowl in Orange County, experts are conducting tests trying to figure out what happened. Possible culprits include botulism or other toxin or an avian virus. The condition is especially troublesome to bird experts because it could devastate tens of thousands of migratory bird communities and even impact resident fowl at local lakes.

The Orange County Register -
16 Nov 2012
EI Ritchie
Location: Orange County, California, USA - Map It

Evolution and spread of rabies virus

The number of genetic mutations that follow host shifts in rabies virus impacts the speed of disease emergence in new host species, according to research by ecologists at The University of Georgia and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings offer the first empirical evidence of the theory that host shifts should happen faster if they involve fewer evolutionary changes. The research could eventually help inform strategies to control novel diseases and understand which viruses are most likely to jump between species, according to a UGA statement.

... Streicker studies rabies in New World bats, which he described as a wonderful system for exploring what a virus needs to do to establish itself in a new host.

Atlanta Business Chronicle -
U Karkaria
20 Nov 2012

AVMA releases guide to help clinics treat wildlife

Feeling like you need to tame the beast a bit when your clinic staff is confronted with a wild animal species? Our newly created wildlife treatment chart can help. This decision tree serves as a guide for practices to assist them in navigating the complexities associated with treating the wildlife species or their hybrids. The Wildlife Decision Tree is available as a free download in the AVMA Store.

AVMA Smart Brief -
16 Nov 2012

Chronic Wasting Disease News
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease News
Toxic Algal Bloom News
One Health News Corner

No comments: