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.
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.
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.
AVMA releases guide to help clinics treat wildlife
The Wildlife Decision Tree is available as a free download in the AVMA Store.
OTHER WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
- ProMED: Coral reef kill: Clarification [Hawaii, USA]
- Chronic wasting disease on the Canadian prairies [CCWHC healthywildlife.ca blog]
- Parasite killed Victoria Park swan, autopsy reveals [Victoria Park Lake, Canada - Map It ]
- Sweeping outdoor bill under fire over lead ammo
- Washington State Targets Pollutants that Lead to Ocean Acidification [Science Insider][USA]
- Wildlife officials see free-ranging pigs as threat [USA]
- Culture of an amphibian killer: UMaine lab maintains one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of frog fungus cultures [USA]
- National Fish & Wildlife Forensics Laboratory: Wildlife Forensics -- An Evolving Tool for Combating Wildlife Crime [Video 14 min: 51 sec]
- Step up fight against panda disease: Experts [China]
- ‘Vulture restaurant’ to fluff out rare feathers
- Wildlife check-up for Grampians [Australia]
- Iowa On The Lookout for Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer
- CWD: Vet suggests banning salt licks, feed stations
- Chronic Wasting Disease Experts Unsure of Implications in Adams [Pennsylvania, USA]
- Virginia hunters impacted by chronic wasting disease in Pennsylvania
- Hurricane Isaac, disease a one-two punch for Louisiana deer [Louisiana, USA]
- Seasonal diseases leads to deer deaths in Kansas [Kansas, USA]
- EHD at historic level [Michigan, USA]
- New coronavirus: May be 'bat bug'
- What If a Deadly New Virus Jumped from Animals to Humans? [Time]
- Uganda: Curbing Rampant Viruses With 'One Health' [Africa]
- Latest West Nile Tally: 5,245 Cases, 236 Deaths: Texas still the hardest hit state with 1,714 cases, 76 deaths, CDC says [USA]
- Australia reports deadly bird flu in New South Wales
- FWC investigation uncovers illegal commercial wildlife ring [Florida, USA]