A Wildlife Disease Investigation Case from the Wildlife Disease Association Newsletter
January 2013 Issue
Adapted from report written by Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen, AK Dept of Fish and Game
The first recorded case of rabies in a wolverine (Gulo gulo) in North America was diagnosed this summer by Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Wildlife Conservation (ADFG DWC) Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen.
|Photo Credit: Steve Kroschel / FWS|
The diagnosis was made possible through an expanded rabies surveillance initiative in Alaska that allows screening of large numbers of wildlife specimens via the dRIT (direct rapid immunohistochemical test) method. The Centers for Disease Control recently confirmed the wolverine was suffering from an arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) strain of rabies.
Rabies is endemic in arctic fox only along Alaska’s coast but frequently spills over to red fox, sometimes in epidemic numbers of cases. In the past two years ADFG has tested more than 600 animals, including hundreds of foxes, more than 100 wolves, 19 bats and four wolverines. Of the samples tested, 2.8 percent tested positive for rabies, representing foxes exclusively with the exception of this one wolverine.
Source: WDA Newsletter - January 2013 Issue [pdf]
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