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In JoVE (1)
- Snabb diagnos av aviär influensavirus hos vilda fåglar: Användning av en bärbar RRT-PCR och Frystorkad reagenser i Field
Other Publications (24)
- American Journal of Veterinary Research
- American Journal of Veterinary Research
- The Journal of Parasitology
- Journal of Medical Entomology
- Journal of Wildlife Diseases
- The Journal of Parasitology
- Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association
- Journal of Wildlife Diseases
- The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
- General and Comparative Endocrinology
- Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
- Journal of Wildlife Diseases
- Conservation Biology : the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology
- BMC Ecology
- BMC Research Notes
- Emerging Infectious Diseases
- Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
- Journal of Virological Methods
- Avian Diseases
- BMC Ecology
- Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)
- Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)
- PloS One
- Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.)
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Articles by Walter M. Boyce in JoVE
Snabb diagnos av aviär influensavirus hos vilda fåglar: Användning av en bärbar RRT-PCR och Frystorkad reagenser i Field
John Y. Takekawa1, Nichola J. Hill1,2, Annie K. Schultz1, Samuel A. Iverson1, Carol J. Cardona3,4, Walter M. Boyce2, Joseph P. Dudley5
1USGS Western Ecological Research Center, 2Wildlife Health Center, University of California, Davis, 3Department of Population Health and Reproduction, University of California, Davis, 4Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, 5Science Applications International Corporation
Denna studie beskriver diagnos av aviär influensa hos vilda fåglar med hjälp av en bärbar RRT-PCR-system. Metoden drar nytta av frystorkat reagens skärmen vilda fåglar i en icke-laboratoriemiljö, typiskt för ett utbrott scenario. Användning av molekylära verktyg ger exakta och känsliga alternativ för snabb diagnos.
Other articles by Walter M. Boyce on PubMed
Validation of a Cell Culture Bioassay for Detection of Petroleum Exposure in Mink (Mustela Vison) As a Model for Detection in Sea Otters (Enhydra Lutris)
American Journal of Veterinary Research. Jul, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12118676
To validate a luciferase bioassay, which is based on a recombinant mouse hepatoma cell line, for the detection of exposure to petroleum in mustelid species.
Replication of Bluetongue Virus and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Virus in Pulmonary Artery Endothelial Cells Obtained from Cattle, Sheep, and Deer
American Journal of Veterinary Research. Jul, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12856770
To compare replication of bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) in pulmonary artery endothelial cells (ECs) obtained from juvenile cattle, sheep, white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus), and black-tailed deer (BTD; O hemionus columbianus).
Life-history Studies on Two Molecular Strains of Mesocestoides (Cestoda: Mesocestoididae): Identification of Sylvatic Hosts and Infectivity of Immature Life Stages
The Journal of Parasitology. Feb, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15040675
Life-cycle studies were conducted on 2 molecular strains of Mesocestoides tapeworms that represent different evolutionary lineages (clades A and B). Wild carnivores, reptiles, and rodents were examined for tapeworm infections at 2 enzootic sites: (1) San Miguel Island (SMI), a small island off the coast of southern California and (2) Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC), a field station in northern California. Results indicate that deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) may play an important role in the life cycles of Mesocestoides (clades A and B) in California. Over half the coyotes at HREC and at least a third of the population of island fox (Urocyon littoralis) at SMI were found to harbor clade A adult Mesocestoides spp. One of every 4 Mesocestoides-infected coyotes had tapeworms representing both clades A and B. Experimental inoculations revealed that proglottids (clades A and B) were not directly infectious to rodents, reptiles, or dogs. On the other hand, mice, lizards, and hamsters fed tetrathyridia of Mesocestoides spp. (clades A or B) developed peritoneal tetrathyridial infections. A dog that was fed tetrathyridia (clade B) developed an adult tapeworm infection. Acephalic metacestodes given orally to western fence lizards, laboratory mice, or domestic dogs did not result in metacestode or adult tapeworm infections. Whereas most clade A acephalic metacestodes from dogs were asexually proliferative, clade A tetrathyridia isolated from wild deer mice did not show evidence of asexual replication. Our study supports the hypothesis that a second, as of yet unidentified, intermediate host is necessary to complete the life cycles of Mesocestoides spp., and that acephalic metacestodes represent an aberrant form, incapable of further development.
Genetic Structure of the Tick Ornithodoros Coriaceus (Acari: Argasidae) in California, Nevada, and Oregon
Journal of Medical Entomology. May, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15962771
The argasid tick Ornithodoros coriaceus (Koch) is the only confirmed vector of epizootic bovine abortion (EBA) in the United States. The disease and its tick vector have historically been reported in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and coast ranges of California. In the past two decades, the range of EBA has apparently expanded into southern Oregon and northern Nevada. Possible explanations for this expansion include 1) increased recognition and reporting of EBA in these regions; 2) widespread movement of tick-infested and EBA-infected hosts with subsequent colonization of these regions by infected ticks; and 3) widespread movement of the EBA agent, independent of tick movements, into extant tick populations in these new regions. The current study was performed to evaluate these hypotheses by examining patterns of variability in a 420-bp segment of the 16S mitochondrial rDNA gene sequence among 210 O. coriaceus individuals from 14 sites in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Sixty-three unique haplotypes were identified in the ticks tested, with 84% of the sequence variation attributable to among-population variation and 16% to within-population variation. A majority of the haplotypes were unique to their particular collection site, whereas only four collection sites shared haplotypes. Overall, very little evidence of gene flow among tick populations was detected, making it unlikely that widespread tick movement had introduced O. coriaceus and the EBA agent into new regions.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases. Jul, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16244062
Between 1978 and 1997, a combination of psoroptic scabies (Psoroptes spp.), mountain lion (Puma concolor) predation, and periodic drought reduced a population of native desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in the San Andres Mountains (SAM), New Mexico, from >200 individuals to a single ewe. In 1999, this ewe was captured, ensured to be Psoroptes-free, and released back into the SAM. Eleven radio-collared rams were translocated from the Red Rock Wildlife Area (RRWA) in New Mexico into the SAM range and monitored through 2002 to determine whether Psoroptes spp. mites were still in the environment. None of these sentinel rams acquired scabies during this period, and no additional native sheep were found to be present in the range. In 2002, 51 desert bighorn sheep were translocated into the SAM from the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona (n = 20) and the RRWA in New Mexico (n = 31). Twenty-one bighorn sheep have died in the SAM since that time, but Psoroptes spp. mites have not been detected on any of these animals, nor have they been found on mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) sampled since 2000. We conclude that psoroptic scabies is no longer present in the San Andres bighorn sheep population and that psoroptic scabies poses a minimal to nonexistent threat to the persistence of this population at this time.
Systematics of Mesocestoides (Cestoda: Mesocestoididae): Evaluation of Molecular and Morphological Variation Among Isolates
The Journal of Parasitology. Dec, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16539028
A hypothesis-based framework was used to test if 3 genetic strains of Mesocestoides (clades A, B, and C) are distinct evolutionary lineages, thereby supporting their delimitation as species. For comparative purposes, 3 established cestode species, Taenia pisiformis, Taenia serialis, and Taenia crassiceps were assessed using the same methods. Sequence data from mitochondrial rDNA (12S) and the second internal transcribed spacer of nuclear rDNA (ITS-2) revealed derived (autapomorphic) characters for lineages representing clade A (n = 6 autapomorphies), clade B (n = 4), and clade C (n = 9) as well as T. pisiformis (n = 15) and T. serialis (n = 12). Furthermore, multivariate analysis of morphological data revealed significant differences among the 3 genetic strains of Mesocestoides and between T. pisiformis and T. serialis. The level of phenotypic variation within evolutionary lineages of Mesocestoides and Taenia spp. tapeworms was similar. Results from this study support recognizing Mesocestoides clades A, B, and C as separate species, and provide evidence that clade B and Mesocestoides vogae are conspecific.
Nontarget Effects of the Mosquito Adulticide Pyrethrin Applied Aerially During a West Nile Virus Outbreak in an Urban California Environment
Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. Sep, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17939516
In August 2006, a pyrethrin insecticide synergized with piperonyl butoxide (EverGreen Crop Protection EC 60-6, McLaughlin Gormley King Company, Golden Valley, MN) was sprayed in ultralow volumes over the city of Davis, CA, by the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District to control mosquitoes transmitting West Nile virus. Concurrently, we evaluated the impact of the insecticide on nontarget arthropods by 1) comparing mortality of treatment and control groups of sentinel arthropods, and 2) measuring the diversity and abundance of dead arthropods found on treatment and control tarps placed on the ground. We found no effect of spraying on nontarget sentinel species including dragonflies (Sympetrum corruptum), spiders (Argiope aurantia), butterflies (Colias eurytheme), and honeybees (Apis mellifera). In contrast, significantly higher diversity and numbers of nontarget arthropods were found on ground tarps placed in sprayed versus unsprayed areas. All of the dead nontarget species were small-bodied arthropods as opposed to the large-bodied sentinels that were not affected. The mortality of sentinel mosquitoes placed at the same sites as the nontarget sentinels and ground tarps ranged from 0% to 100%. Dead mosquitoes were not found on the ground tarps. We conclude that aerial spraying with pyrethrins had no impact on the large-bodied arthropods placed in the spray zone, but did have a measurable impact on a wide range of small-bodied organisms.
Variability in Assays Used for Detection of Lentiviral Infection in Bobcats (Lynx Rufus), Pumas (Puma Concolor), and Ocelots (Leopardus Pardalis)
Journal of Wildlife Diseases. Oct, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17984266
Although lentiviruses similar to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are known to infect numerous felid species, the relative utility of assays used for detecting lentiviral infection has not been compared for many of these hosts. We tested bobcats (Lynx rufus), pumas (Felis concolor), and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) for exposure to lentivirus using five different assays: puma lentivirus (PLV), African lion lentivirus (LLV), and domestic cat FIV-based immunoblots, a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit, and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Puma lentivirus immunoblots identified more seropositive individuals than the other antibody-detection assays. The commercial ELISA provided a fair ability to recognize seropositive samples when compared with PLV immunoblot for screening bobcats and ocelots, but not pumas. Polymerase chain reaction identified fewer positive samples than PLV immunoblot for all three species. Immunoblot results were equivalent whether the sample tested was serum, plasma, or whole blood. The results from this study and previous investigations suggest that the PLV immunoblot has the greatest ability to detect reactive samples when screening wild felids of North America and is unlikely to produce false positive results. However, the commercial ELISA kit may provide an adequate alternative for screening of some species and is more easily adapted to field conditions.
Risk Factors Associated with Human Infection During the 2006 West Nile Virus Outbreak in Davis, a Residential Community in Northern California
The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Jan, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18187785
We collected a total of 15,329 mosquitoes during weekly sampling in Davis, CA, from April through mid-October 2006 at 21 trap sites uniformly spaced 1.5 km apart over an area of approximately 26 km(2). Of these mosquitoes, 1,355 pools of Culex spp. were tested by multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, of which 16 pools (1.2%) were positive for West Nile virus (WNV). A degree-day model with a developmental threshold of 14.3 degrees C accurately predicted episodic WNV transmission after three extrinsic incubation periods after initial detection. Kriging interpolation delineated that Culex tarsalis were most abundant at traps near surrounding agriculture, whereas Cx. pipiens clustered within residential areas and greenbelt systems in the old portion of Davis. Spatial-temporal analyses were performed to test for clustering of locations of WNV-infected dead birds and traps with WNV-positive Cx. tarsalis and Cx. pipiens; human case incidence was mapped by census blocks. Significant multivariate spatial-temporal clustering was detected among WNV-infected dead birds and WNV-positive Cx. tarsalis, and a WNV-positive Cx. pipiens cluster overlapped areas with high incidences of confirmed human cases. Spatial analyses of WNV surveillance data may be an effective method to identify areas with an increased risk for human infection and to target control efforts to reduce the incidence of human disease.
General and Comparative Endocrinology. Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18190914
Northern Elephant Seal Skin Disease (NESSD) is a severe, ulcerative, skin condition of unknown cause affecting primarily yearling northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris); it has been associated with decreased levels of circulating thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Abnormalities of the thyroid gland that result in decreased hormone levels (hypothyroidism) can result in hair loss, scaling and secondary skin infections. However, concurrent illness (including skin ailments) can suppress basal levels of thyroid hormones and mimic hypothyroidism; when this occurs in animals with normal thyroid glands it is called "sick euthyroid syndrome". The two conditions (true hypothyroidism vs. "sick euthyroid") can be distinguished in dogs by testing the response of the thyroid gland to exogenous thyrotropin (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, TSH). To determine whether hypothyroidism is involved in the etiology of NESSD, we tested thyroid function of stranded yearling elephant seals in the following categories: healthy seals (rehabilitated and ready for release; N=9), seals suffering from NESSD (N=16) and seals with other illnesses (e.g., lungworm pneumonia; N=10). Levels of T4 increased significantly for all three categories of elephant seals following TSH stimulation, suggesting that seals with NESSD are "sick euthyroid" and that the disease is not associated with abnormal thyroid gland function.
A Review of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Birds, with an Emphasis on Asian H5N1 and Recommendations for Prevention and Control
Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery. Mar, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18543597
Avian influenza is a disease of both veterinary and public health importance. Influenza A viruses infect a range of hosts, including humans, and can cause significant morbidity and mortality. These viruses have high genetic variability, and new strains develop through both mutation and reassortment. Modes of transmission as well as the location of viral shedding may differ both by host species and by viral strain. Clinical signs of influenza A virus infection in birds vary considerably depending on the viral subtype, environmental factors, and age, health status, and species of the bird and range from decreased egg production and gastrointestinal manifestations to nervous system disorders and respiratory signs. Most commonly, peracute death with minimal clinical disease is observed in poultry infected with a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. There are various prevention and control strategies for avian influenza, including education, biosecurity, surveillance, culling of infected animals, and vaccination. These strategies will differ by institution and current federal regulations. Each institution should have an established biosecurity protocol that can be properly instituted. Lastly, human health precautions, such as proper hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, and employee health monitoring, are imperative for at-risk individuals.
Hematologic and Serum Biochemical Profile of the Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga Angustirostris): Variation with Age, Sex, and Season
Journal of Wildlife Diseases. Oct, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18957647
The foraging success, and thus the survival and reproductive success, of deep-diving pinnipeds such as the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris, depends on the ability to withstand repetitive breath-hold dives. Health parameters can be incorporated as potential explanatory variables for differences observed in diving and migratory performance of individual seals. Furthermore, biomedical samples from apparently healthy individuals can provide valuable baseline data for evaluating effects of natural or anthropogenic threats to individuals and populations. We evaluated 42 blood parameters in 134 northern elephant seals during the breeding and molting seasons (1992-1999) to test for age, sex, and seasonal differences and to develop reference ranges. Adult males sampled during the breeding season differed from all other adult groups for a suite of parameters often associated with inflammation, infection, or other stressors: lower hematocrit, higher white blood cell count, higher band neutrophils, higher neutrophil count, lower albumin, and lower serum iron. Adult females during the breeding season differed from all other adult categories for two parameters (lower platelet counts, lower alanine aminotransferase activity). Molting males had higher blood urea nitrogen than all other classes; creatinine did not differ between breeding and molting adult males, but was higher in males than in females in both seasons. We found significant differences among age classes for 24 of 42 parameters measured, including higher levels of triglycerides, total protein, calcium, and iron in pups than we found in juveniles or adults. Unlike other mammals which undergo substantial decreases in energy expenditure during prolonged fasting (e.g., hibernation), northern elephant seals defend territories, give birth and suckle large offspring, mate, and molt during their bi-annual fasts. Nonetheless, many studies have described physiologic homeostasis during fasting in elephant seals. The genus Mirounga is superbly adapted to going without feeding for extended periods, and this is reflected in our hematologic and serum biochemical profiles.
Conservation Biology : the Journal of the Society for Conservation Biology. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18983604
Habitat corridors can be essential for persistence of wildlife populations in fragmented landscapes. Although much research has focused on identifying species and places critical for conservation action, the conservation literature contains surprisingly few examples of corridors that actually have been protected and so provides little guidance for moving from planning through implementation. We examined a case study from southern California that combines monitoring of radio-collared mountain lions (Puma concolor) with an assessment of land-protection efforts to illustrate lessons learned while attempting to maintain ecological connectivity in a rapidly urbanizing landscape. As in many places, conservation scientists have provided science-based maps of where conservation efforts should focus. But implementing corridors is a business decision based not solely on ecological information but also on cost, opportunity cost, investment risk, and other feasibility considerations. Here, the type and pattern of development is such that key connections will be lost unless they are explicitly protected. Keeping pace with conversion, however, has been difficult, especially because conservation efforts have been limited to traditional parcel-by-parcel land-protection techniques. The challenges of and trade-offs in implementation make it clear that in southern California, connectivity cannot be bought one parcel at a time. Effective land-use plans and policies that incorporate conservation principles, such as California's Natural Communities Conservation Planning program, are needed to support the retention of landscape permeability. Lessons from this study have broad application, especially as a precautionary tale for places where such extensive and intensive development has not yet occurred. Given how limiting resources are for biodiversity conservation, conservationists must be disciplined about where and how they attempt corridor protection: in rapidly fragmenting landscapes, the opportunity for success can be surprisingly fleeting.
BMC Ecology. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19903355
Free-ranging horses (Equus caballus) in North America are considered to be feral animals since they are descendents of non-native domestic horses introduced to the continent. We conducted a study in a southern California desert to understand how feral horse movements and horse feces impacted this arid ecosystem. We evaluated five parameters susceptible to horse trampling: soil strength, vegetation cover, percent of nonnative vegetation, plant species diversity, and macroinvertebrate abundance. We also tested whether or not plant cover and species diversity were affected by the presence of horse feces.
BMC Research Notes. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19922659
We used Global Positioning System (GPS) data from radiocollared pumas (Puma concolor) to identify kill sites of pumas preying upon an endangered population of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) in southern California. Our aims were to test whether or not pumas selected radiocollared versus uncollared bighorn sheep, and to identify patterns of movement before, during, and after kills.
Emerging Infectious Diseases. Dec, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19961691
Plague seroprevalence was estimated in populations of pumas and bobcats in the western United States. High levels of exposure in plague-endemic regions indicate the need to consider the ecology and pathobiology of plague in nondomestic felid hosts to better understand the role of these species in disease persistence and transmission.
Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18456328
The long-standing evolutionary and ecological relationships between wild birds and influenza A viruses has created a broad pool of viral genetic diversity and a reservoir of potentially transmissible viruses. An understanding of these relationships can help us identify and modify critical control points to reduce transmission of avian influenza viruses into animal and human populations.
Field Detection of Avian Influenza Virus in Wild Birds: Evaluation of a Portable RRT-PCR System and Freeze-dried Reagents
Journal of Virological Methods. Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20206650
Wild birds have been implicated in the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAIV) of the H5N1 subtype, prompting surveillance along migratory flyways. Sampling of wild birds is often conducted in remote regions, but results are often delayed because of limited local analytical capabilities, difficulties with sample transportation and permitting, or problems keeping samples cold in the field. In response to these challenges, the performance of a portable real-time, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) unit (RAPID((R)), Idaho Technologies, Salt Lake City, UT) that employed lyophilized reagents (Influenza A Target 1 Taqman; ASAY-ASY-0109, Idaho Technologies) was compared to virus isolation combined with real-time RT-PCR conducted in a laboratory. This study included both field- and experimental-based sampling. Field samples were collected from migratory shorebirds captured in northern California, while experimental samples were prepared by spiking fecal material with an H6N2 AIV isolate. Results indicated that the portable rRT-PCR unit had equivalent specificity to virus isolation with no false positives, but sensitivity was compromised at low viral titers. Use of portable rRT-PCR with lyophilized reagents may expedite surveillance results, paving the way to a better understanding of wild bird involvement in HPAIV H5N1 transmission.
Waterfowl Ecology and Avian Influenza in California: Do Host Traits Inform Us About Viral Occurrence?
Avian Diseases. Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20521673
We examined whether host traits influenced the occurrence of avian influenza virus (AIV) in Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans) at wintering sites in California's Central Valley. In total, 3487 individuals were sampled at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge and Conaway Ranch Duck Club during the hunting season of 2007-08. Of the 19 Anatidae species sampled, prevalence was highest in the northern shoveler (5.09%), followed by the ring-necked duck (2.63%), American wigeon (2.57%), bufflehead (2.50%), greater white-fronted goose (2.44%), and cinnamon teal (1.72%). Among host traits, density of lamellae (filtering plates) of dabbling ducks was significantly associated with AIV prevalence and the number of subtypes shed by the host, suggesting that feeding methods may influence exposure to viral particles.
Wildlife Translocation: the Conservation Implications of Pathogen Exposure and Genetic Heterozygosity
BMC Ecology. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21284886
A key challenge for conservation biologists is to determine the most appropriate demographic and genetic management strategies for wildlife populations threatened by disease. We explored this topic by examining whether genetic background and previous pathogen exposure influenced survival of translocated animals when captive-bred and free-ranging bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) were used to re-establish a population that had been extirpated in the San Andres Mountains in New Mexico, USA.
Efficacy of Three Vaccines in Protecting Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma Californica) from Experimental Infection with West Nile Virus: Implications for Vaccination of Island Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma Insularis)
Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.). Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21438693
The devastating effect of West Nile virus (WNV) on the avifauna of North America has led zoo managers and conservationists to attempt to protect vulnerable species through vaccination. The Island Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma insularis) is one such species, being a corvid with a highly restricted insular range. Herein, we used congeneric Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica) to test the efficacy of three WNV vaccines in protecting jays from an experimental challenge with WNV: (1) the Fort Dodge West Nile-Innovator(®) DNA equine vaccine, (2) an experimental DNA plasmid vaccine, pCBWN, and (3) the Merial Recombitek(®) equine vaccine. Vaccine efficacy after challenge was compared with naïve and nonvaccinated positive controls and a group of naturally immune jays. Overall, vaccination lowered peak viremia compared with nonvaccinated positive controls, but some WNV-related pathology persisted and the viremia was sufficient to possibly infect susceptible vector mosquitoes. The Fort Dodge West Nile-Innovator DNA equine vaccine and the pCBWN vaccine provided humoral immune priming and limited side effects. Five of the six birds vaccinated with the Merial Recombitek vaccine, including a vaccinated, non-WNV challenged control, developed extensive necrotic lesions in the pectoral muscle at the vaccine inoculation sites, which were attributed to the Merial vaccine. In light of the well-documented devastating effects of high morbidity and mortality associated with WNV infection in corvids, vaccination of Island Scrub-Jays with either the Fort Dodge West Nile-Innovator DNA vaccine or the pCBWN vaccine may increase the numbers of birds that would survive an epizootic should WNV become established on Santa Cruz Island.
Surveillance for West Nile Virus and Vaccination of Free-ranging Island Scrub-jays (Aphelocoma Insularis) on Santa Cruz Island, California
Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.). Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21438695
Transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) on mainland California poses an ongoing threat to the island scrub-jay (ISSJ, Aphelocoma insularis), a species that occurs only on Santa Cruz Island, California, and whose total population numbers <5000. Our report describes the surveillance and management efforts conducted since 2006 that are designed to understand and mitigate for the consequences of WNV introduction into the ISSJ population. We suspect that WNV would most likely be introduced to the island via the movement of infected birds from the mainland. However, antibody testing of >750 migrating and resident birds on the island from 2006 to 2009 indicated that WNV had not become established by the end of 2009. Several species of competent mosquito vectors were collected at very low abundance on the island, including the important mainland vectors Culex tarsalis and Culex quinquefasciatus. However, the island was generally cooler than areas of mainland California that experienced intense WNV transmission, and these lower temperatures may have reduced the likelihood of WNV becoming established because they do not support efficient virus replication in mosquitoes. A vaccination program was initiated in 2008 to create a rescue population of ISSJ that would be more likely to survive a catastrophic outbreak. To further that goal, we recommend managers vaccinate >100 ISSJ each year as part of ongoing research and monitoring efforts.
Impact of the California Lead Ammunition Ban on Reducing Lead Exposure in Golden Eagles and Turkey Vultures
PloS One. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21494329
Predatory and scavenging birds may be exposed to high levels of lead when they ingest shot or bullet fragments embedded in the tissues of animals injured or killed with lead ammunition. Lead poisoning was a contributing factor in the decline of the endangered California condor population in the 1980s, and remains one of the primary factors threatening species recovery. In response to this threat, a ban on the use of lead ammunition for most hunting activities in the range of the condor in California was implemented in 2008. Monitoring of lead exposure in predatory and scavenging birds is essential for assessing the effectiveness of the lead ammunition ban in reducing lead exposure in these species. In this study, we assessed the effectiveness of the regulation in decreasing blood lead concentration in two avian sentinels, golden eagles and turkey vultures, within the condor range in California. We compared blood lead concentration in golden eagles and turkey vultures prior to the lead ammunition ban and one year following implementation of the ban. Lead exposure in both golden eagles and turkey vultures declined significantly post-ban. Our findings provide evidence that hunter compliance with lead ammunition regulations was sufficient to reduce lead exposure in predatory and scavenging birds at our study sites.
Cross-Seasonal Patterns of Avian Influenza Virus in Breeding and Wintering Migratory Birds: A Flyway Perspective
Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.). Oct, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21995264
Abstract The spread of avian influenza viruses (AIV) in nature is intrinsically linked with the movements of wild birds. Wild birds are the reservoirs for the virus and their migration may facilitate the circulation of AIV between breeding and wintering areas. This cycle of dispersal has become widely accepted; however, there are few AIV studies that present cross-seasonal information. A flyway perspective is critical for understanding how wild birds contribute to the persistence of AIV over large spatial and temporal scales, with implications for how to focus surveillance efforts and identify risks to public health. This study characterized spatio-temporal infection patterns in 10,389 waterfowl at two important locations within the Pacific Flyway-breeding sites in Interior Alaska and wintering sites in California's Central Valley during 2007-2009. Among the dabbling ducks sampled, the northern shoveler (Anas clypeata) had the highest prevalence of AIV at both breeding (32.2%) and wintering (5.2%) locations. This is in contrast to surveillance studies conducted in other flyways that have identified the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and northern pintail (Anas acuta) as hosts with the highest prevalence. A higher diversity of AIV subtypes was apparent at wintering (n=42) compared with breeding sites (n=17), with evidence of mixed infections at both locations. Our study suggests that wintering sites may act as an important mixing bowl for transmission among waterfowl in a flyway, creating opportunities for the reassortment of the virus. Our findings shed light on how the dynamics of AIV infection of wild bird populations can vary between the two ends of a migratory flyway.