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Epizootiologic investigations of selected abortive agents in free-ranging alpine ibex (capra ibex ibex) in Switzerland


Marreros, N; Hüssy, D; Albini, S; Frey, C F; Abril, C; Vogt, H R; Holzwarth, N; Wirz-Dittus, S; Friess, M; Engels, M; Borel, N; Willisch, C S; Signer, C; Hoelzle, L E; Ryser-Degiorgis, M P (2011). Epizootiologic investigations of selected abortive agents in free-ranging alpine ibex (capra ibex ibex) in Switzerland. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 47(3):530-543.

Abstract

In the early 2000s, several colonies of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex) in Switzerland ceased growing or began to decrease. Reproductive problems due to infections with abortive agents might have negatively affected recruitment. We assessed the presence of selected agents of abortion in Alpine ibex by serologic, molecular, and culture techniques and evaluated whether infection with these agents might have affected population densities. Blood and fecal samples were collected from 651 ibex in 14 colonies throughout the Swiss Alps between 2006 and 2008. All samples were negative for Salmonella spp., Neospora caninum, and Bovine Herpesvirus-1. Antibodies to Coxiella burnetii, Leptospira spp., Chlamydophila abortus, Toxoplasma gondii, and Bovine Viral Diarrhea virus were detected in at least one ibex. Positive serologic results for Brucella spp. likely were false. Overall, 73 samples (11.2%) were antibody-positive for at least one abortive agent. Prevalence was highest for Leptospira spp. (7.9%, 95% CI55.0–11.7). The low
prevalences and the absence of significant differences between colonies with opposite population trends suggest these pathogens do not play a significant role in the population dynamics of Swiss ibex. Alpine ibex do not seem to be a reservoir for these abortive agents or an important source of infection for domestic livestock in Switzerland. Finally, although interactions on summer pastures
occur frequently, spillover from infected livestock to free-ranging ibex apparently is uncommon. Key words: Abortive agents, Alpine ibex, Capra ibex ibex, population dynamics, serology,survey, Switzerland.

Abstract

In the early 2000s, several colonies of Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex) in Switzerland ceased growing or began to decrease. Reproductive problems due to infections with abortive agents might have negatively affected recruitment. We assessed the presence of selected agents of abortion in Alpine ibex by serologic, molecular, and culture techniques and evaluated whether infection with these agents might have affected population densities. Blood and fecal samples were collected from 651 ibex in 14 colonies throughout the Swiss Alps between 2006 and 2008. All samples were negative for Salmonella spp., Neospora caninum, and Bovine Herpesvirus-1. Antibodies to Coxiella burnetii, Leptospira spp., Chlamydophila abortus, Toxoplasma gondii, and Bovine Viral Diarrhea virus were detected in at least one ibex. Positive serologic results for Brucella spp. likely were false. Overall, 73 samples (11.2%) were antibody-positive for at least one abortive agent. Prevalence was highest for Leptospira spp. (7.9%, 95% CI55.0–11.7). The low
prevalences and the absence of significant differences between colonies with opposite population trends suggest these pathogens do not play a significant role in the population dynamics of Swiss ibex. Alpine ibex do not seem to be a reservoir for these abortive agents or an important source of infection for domestic livestock in Switzerland. Finally, although interactions on summer pastures
occur frequently, spillover from infected livestock to free-ranging ibex apparently is uncommon. Key words: Abortive agents, Alpine ibex, Capra ibex ibex, population dynamics, serology,survey, Switzerland.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Virology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:21 Jul 2011 07:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:57
Publisher:Wildlife Disease Association
ISSN:0090-3558
Official URL:http://www.jwildlifedis.org/cgi/content/full/47/3/530
PubMed ID:21719818

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