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The risks of translocating wildlife: Pathogenic infection with Theileria sp. and Elaeophora elaphi in an imported red deer

AuthorsHöfle, Ursula ; Vicente, Joaquín ; Hurtado, Ana; Fuente, José de la ; Gortázar, Christian
Issue Date2004
CitationVeterinary Parasitology 126: 387- 395 (2004)
AbstractIt is well known that the translocation of wild animals poses risks of the introduction of pathogens into populations, and regulations and recommendations regarding quarantine and screening protocols for wild animals do exist. Less is known about the infection of imported animals with local endemic pathogens. A red deer stag that had been imported from Germany was found recumbent and died from hemolytic anaemia and a process of exertional myopathy. Infection with Theileria sp. was detected in thin blood smears and confirmed by PCR and sequencing. In addition, massive parasitation by Elaeophora elaphi, a parasite endemic to Iberian red deer, was detected. Sequence comparison between the 18S rRNA gene sequence determined that the Theileria strain involved in this case had a 99.7% identity with a Theileria sp. strain obtained from sika-deer, and 95.3% identity with T. cervi. Using sequence distance analysis, the strain from red deer grouped with isolates from Cervus spp. as opposed to isolates from Odocoileus spp. and bovines. Both detected parasites are of little pathogenicity to local red deer, but were pathogenic for the imported red deer from Northern Europe. This case demonstrates that local endemic pathogens may pose naïve translocated animals at risk, and illustrates the need for thorough examination and planification of translocation protocols. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2004.07.026
issn: 0304-4017
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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