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Report on wildlife diseases worldwide in 20111


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Original: English

May 2012


REPORT ON WILDLIFE DISEASES worldwide in 20111

Better and more comprehensive disease reporting in wildlife has become increasingly important in order to reflect the worldwide animal health situation.

In the last few years, OIE Members were notifying more information on OIE-listed diseases in wild animals, using the six-monthly reports through the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS), and non-OIE-listed diseases specific to wildlife, using the annual Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases. For the second consecutive year, the OIE organised workshops for OIE National Focal Points on Wildlife in all OIE Regions. Member Countries had increased awareness of the importance of reporting diseases in wild animals. The aim is to improve the detection, prevention and control of diseases that are particularly important because of the severe losses they may cause in wild animals and domestic animals and that might affect human beings and threaten biodiversity. All the efforts made by the OIE over the last three years have produced a good response, with Member Countries providing improved data on wild species.

This year, a revised version of the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases has been used. In accordance with the changes recommended by the OIE Working Group on Wildlife Diseases, diseases are now named according to their pathogenic agents. Out of 178 OIE Member Countries, 131 (73.60%) had completed the Questionnaire as of 25 May 2012 (see Figure 1). By the same time last year, only 92 Questionnaires had been received.

By launching WAHIS-Wild, the OIE aims to improve the way information on wildlife diseases is gathered and displayed.

Figure 1. Trend in the number of Questionnaires received from 2005 to 25 May 2012


Copyright © 2012, Animal Health Information Department – OIE

Thirty-eight Questionnaires were received from Africa, 22 from the Americas, 27 from Asia and Oceania and 44 from Europe.

Member Countries that have submitted a completed Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases for 2011 by geographic region are as follows:


  • Africa: Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo (Dem. Rep. of the), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

  • The Americas: Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America and Uruguay.

  • Asia and Oceania: Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China (People’s Rep. of), Chinese Taipei, Israel, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Korea (Rep. of), Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

  • Europe: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yug. Rep. of Macedonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

A total of 39,320 cases2 in wild animals were reported in the questionnaires for 2011. Reported cases were related to 332 different species belonging to 99 different families. The information provided in this report is extracted from the questionnaires received from the above-mentioned Member Countries and, when relevant, has been completed with further information requested from Member Countries on non-OIE-listed diseases in wild species.

The diseases dealt with in this report have been selected according to their relevance and the quality of data provided by countries.



A. NON OIE-LISTED DISEASES AFFECTING WILD ANIMALS

1. Infection with Salmonella enterica (all serovars)

Infection with Salmonella enterica is one of the zoonotic diseases that have played a very important role in the emergence of diseases in wildlife3. This disease very often emerges in wildlife as a result of human activities such as contamination of the environment and its fauna. S. enterica can affect a wide range of hosts, including wild animals. Serovars of S. enterica are capable of causing various disease syndromes, such as enteric fever, diarrhoea, bacteraemia and septicaemia.

Infection with S. enterica can have a very serious impact on public health due to its zoonotic nature. S. enterica can be spread from wildlife to humans in different ways:


  1. by direct contact,

  2. by contact with domestic animals as transmission or accumulation vectors,

  3. by meat of wild animals,

  4. by contamination of food or food-producing units.

Strategies to control and prevent the spread of infection should include a good surveillance and monitoring programme in wildlife, as wild animals can be reservoirs for S. enterica and/or may be passive carriers of the bacteria4.

The total number of cases of infection with S. enterica in 2011 reported in the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases for 2011 was 377. The most affected species was wild boar (Sus scrofa) with 246 reported cases (65.25%). Rock pigeon (Columba livia) and Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni) were the next most often affected species, with 20 reported cases each (5.30%). Other wild species reported were European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) with 11 cases (2.92%), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) with nine cases of disease (2.38%), common redpoll (Carduelis flammea) with eight reported cases (2.12%) and lastly European herring gull (Larus argentatus) and black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus), each with six cases (1.59%). (Figure 2). A comprehensive table compiling information on infection with S. enterica by region, by country and by species is given in Appendix I.



Figure 2. The species most affected by infection with S. enterica in 2011


Copyright © 2012, Animal Health Information Department – OIE


Europe

In Europe, based on the information gathered through the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases for 2011, twelve countries reported the presence of infection with S. enterica (Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) with a combined total of 368 cases. The affected wild species belonged to 27 different families.



Czech Republic reported one case of infection with S. enterica. The affected species was European hare (Lepus europaeus).

Denmark reported two cases of diseases in European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus).

In Finland, the disease was detected in a total of 17 cases: six cases in European herring gull (Larus argentatus), four cases in European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), two cases in common redpoll (Carduelis flammea), two cases in common gull (Larus canus), one case in common bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula), one case in western jackdaw (Corvus monedula) and one case in black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus).



Germany reported the occurrence of the disease, with 18 cases. They involved two cases in Canidae, three cases in Erinaceidae, five cases belonging to the family Fringilidae, three cases in Laridae, and single cases in species belonging to the families Castoridae, Felidae, Mustelidae, Procyonidae and Suidae.

Hungary reported 15 positive cases of infection with S. enterica. The largest number of positive cases, 11 cases in total, were detected in wild boar (Sus scrofa), one case was detected in blue peafowl (Pavo cristatus), one case in common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), one in waldrapp (Geronticus eremita) and one case in European hare (Lepus europaeus).

Italy reported a total of 279 positive cases of infection with S. enterica. The most affected species was wild boar (Sus scrofa) with 234 detected positive cases in 2011. There were also seven cases of infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 20 cases in Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni), two cases in rey partridge (Perdix perdix), two cases in house sparrow (Passer domesticus), two cases in grass snake (Natrix natrix) and one case in each of the following species: Kleinmann’s tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni), common starling (Sturnus vulgaris), European badger (Meles meles), European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), rock pigeon (Columba livia), white stork (Ciconia ciconia), red deer (Cervus elaphus), European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), common eland (Taurotragus oryx), boa bock (Acrantophis dumerili), great egret (Casmerodius albus) and one case in a wild animal of unspecified species belonging to the family Anatidae.

The Netherlands notified three cases of the disease, involving two cases in European greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) and one in rock pigeon (Columba livia).



Norway reported six positive cases of infection with S. enterica in wildlife. Four cases were detected in common redpoll (Carduelis flammea), one case in rock pigeon (Columba livia) and one case in common bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula).

Portugal reported 19 cases; 89.47% of cases were in rock pigeon (Columba livia) and the remaining 10.53% of cases were shared equally by boa constrictor (Boa constrictor) and common iguana (Iguana Iguana).

Spain reported the presence of S. enterica without providing quantitative data.

Sweden reported four cases in total. They involved two black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus), one Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) and one great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major).

In the United Kingdom there were four positive cases reported in the wildlife Questionnaire. Three black headed gulls (Larus ridibundus) were affected and one European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus).



Americas

In the Americas, three countries (Canada, Colombia and Mexico) reported the presence of infection with S. enterica in wild animals, with a total number of nine cases. The affected wild species belonged to five different families.



Canada reported the occurrence of the disease in eight cases; these involved two common redpolls (Carduelis flammea), two ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis), two house sparrows (Passer domesticus), one evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) and one piping plover (Charadrius melodus).

Colombia reported one case of infection with S. enterica affecting an unspecified species belonging to the family Psittacidae.

Mexico reported the presence of S. enterica without providing quantitative data.

Figure 3. Number of reported cases of infection with S. enterica (all serovars)
in 2011, by country



Copyright © 2012, Animal Health Information Department – OIE


2. Infection with Sarcoptes scabiei (sarcoptic mange)

Infection with Sarcoptes scabiei, also known as sarcoptic mange, is a highly contagious mite infection which can cause different kinds of lesions on the skin of domestic and wild animals5 and could represent a considerable welfare problem.

The pathogenesis and clinical signs of sarcoptic mange depend on the immune status of the respective host. Sarcoptic mange can have very significant and serious consequences on small populations as this disease can threaten their survival; otherwise, the disease does not usually affect long-term population dynamics6.

Various wildlife species can be affected, very often after contacts with domestic animals. There are no significant public health impacts associated with sarcoptic mange in wild animals.

Infection with S. scabiei is very often responsible for diseases of a potentially epizootic nature in different populations of wild animals – canids in the Americas and Europe, wild cats in Europe and Africa, wild ungulates and wild boars in Europe and great apes and various types of wild bovids in Africa.

In the wildlife questionnaires for 2011, infection with S. scabiei was reported present in 20 countries, including countries in Europe (Czech Republic, Finland, Former Yug. Rep. of Macedonia, France, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland), the Americas (Canada, Chile, Peru, United States of America), Africa (Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia) and Asia and the Oceania (Australia, Sri Lanka). The total number of reported cases of infection with S scabiei for 2011 was 163 (figure 4). A comprehensive table compiling information on the number of cases of infection with S. scabiei by region, by country and by species is given in Appendix II.

In comparison to the information related to infection with S. scabiei reported in the questionnaires for the previous two years (2009 and 2010), the total number of reported cases decreased in Europe and Africa in 2011, whereas the number increased in the Americas during this period (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Number of reported cases of infection with S. scabiei
in the period from 2009 to 2011, by continent



Copyright © 2012, Animal Health Information Department – OIE


Europe

Czech Republic reported one case, in wild boar (Sus scrofa).

Finland reported 28 cases. Of these, 21 cases (75%) were in raccoons (Nyctereutes procyonoides), six cases (21.43%) were in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and one case (3.57%) was in a lynx (Lynx lynx).

Former Yug. Rep. of Macedonia reported the presence of S. scabiei without providing quantitative data.

France reported the presence of S. scabiei without providing quantitative data.

Italy provided information on 29 cases of infection with S. scabiei through the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases for 2011. The biggest number of cases was reported in the family Bovidae (24 cases): there were also four reported cases in Canidae and one case in Suidae.

Norway reported two cases of infection with S. scabiei, both in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

Slovenia reported the occurrence of the disease, with four cases in rupicapra (Rupicapra rupicapra).

Spain provided information on 27 cases of infection with S. scabiei. The highest number of cases (22 cases) was reported in Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica), there were also three reported cases in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), one in red deer (Cervus elaphus) and one in a European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

Sweden reported a total of 21 cases of the disease: one case in a common wolf (Canis lupus), eight cases in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), six cases in wild boar (Sus scrofa) and six cases in lynxes (Lynx lynx).

Switzerland reported six cases of the disease, all in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

Figure 5. The species most affected by infection with S. scabiei in 2011


Copyright © 2012, Animal Health Information Department – OIE


Americas

Canada reported four cases of infection with S. scabiei, two in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and two in common wolf (Canis lupus).

In Chile, there were two cases of the disease in Camelidae, both involving guanaco (Lama guanicoe).



Peru reported a total of 17 cases, all in vicugna (Vicugna vicugna).

The United States of America reported the presence of S. scabiei without providing quantitative data.



Africa

In Ghana, one case of the disease was reported in African civet (Civettictis civetta).



South Africa reported a total of two cases of infection with S. scabiei, one in impala (Aepyceros melampus) and the other in a lion (Panthera leo).

Tanzania reported the occurrence of S. scabiei in Loliondo ward (Ngorongoro District), in a sub-population of wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) composed of 203 animals, with seven cases and three deaths.

Tunisia reported the presence of the infection with one outbreak observed in Ichkeul National park (Bizerta), in a metapopulation of water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis barbarus) composed of 50 animals, with 10 cases and 5 deaths.

Asia and Oceania

Australia reported the presence of the infection, without providing quantitative data.

Sri Lanka reported two cases of infection with S. scabiei, both involving Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus).

Figure 6. World distribution of infection with S. scabiei
as reported in the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases for 2011




3. Agent causing chronic wasting disease (CWD)

The agent causing chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), along with other spongiform diseases, such as scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The known natural hosts of CWD are mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), elk (Cervus canadensis), and moose (Alces alces). At the present time there is no scientific evidence that the infection is transmissible to domestic animals or to humans. There is no known treatment and the disease is typically fatal. Two countries reported the disease present in 2011: United States of America and Canada.



United States of America

According to the information provided by the APHIS7 CWD website (official USA government website) the species known to be susceptible to CWD in North America are elk (Cervus canadensis), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and, possibly the red deer (Cervus elaphus) due to its genetic similarity to elk.

APHIS reports that the disease has been identified in different States in wild deer, moose and elk (Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming) (Figure 7) and in farmed elk and deer herds (Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin).

Figure 7. CWD distribution in Canada and the USA in free range wild animals in 2011

According to the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases for 2011, the presence of the disease in the United States of America was limited to various zones. A total of 20,430 farmed elks were tested for surveillance purposes and two new elk herds were found to be CWD positive – each with at least one CWD-positive elk. During the past 10 years, CWD has been detected in 52 farmed herds (39 elk herds and 13 white-tailed deer herds) in 11 States in the United States of America. Data resulting from 2011 sampling will be available in late 2012.



Canada

According to the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases for 2011, the occurrence of infection (without clinical signs) in Canada was limited to various zones. Out of a total of 54 cases reported in wild animals, 45 were in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), eight in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and one in an elk (Cervus canadiensis) (Figure 8). The disease has been identified in two Provinces, Saskatchewan and Alberta.



Figure 8. Number of cases of chronic wasting disease in wildlife in Canada in 2011, by species


Copyright © 2012, Animal Health Information Department – OIE


4. Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI)

Whereas highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is notifiable to the OIE in all species (domestic and wild) because it meets the OIE criteria to be listed, low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) is not listed. LPAI does not meet the criteria to be listed, since it does not normally cause high morbidity or high mortality. However, under the provisions of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code chapter on avian influenza, LPAI H5 and H7 are notifiable to the OIE when they occur in poultry because of their potential to revert to being highly pathogenic.



The OIE requests Member Countries to notify LPAI in wild birds, mainly through the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases, as it is important to monitor the circulation of influenza viruses in animals, including for wild birds. The information on LPAI should include an indication of the serotype involved, when available. According to the information gathered through the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases in 2011, the serotype most frequently identified was H3N8 (12.12% of cases) followed by H6N8 (10.61%), H9N2 (7.58%) and H5N2 (6.06%). Two serotypes, namely H4N6 and H10N8 each accounted for 4.55% of the identified serotypes (Figure 9). Appendix III provides a complete list of the information provided on serotypes of LPAI identified in 2011 ².

Figure 9. Reported LPAI in wild birds in 2011, by serotype and by country

LPAI serotype

Country

H3N8

Belgium

Croatia

Czech Republic

H4N6

Belgium

Croatia

Germany

H5N2

Czech Republic

Germany

Japan

Korea (Rep. of)

H6N8

Belgium

Croatia

Czech Republic

Germany

H9N2

Belgium

Germany

H10N8

Belgium

Germany

In 2011, the following countries/territories reported LPAI due to different serotypes when available, in wild birds: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Haiti, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep. of), The Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom and United States of America. From the information gathered from the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases, a total of 1,292 cases of LPAI were reported in wild birds. A comprehensive table compiling information on the number of cases of LPAI by region, by country and by species is given in Appendix IV.

The largest number of cases reported by Member Countries in 2011 occurred in the family Anatidae (84.52% of all cases in wild birds); 8.98% of cases were reported in the family Laridae. Six other families (Accipitridae, Alcidae, Phasianidae, Rallidae, Scolopacidae and Tytonidae) accounted for 6.50% of all cases in wild birds (See below, Figure 10).



Figure 10. Number of cases of LPAI reported in wild birds in 2011, by family and by country


Copyright © 2012, Animal Health Information Department – OIE


Europe

In 2011, Europe was the region that reported the largest number of cases of LPAI (988).



Belgium reported 11 cases. These involved 10 Anatidae, namely seven mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), one tufted duck (Aythya fuligula), two mute swans (Cygnus olor) and one in an Eurasian coot (Fulica atra) belonging to the family Rallidae.

Croatia reported 20 cases of LPAI, 18 (90%), involving four species belonging to the family Anatidae, one case in a Northern pintail (Anas acuta), 11 in common teal (Anas crecca), five in mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and one in a ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca). Two cases occurred in species belonging to the family Laridae, one in a yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) and one in a black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus).

The Czech Republic reported 23 cases. These involved 22 (95.65%) mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and one mute swan (Cygnus olor).



Denmark reported one case in a common gull (Larus canus).

France reported the presence of LPAI without providing quantitative data.

In Germany, a total of 100 cases were reported in wild birds in 2011. Members of the family Anatidae accounted for 98 cases; the remaining two cases occurred in a black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) and a mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).



Hungary reported 19 cases in wild birds: 17 cases (89.47%) in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and two in common pheasant (Phasianus colchicus).

Ireland reported the presence of LPAI without providing quantitative data.

Italy reported one case in a mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

In The Netherlands, a total of 803 cases were notified. The largest number of cases occurred in members of the family Anatidae: 496 (69.76%) cases in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), 103 (14.49%) cases in greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifron) and 43 (6.05%) cases in Eurasian widgeon (Anas penelope). The country also reported 88 cases in black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus), 18 cases in barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis), 12 cases in bewick swan (Cygnus bewickii), 11 cases in gadwall (Anas strepera), eight cases in northern shoveler (Anas clypeata), seven cases in bean goose (Anser fabalis), six cases in greylag goose (Anser anser), four cases in common teal (Anas crecca), three cases in European herring gulls (Larus argentatus), one case in northern pintail (Anas acuta), one case in Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca), one in black swan (Cygnus atratus) and one case in a common gull (Larus canus).

In Poland two cases were reported in Anatidae family.

Slovenia reported six cases in wild birds, three cases in mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and three in mute swan (Cygnus olor).

Spain reported the presence of LPAI as present without providing quantitative data.

The United Kingdom reported the occurrence of two cases in wild birds, one in tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus) and one in mute swan (Cygnus olor).



Asia and Oceania

Australia reported the presence of the disease without providing quantitative data.

Israel reported the occurrence of six cases in wild birds, four in European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) and two in barn owl (Tyto alba).

Japan reported the occurrence of one case in a tundra swan (Cignus columbianus).

In Korea (Rep. of) a total of seven cases were notified in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).



Americas

LPAI in wild birds was reported in four countries in 2011, namely Argentina, Canada, Haiti and the United States of America. A total of 290 cases of LPAI were reported in 15 different species of wild birds.



5. Brucella ceti

Brucella infections have recently been recognised in marine mammals (seals, sea lions, walruses, dolphins, porpoises, whales and otters). This Gram-negative, facultative intracellular pathogen appears to be widespread in this group of marine species, probably present since a long time. The original name was intended to be Bmaris isolated from Cetacea (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and seals but this was never used as official nomenclature. In 2007, Foster et al. officially named the two strains B. ceti and B .pinnipedialis. Several cetaceans are inscribed in the IUCN Red List of threatened species8. Furthermore, the presence of cetaceans and seals in seas and littoral zones is an important indicator of the health of marine ecosystems.

An abortion due to brucellae in a captive dolphin in California, United States of America, was described in 1994 (Ewalth et al.)9. The same year, there was report of brucellae having been isolated in stranded seals and dolphins in Scotland (Ross H.M. et al.)10. Since then, several studies have described a potentially zoonotic emerging disease caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella in a wide variety of marine mammals, such as seals, porpoise, dolphins and minke whale. Marine strains of Brucella isolated from cetaceans and seals (pinnipeds) have been proposed as two new species, respectively, B. ceti and B. pinnipedialis. B. ceti strains have been isolated from human cases, stressing the zoonotic potential of these brucellae.

Costa Rica reported in the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases for 2011 the occurrence of four cases of B. ceti, three in striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) and one in a pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata).

In September 2011, The Netherlands reported to the OIE that two harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) found dead had tested positive for B. ceti. The dead animals had been found in June 2010 on the North Sea coast, in Zeeland district.

The United Kingdom reported that the first isolation of B. ceti from marine mammals in the country was performed by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) in 1994 and involved a harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and a common dolphin (Delphinus delphis). In 1995, B. ceti was isolated from a common seal (Phoca vitulina). All of these initial isolations were from the sea coasts of Scotland.

Since 1994, nearly 200 isolates have been obtained in the United Kingdom, 75% from cetacea and 25% from seals. These originated mainly from Scottish waters and the south west of England. Many more animals have given serologically positive results. B. ceti has also been isolated in an otter (Lutra lutra).



B. NON INFECTIOUS DISEASES: CHEMICAL POISONING AND POLLUTION

Various factors such extensive deforestation, which damages or destroys wildlife habitats, poaching, poisoning and pollution may cause significant losses in wild animals and jeopardise biodiversity.

Wild animals can be directly killed by chemical poisons; scavenger animals such as wild dogs, hyenas or birds of prey may also die after consuming poisoned carcasses. In some countries, this can cause a reduction in the number of certain categories of wild animals and contribute to a loss of biodiversity.

Wild animals often die from chemical poisoning as a “collateral effect” of the use of pesticides in agriculture (e.g. Metaldehyde and Carbofuran). Information supplied in the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases in 2011 has helped to obtain an overview of the situation in Member Countries regarding chemical poisoning.

For the sake of biodiversity and to protect endangered species, it is important to collect information on chemical poisoning and any other causes of mass deaths. Endangered species are a source of great concern for many Member Countries. Consequently, in addition to the basic information in the Questionnaire on Wildlife Diseases, the OIE now collects information on mass deaths of wild marine animals due to plastic pollution.

A total of 191 cases of chemical poisoning in wild animals were reported in the Questionnaires for 2011. Twenty-three Members reported the presence or suspected presence of chemical poisoning of wild animals (Africa: Algeria, Tanzania, Uganda; Americas: Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, United States of America; Europe: Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, United Kingdom; Asia and Oceania: Australia, Israel, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Vietnam); 14 Members provided quantitative information. Appendix V provides a complete list of the information provided on the number of cases of chemical poisoning in 2011, by region, by country and by species.

A total of 113 (59.2%) cases were reported in avian species while 78 (40.8%) cases were reported in wild mammals. The percentage of cases in different species was classified according to their class and order, in accordance with the Species 2000 and Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) – Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (See Figure 11).

Figure 11. Chemical poisoning cases reported in wildlife by OIE Members in 2011,
by taxonomic class and order



Copyright © 2012, Animal Health Information Department – OIE


Europe

European countries reported the occurrence of 134 cases. Most of the cases were in birds, with members of the family Accipitridae being the most severely affected. Appendix V provides a complete list of the information provided on the number of cases of chemical poisoning in 2011, by region, by country and by species.

Five countries (Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy and Spain) specified the chemical substances responsible for deaths in wild birds, such as organophosphate insecticides, carbamate pesticides (carbofuran), lead poisoning, metaldehyde and anticoagulant poisons (flocoumafen and brodifacoum). Carbofuran is one of the most toxic carbamate pesticides. It is highly toxic to vertebrates, and is known to be particularly toxic to birds. In its granular form, a single grain will kill a bird. Birds often eat numerous grains of the pesticide, mistaking them for seeds, and die shortly after. Lead poisoning is one of the most commonly reported forms of poisoning in pets and wild birds. Metaldehyde is a molluscicide used to attract and kill slugs and snails. It is applied to the soil around plants. Flocoumafen is a second generation anticoagulant used as a rodenticide. Brodifacoum is a vitamin K antagonist anticoagulant poison that in recent years, it has become one of the world's most widely used pesticides.

Africa

Two countries in Africa reported the occurrence of a total of 14 cases of chemical poisoning: Tanzania and Uganda.

For Uganda, carbammate furadan caused the deaths of six lions (Panthera leo) in the same subpopulation.

Tanzania reported that the occurrence of poisoning in wildlife is caused mainly by poachers and farmers, the latter defending their crops. In 2011, the most poisoned species was white backed vultures (Gyps africanus) in addition to other species including lions, elephants and wild dogs. The chemicals the most commonly used by farmers were Furadan, Acaricides and Strychnine. In 2011, Furadan caused the death of 8 wild dogs (Lycaon pyctus) in the district of Simanjiro (Manyara Region).

Asia and Oceania

Two countries in Asia and Oceania reported the occurrence of a total of 40 cases of chemical poisoning: Israel and New Zealand.



Israel, reported carbamate as the chemical substance causing the largest number of deaths in wild birds and in carnivores.

Americas

Colombia reported the occurrence of eight cases in cougar (Puma concolor).

Uruguay provided worrying data on green turtles (Chelonia mydas) dying from plastic pollution. In 2011, 315 green turtles were found stranded or were captured in Uruguay. Of these, 105 died: 44 from plastic obstruction, 49 from unknown causes and 12 from septicaemia. Plastic bags in the oceans kill thousands of sea turtles, which are classified as endangered species according to the International Union of Conservation Network’s Red List11, as well as hundreds of thousands of marine mammals, fish and seabirds.

_______________

…/Appendices

Appendix I

Number of cases of infection with S. enterica (all serovars) in 2011,

by region, by country and by species



Appendix I (contd)





Appendix II

Number of cases of infection with S. scabiei in 2011,

by region, by country and by species



Appendix III

Serotypes of LPAI identified in 2011


by region, by country and by species



Appendix III (contd)




Appendix IV

Number of cases of LPAI in 2011

by region, by country and by species





Appendix IV (contd)



Appendix IV (contd)



Appendix V

Number of cases of chemical poisoning in 2011,

by region, by country and by species



Appendix V (contd)









1 Prepared by the OIE Animal Health Information Department

2 It is the number of animals affected (infected animals with or without clinical signs + any animals that have died from the disease)

3 Jensen A.N, Lodal J. and Baggesen D.L. (2004) - High diversity of Salmonella serotypes found in an experiment with outdoor pigs, NJAS 52-2, 2004, 109-117.

4 Skov M.N., Madsen J.J., Rahbek C., Lodal J., Jespersen J.B., Jørgensen J.C., Dietz H.H., Chrie M. and Baggesen D.L. (2008) - Transmission of Salmonella between wildlife and meat-production animals in Denmark., Journal of Applied Microbiology ISSN 1364-5072, 1558-1568.

5 Jimenez M.D., Bangs E.E., Sime C. and Asher V.J. (2010) - Sarcoptic mange found in wolves in the Rocky Mountains in Western United States, Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 46(4), 2010, 1120–1125

6 Pence D.B., Ueckermann E., (2002) – Sarcoptic mange in wildlife, Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz., 2002, 21(2), 385-398

7 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (United States Department of Agriculture) http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/cwd/

8 IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of threatened species. Version 2011.2. . Downloaded on 20 March 2012.

9 Ewalt D. R., Payeur J.B., Martin, B.M. Cimmings D.R. & Miller G. (1994). – Characteristics of a Brucella species from a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiop truncates). J. Vet. Diagn. Invest., 6, 448-452.

10Ross H.M., Foster G., Reid R.J., Jahans K.L. & MacMillan A.P. (1994). – Brucella species infection in sea-mammals. Vet.Rec., 134, 359.

11 IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. . Downloaded on 20 March 2012.

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