We present new and revised data for the phocine distemper virus (PDV) epidemics that resulted in the deaths of more than 23 000 harbour seals Phoca vitulina in 1988 and 30,000 in 2002. On both occasions the epidemics started at the Danish island of Anholt in central Kattegat, and subsequently spread to adjacent colonies in a stepwise fashion. However, this pattern was not maintained throughout the epidemics and new centres of infection appeared far from infected populations on some occasions: in 1988 early positive cases were observed in the Irish Sea, and in 2002 the epidemic appeared in the Dutch Wadden Sea, 6 wk after the initiation of the outbreak at Anholt Island. Since the harbour seal is a rather sedentary species, such 'jumps' in the spread among colonies suggest that another vector species could have been involved. We discussed the role of sympatric species as disease vectors, and suggested that grey seal populations could act as reservoirs for PDV if infection rates in sympatric species are lower than in harbour seals. Alternatively, grey seals could act as subclinical infected carriers of the virus between Arctic and North Sea seal populations. Mixed colonies of grey and harbour seal colonies are found at all locations where the jumps occurred. It seems likely that grey seals, which show long-distance movements, contributed to the spread among regions. The harbour seal populations along the Norwegian coast and in the Baltic escaped both epidemics, which could be due either to genetic differences among harbour seal populations or to immunity. Catastrophic events such as repeated epidemics should be accounted for in future models and management strategies of wildlife populations.
The occurrence of abscess disease, caseous lymphadenitis, and pulmonary adenomatosis in sheep in Denmark is reported for the first time. Subcutaneous abscesses were observed in imported 4- to 5-month-old lambs of the Lacaune breed 10 days after arrival in Denmark. Abscesses were mostly located in the head, neck and shoulder regions close to the regional lymph nodes. Bacteriological examinations revealed growth of Staphylococcus aureus ssp. anaerobius in all animals with subcutaneously located abscesses containing a viscous white-yellow odourless mass. In addition, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis was isolated from abscesses in one animal and lesions consistent with pulmonary adenomatosis were found in four animals.
We report an outbreak of acute selenium poisoning among suckling pigs; 92 piglets were found dead or moribund without preceding symptoms. Necropsy revealed acute congestion of liver and small intestine. The source was a powdered iron supplement contaminated by sodium selenite.
In spring 2009 in Adler colony of the Institute of Medical Primatology, a large enzootic outbreak of acute intestine infection associated with pathogenic E. coli occurred and caused 5% mortality of population (209 animals).
The epidemiological analysis, bacteriological investigation, postmortem examination, histological analysis, and PCR were used to identify the infectious agent.
Marked hemorrhagic diathesis, lethargy, dehydration, diarrhea with blood, wasting, and sometimes dystrophic changes in articular cartilages were noted. Morphologically, hemorrhagic enterocolitis and massive hemorrhages were found. PCR investigation of bacteriologically isolated E. coli characterized it as enteropathogenic and enteroinvasive E. coli.
The outbreak in Adler colony slightly differed from similar outbreak in Florida in 2014 by more marked hemorrhagic diathesis and articular changes in some monkeys caused by polyavitaminosis developed in the course of infection. Sensitive to infection were M. mulatta, M. fascicularis, Cercopithecus aethiops, P. hamadryas and anubis, and Cebus capucinus.
When rabies reappeared in Finland in April 1988, the country had been rabies free since 1959. Soon a picture of sylvatic rabies become evident, its main vector and victim being the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides). Between 8 April 1988 and 16 February 1989, 66 virologically verified cases were recorded (48 raccoon dogs, 12 red foxes, 2 badgers, 2 cats, 1 dog and 1 dairy bull) in an area estimated at 1700 km2 in south-eastern Finland. The greatest distance between recorded cases was 67 km. A positive reaction with monoclonal antibody p-41 indicated that the virus was an arctic-type strain. A field trial on oral immunization of small predators was initiated in September 1988 using Tübingen fox baits according to the Bavarian model of bait distribution. Each bait contained 5*10(7) TCID50/ml modified live rabies virus (SAD-B19). The 6 months' surveillance indicate a seroconversion rate of 72% (N = 126) in the raccoon dog population, 67% (N = 56) in the red foxes and 13% (N = 16) in the badgers, when titers greater than or equal to 1.0 IU/ml are considered seropositive. In the whole follow-up period, no statistically significant difference could be detected between the raccoon dogs and red foxes in the rate of seroconversion or in the uptake of tetracycline from the baits. Notably high antibody levels were recorded in both raccoon dogs and red foxes within 4-5 months after vaccination. Of the seropositive animals, the proportion of animals with titers 3.0 IU/ml or greater was higher in raccoon dogs (73%) than in red foxes (51%) (x2 = 5.29, p less than 0.05). The trial shows that raccoon dogs can be immunized against rabies in the field with vaccine baits originally developed for controlling sylvatic rabies in foxes.
Direct immunofluorescence and PCR detection methods were compared for sensitivity in evaluating the rabies status of archival specimens of Carnoy-fixed, paraffin-embedded brain tissue. The material consisted of 23 samples obtained during a rabies outbreak in Finland in 1988, and one sample isolated from a bat researcher who died of rabies in Finland in 1985. These results were compared with the original diagnoses performed on the fresh tissues. The immunofluorescence assay detected 100% (12/12) of the rabies-positive archival cases. A PCR assay designed to detect a 139-bp target near the 5' end of the rabies nucleoprotein gene also detected 100% (12/12) of the samples identified as positive in the fresh tissue specimens. A PCR assay designed to detect a 304-bp target spanning the 139-bp target of the first assay detected only 67% (8/12) of the original cases. No false positives were recorded. Both immunofluorescence detection of antigen and PCR detection of a short region of the nucleoprotein gene are useful in determining the rabies status of fixed, paraffin embedded (archival) material.
On May 2, 2009 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency notified the World Organization for Animal Health that an emerging novel influenza A virus (pandemic H1N1 2009) had been confirmed on a swine farm in Alberta. Over a 4-week period pigs in this farrow-to-finish operation were clinically affected by respiratory disease consistent with an influenza A virus infection and the presence of active viral infection was confirmed in all production areas by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Despite clinical recovery of animals, there was reluctance by purchasers to receive animals from this operation due to concerns about the effect on both domestic and international markets. The owner decided to depopulate the entire herd due to impending welfare issues associated with overcrowding and economic concerns resulting from the inability to market these animals. Carcasses were rendered or composted and did not enter the human food or animal feed chain. The source of virus in this herd was determined to be an infected human. Zoonotic transmission to 2 individuals responding to the outbreak was suspected and recommendations to prevent occupational exposure are discussed.