(1/318) Novel endotheliotropic herpesviruses fatal for Asian and African elephants.
A highly fatal hemorrhagic disease has been identified in 10 young Asian and African elephants at North American zoos. In the affected animals there was ultrastructural evidence for herpesvirus-like particles in endothelial cells of the heart, liver, and tongue. Consensus primer polymerase chain reaction combined with sequencing yielded molecular evidence that confirmed the presence of two novel but related herpesviruses associated with the disease, one in Asian elephants and another in African elephants. Otherwise healthy African elephants with external herpetic lesions yielded herpesvirus sequences identical to that found in Asian elephants with endothelial disease. This finding suggests that the Asian elephant deaths were caused by cross-species infection with a herpesvirus that is naturally latent in, but normally not lethal to, African elephants. A reciprocal relationship may exist for the African elephant disease. (+info)
(2/318) A survey of serum and dietary carotenoids in captive wild animals.
Accumulation of carotenoids varies greatly among animal species and is not fully characterized. Circulating carotenoid concentration data in captive wild animals are limited and may be useful for their management. Serum carotenoid concentrations and dietary intakes were surveyed and the extent of accumulation categorized for 76 species of captive wild animals at Brookfield Zoo. Blood samples were obtained opportunistically from 275 individual animals immobilized for a variety of reasons; serum was analyzed for alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein + zeaxanthin, lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin and canthaxanthin. Total carotenoid content of diets was calculated from tables and chemical analyses of commonly consumed dietary components. Diets were categorized as low, moderate or high in carotenoid content as were total serum carotenoid concentrations. Animals were classified as unknown, high, moderate or low (non-) accumulators of dietary cartenoids. Nonaccumulators had total serum carotenoid concentrations of 0-101 nmol/L, whereas accumulators had concentrations that ranged widely, from 225 to 35,351 nmol/L. Primates were uniquely distinguished by the widest range of type and concentration of carotenoids in their sera. Most were classified as high to moderate accumulators. Felids had high accumulation of beta-carotene regardless of dietary intake, whereas a wide range of exotic birds accumulated only the xanthophylls, lutein + zeaxanthin, canthaxanthin or cryptoxanthin. The exotic ungulates, with the exception of the bovids, had negligible or nondetectable carotenoid serum concentrations despite moderate intakes. Bovids accumulated only beta-carotene despite moderately high lutein + zeaxanthin intakes. Wild captive species demonstrated a wide variety of carotenoid accumulation patterns, which could be exploited to answer remaining questions concerning carotenoid metabolism and function. (+info)
(3/318) Natural and experimental oral infection of nonhuman primates by bovine spongiform encephalopathy agents.
Experimental lemurs either were infected orally with the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or were maintained as uninfected control animals. Immunohistochemical examination for proteinase-resistant protein (prion protein or PrP) was performed on tissues from two infected but still asymptomatic lemurs, killed 5 months after infection, and from three uninfected control lemurs. Control tissues showed no staining, whereas PrP was detected in the infected animals in tonsil, gastrointestinal tract and associated lymphatic tissues, and spleen. In addition, PrP was detected in ventral and dorsal roots of the cervical spinal cord, and within the spinal cord PrP could be traced in nerve tracts as far as the cerebral cortex. Similar patterns of PrP immunoreactivity were seen in two symptomatic and 18 apparently healthy lemurs in three different French primate centers, all of which had been fed diets supplemented with a beef protein product manufactured by a British company that has since ceased to include beef in its veterinary nutritional products. This study of BSE-infected lemurs early in their incubation period extends previous pathogenesis studies of the distribution of infectivity and PrP in natural and experimental scrapie. The similarity of neuropathology and PrP immunostaining patterns in experimentally infected animals to those observed in both symptomatic and asymptomatic animals in primate centers suggests that BSE contamination of zoo animals may have been more widespread than is generally appreciated. (+info)
(4/318) Thyroid C-cell carcinoma with amyloid in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes schrenchki).
An amyloid-producing medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes schrenchki) bred in a zoo was examined using histopathologic and immunohistochemical techniques. The neoplastic cells had an ill-defined cytoplasmic membrane and abundant, finely granular eosinophilic cytoplasm, containing numerous argyrophilic granules. The neoplastic tissues were divided into various sizes by a vascular connective stroma, which was partly fibrovascular with broad areas of hyalinization containing varied amounts of amyloid. Immunohistochemically, neoplastic cells showed reactivity to anti-calcitonin, neuron-specific enolase, somatostatin, and keratin antibodies. However, amyloid in the stroma did not show immunoreactivity to the antibodies used. Histologic and immunohistochemical features of MTC in the present animal were analogous to those of the C-cell carcinoma derived from thyroid C cells (parafollicular cells) reported in humans and dogs. (+info)
(5/318) Nocardia nova causing pulmonary nocardiosis of black crakes (Limnocorax flavirostra).
Natural nocardial infection has been reported in many different species including mammals and fish, but reports in birds remain uncommon. Eight juvenile Black Crakes (Limnocoraxflavirostra) died unexpectedly at the Basle Zoo. Necropsy revealed disseminated white, firm nodules, 1-3 mm in diameter, throughout the lung parenchyma. Histologically, the lungs contained multiple, often confluent granulomas with central necrosis. Delicate, gram-positive, 0.5- to 1.0-microm-wide, branching, occasionally beaded, filamentous organisms were visible in necrotic centers. These organisms were acid fast when stained with Fite-Faraco. No histologic lesions were seen in other organs. Nocardia nova was isolated from liver, spleen, kidney, and lung. Granulomatous and necrotizing nocardial pneumonia with agonal septicemia was diagnosed, suggesting an aerogenous infection. To our knowledge, this is the first reported epizootic outbreak of nocardiosis in birds, which is additionally unusual because it was caused by N. nova. (+info)
(6/318) Coxsackievirus B4 myocarditis in an orangutan.
A 37-year-old female orangutan died at the zoological garden. Autopsy examination demonstrated severe coxsackievirus B4 myocarditis immunohistochemically as a cause of the death. Apoptosis of the cardiac muscle cells was observed using the TdT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick endo labeling method and was considered to play a role in the myocarditis. Congestion of the liver and both lungs due to cardiac failure was also observed. Coxsackievirus infection is found frequently in the Okinawan human population. The present orangutan's infection might have come from visitors who were allowed to go near the orangutan. Malignant tumors, severe suppurative infections, and intestinal parasite infections were not observed. Epstein-Barr virus DNA was detected in lymph nodes, but there was no Burkitt's lymphoma. (+info)
(7/318) Fatal measles virus infection in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata).
An outbreak of natural measles virus infection occurred in a group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). Over a period of 4 months, 12 of 53 Japanese macaques died following a 2-23-day history of anorexia, diarrhea, and dermatitis. The monkeys were kept in outdoor exhibits but had been moved temporarily into indoor caging and then transferred to new outdoor exhibits. Ten monkeys died while they were in temporary caging, and two monkeys died after they were moved to new outdoor exhibits. The diagnoses were made based on the results of histopathology, immunohistochemistry (IHC), in situ hybridization (ISH), and electron microscopy. Measles virus antigens were detected in the lung, stomach, skin, salivary gland, spleen, and lymph nodes. Tangled, tubular nucleocapsids compatible with paramyxovirus were noted in the lung tissue. As a result of immunosuppression following measles virus infection, various secondary infections including disseminated cytomegalovirus infection, adenoviral and bacterial pneumonia, and Candida albicans-associated gingivitis and esophagitis were noted. The primary infective source or the mode of infection could not be determined in this outbreak, but measles virus may have been transmitted to the monkeys from human visitors while the monkeys were on exhibit. (+info)
(8/318) Serological detection of Capillaria hepatica by indirect immunofluorescence assay.
In this paper, a serological assay for the detection of antibodies to Capillaria hepatica, a zoonotic parasite, is described. In the past, the only way of detecting Capillaria hepatica was to perform a liver biopsy. The indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) assay, based on liver sections of naturally infected mice and human serum samples, is suitable for detecting early stages of human infections and for screening purposes. No cross-reactivity with other parasitic infections was detected. We have applied the IIF assay to serum samples of 60 employees of the Zoological Garden of Vienna, Schonbrunn, Austria, and found one positive and one questionable sample. (+info)