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)
The prevalence of Balantidium coli infection in fifty-six mammalian species.
A total of 375 fecal samples of 56 mammalian species belonging to 17 families of 4 orders were examined for the detection of Balantidium coli from December 1994 to August 1995. As a result, B. coli was found from 6 species belonging to 4 families of 2 orders (Primates and Artiodactyla) of host animals examined. White-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar), squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciurea) and Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) were new hosts for B. coli. All the wild boar (Sus scrofa) and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) examined were positive. The highest number of B. coli was obtained from a chimpanzee (1,230/g feces). No B. coli was detected from the animals of orders Rodentia and Carnivora including dogs and cats. The rarity of B. coli infection in breeding animals in Japan. suggests that there is no serious problem in controlling infections. (+info)
Quantifying the risks of TB infection to cattle posed by badger excreta.
Despite strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that the main route of TB transmission from badgers to cattle is via contaminated badger excreta, it is unclear whether the associated risks are high enough to account for the prevalence of the disease in south-west England. To decide whether this was a viable route of transmission, cattle contact with badger excreta was investigated using a deterministic approach to quantify the risks to cattle posed by badger excreta. Levels of investigative and grazing contacts between cattle and badger urine and faeces could each account for the disease prevalence in south-west England. An infection probability of 3.7 x 10(-4) per bite from pasture contaminated with badger urine infected with Mycobacterium bovis could account for the prevalence of TB in cattle in south-west England. Infection probabilities of 6.9 x 10(-7) per investigation and 1.1 x 10(-7) per bite from badger latrines could each account for the prevalence of TB in cattle in the south-west. When considering only the high risk areas of south-west England these bounds fell by a factor of eight. However, badger excreta may still constitute a high level of risk to cattle. The levels of cattle contact with badger excreta are far higher than previously thought, suggesting that it is the probability of infection per given contact with infected badger excreta which has the greater influence on the probability of transmission and not the level of contact. The infection probability per cattle contact with infected badger excreta is in all likelihood extremely low. (+info)
An account of the longitudinal mucosal corrugations of the human tracheo-bronchial tree, with observations on those of some animals.
A description is given of the distribution of the longitudinal mucosal corrugations in the human tracheo-bronchial tree. It has been shown that they are made up of elastic tissue in a collagen matrix, and that the elastic fibres continue into the smallest bronchioles beyond where the corrugations are no longer visible. An examination has also been made of the tracheo-bronchial trees of the hen, rat, raccoon, pig, sheep, llama and tiger. Corrugations are present in all these animals, except the hen and the raccoon, and they have been compared and contrasted with the condition in Man. The functional significance of these corrugations remains unknown, but, they could be important in equalizing tension in the tracheo-bronchial tree during inspiration, as well as in providing elastic recoil during expiration. (+info)
Estimating population size by genotyping faeces.
Population size is a fundamental biological parameter that is difficult to estimate. By genotyping coyote (Canis latrans) faeces systematically collected in the Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles, California, we exemplify a general, non-invasive method to census large mammals. Four steps are involved in the estimation. First, presumed coyote faeces are collected along paths or roadways where coyotes, like most carnivores, often defaecate and mark territorial boundaries. Second, DNA is extracted from the faeces and species identity and sex is determined by mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome typing. Third, hypervariable microsatellite loci are typed from the faeces. Lastly, rarefaction analysis is used to estimate population size from faecal genotypes. This method readily provides a point count estimate of population size and sex ratio. Additionally, we show that home range use paternity and kinship can be inferred from the distribution and relatedness patterns of faecal genotypes. (+info)
Potential contamination of drinking water with Toxoplasma gondii oocysts.
The world's first documented toxoplasmosis outbreak associated with a municipal water supply was recognized in 1995 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It was hypothesized that domestic cat (Felis catus) or cougar (Felis concolor) faeces contaminated a surface water reservoir with Toxoplasma gondii oocysts. An extensive investigation of the Victoria watershed 1 year following the outbreak documented the presence of an endemic T. gondii cycle involving the animals inhabiting the area. Cats and cougars were observed throughout the watershed. Serological evidence of T. gondii infection was demonstrated among domestic cats living in the Victoria area. Cougars were found to shed T. gondii oocysts. Serological evidence of T. gondii infection in deer mice living in the riparian environments of the watershed suggested that T. gondii oocysts were being shed near the water edge. Contamination of Victoria's water supply with T. gondii oocysts potentially occurred during the study period and future waterborne toxoplasmosis outbreaks in this and other communities are possible. (+info)
Interspecies transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus from the domestic cat to the Tsushima cat (Felis bengalensis euptilura) in the wild.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) was isolated from a wild-caught Tsushima cat (Felis bengalensis euptilura), an endangered Japanese nondomestic subspecies of leopard cat (F. bengalensis). Phylogenetic analysis of the env gene sequences indicated that the FIV from the Tsushima cat belonged to a cluster of subtype D FIVs from domestic cats. FIVs from both the Tsushima cat and the domestic cat showed similar levels of replication and cytopathicity in lymphoid cell lines derived from these two species. The results indicated the occurrence of interspecies transmission of FIV from the domestic cat to the Tsushima cat in the wild. (+info)
A comparison of wildlife control and cattle vaccination as methods for the control of bovine tuberculosis.
The Australian brushtail possum is the major source of infection for new cases of bovine tuberculosis in cattle in New Zealand. Using hypothetical values for the cost of putative cattle and possum Tb vaccines, the relative efforts required to eradicate Tb in cattle using possum culling, possum vaccination or cattle vaccination are compared. For realistic assumed costs for 1080 poison bait, possum culling is found to be a cost-effective strategy compared to cattle vaccination if the required control area is below 13 ha per cattle herd, while possum vaccination is cost-effective for control areas of less than 3 ha per herd. Examination of other considerations such as the possible roles of possum migration and heterogeneities in possum population density suggest that each control strategy may be superior under different field conditions. Finally, the roles of the possum in New Zealand, and the Eurasian badger in Great Britain and Ireland in the transmission of bovine tuberculosis to cattle are compared. (+info)