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Detection and Impact of BVDV in Zoos and Wildlife Parks


Detection and Impact of BVDV in Zoos and Wildlife Parks J.F. Evermann D.D. Nelson M.J. Dark* College of Veterinary Medicine Washington State University – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Detection and Impact of BVDV in Zoos and Wildlife Parks

Detection and Impactof BVDV in Zoos andWildlife
  • J.F. Evermann
  • D.D. Nelson
  • M.J. Dark
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Washington State University
  • Pullman, WA 99164
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • 1/26/09

Four Key Questions Applied to Infections of
  • Where is the virus when not causing disease
  • What are the contributing factors to the
    infection/disease process (epidemiology)?
  • What factors can we control to minimize or
    eliminate the infection/disease process?
  • Is the infection/disease zoonotic (public health

BVDV- Four Key Questions
  • Ecology Transiently infected (TI) animals shed
    4-12 wks, persistently infected (PI) animals shed
    for life (fecal, saliva, urine, semen, aerosol,
  • Epidemiology Close confinement naïve immune
    status pregnancy have a BVD TI and/or BVD PI in
  • Control Test for BVDV infection by PCR VI Ag
    ELISA. Vaccinate susceptible animals, especially
    pre-breeding. Want immune animals in the
    production cycle (herd immunity)
  • Zoonotic No

How do these questions apply to BVDV in captive
exotic/wild animals in zoos and wildlife parks?
  • Not new questions- disease associated with
    captive deer in 1950s 1960s
  • Infection documented using BVD-specific serologic
    assays 1970s 1980s
  • Lab capabilities have increased for virus
    detection (IHC on fixed tissues PCR VI)

Free-roaming wildlife
Sheep Goats
Captive Wildlife
What is the extent of BVDV infection?
  • Serologic surveys in free-ranging and captive
    wildlife animal populations demonstrated prior
    infection with BVDV or related pestiviruses in
    more than 40 species in North America
  • Van Campen,
  • Frolich Hoffman,
  • 2001

  • While serologic surveys indicated
    exposure/infection of wild ruminants to BVDV is
    common, isolation of the virus from these species
    is only rarely reported
  • Nelson, et al, 2008

BVDV isolation (hence susceptibility to
infection and virus replication)
  • Mule deer
  • White-tailed deer
  • Japanese serow
  • Canadian bison
  • Water buffalo
  • Roe deer
  • Mouse deer
  • Dorcus gazelle
  • Elk
  • Red deer
  • Bongo
  • Eland
  • Wildebeest
  • Nilgai
  • Axis deer
  • Barasingha deer

Tale of Two Cases
Case 1
  • 1 year old male Dorcas gazelle
  • Originally from the National Zoo 4/87
  • Died 12/87 after several days of lethargy,
    anorexia, and diarrhia
  • Necropsy revealed hemorrhagic gut, and animal was
    thin (10Kg)
  • Dr. Briggs suspected parasitic enteritis and
    possible debilitating condition, check for BVDV
  • BVDV isolated in cell culture, NCP/FA
  • No typing conducted
  • No further epidemiology conducted

Tale of Two Cases (continued)
  • Involved two male mountain goats
  • 7 months old 6 months old
  • Originally obtained from a holding facility in
    Montana 9/04
  • 1st animal died 1/05 2nd animal died 5/05
  • Both goats not gaining weight/failure to thrive
  • Dr. Call submitted a full set of fixed and fresh
    tissues for analysis
  • BVDV isolated from both goats, NCP/PCR
  • Typing epidemiology conducted

Case 2
Courtesy of Dr. J. Ridpath
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Case 2 (continued)
  • Isolation of a pestivirus from goat 1 prompted a
    serosurvey of the ruminants in the collection.
    Both EDTA and serum were collected.

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Questions to Answer
  • How well does BVDV sustain itself in a given
  • Is it acute/TI driven?
  • Is it persistent/PI driven?
  • Is there a hierarchy of infection/disease
    susceptibility amongst domestic livestock and
    wildlife in captivity, and wildlife free roaming?
  • Should we be shifting from reactive medicine,
    i.e. detection diagnosis of disease to
    preventative medicine, and control (biosecurity)?

Evidence for BVD PI or susceptibility to BVD
congenital infections in wildlife
  • Eland
  • Mouse deer (zoo)
  • White-tailed deer
  • White-tailed deer
  • Mule deer
  • Mt. goats (captive)
  • Vilcek et al, 2000
  • Grondahl et al, 2003
  • Passler et al, 2003
  • Duncan et al, 2008
  • Duncan et al, 2008
  • Nelson et al, 2008

Common cattle ranching area experimental
infection natural infection
Management of exotic animal collections I.
i.e. zoos, wildlife parks,
translocation centers, etc
  • Awareness of interspecies susceptibility and
    transmissibility of BVDV
  • Quarantine, testing for carriers (PIs)
  • Vaccinations for these animals
  • Integration w/ existing management plans
  • (species survival plans)
  • Diagnostic/detection capabilities increased

Management of exotic animal collections II.
  • Understanding the risks associated with common
    winter feeding grounds (elk, deer, cattle, etc)
  • Mixing more than one species in translocation
  • Commingling animal collections to achieve
    natural conditions

Broader ImplicationsBiosecurity Plans
  • Screening for TB Johnes MCF coronavirus BVDV
    infections (TI and PI) etc
  • Proper quarantine of pregnant animals
    - most vulnerable stage for congenital
    infection establishing PI
  • Proactive clinicians/diagnosticians
  • Vaccination?

  • Sporadic episodes of BVD have occurred in some
    zoos ( wildlife parks) with serious illness and
    death, suggests that BVD vaccination of captive
    wild ruminants can be justified. We recommend
    that only killed BVD vaccines be used in captive
    exotic ruminants.
  • Doyle Heuschele, 1983

  • The authors wish to express their thanks to Drs.
    Neil Call and Mike Briggs for case referrals.
    Appreciation to the faculty and staff at
    Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab for
    insights and case support. Thanks to Dr. Julia
    Ridpath for her support of the molecular
    epidemiology of BVDV and Ms. Trista Harvey and
    BCU crew for help with the PowerPoint.

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