Animal Plant Health Inspection Service

Miami, FL, United States

Animal Plant Health Inspection Service

Miami, FL, United States
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Rosypal A.C.,Johnson C. Smith University | Smith T.,Johnson C. Smith University | Alexander A.,Johnson C. Smith University | Weaver M.,Pennsylvania Game Commission | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2014

Trypanosoma cruzi is a zoonotic parasite of humans and other mammalian hosts with distribution throughout the Americas. Domestic and wild canine species are reservoirs for human T. cruzi infections. The present study examined the prevalence of antibodies to T. cruzi in wild canids from the United States. Sera from 13 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 263 coyotes (Canis latrans), originating in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, were assayed for antibodies to T. cruzi with immunochromatographic tests. Antibodies to T. cruzi were found in 2 of 276 (0.72%) of all wild canids tested. Both T. cruzi-positive wild canids were coyotes and represented 2 of 21 (9.52%) wild canids assayed from Tennessee. Antibodies to T. cruzi were not detected in red fox. Anti-T. cruzi antibodies were not found in any wild canids from Pennsylvania. These results suggest that coyotes are exposed to T. cruzi in Tennessee but not in Pennsylvania. © Copyright 2014 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Rosypal A.C.,Johnson C. Smith University | Alexander A.,Johnson C. Smith University | Byrd D.,Johnson C. Smith University | Weaver M.,Pennsylvania Game Commission | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2013

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a zoonosis with worldwide distribution. Infections with the Leishmania donovani complex, including Leishmania infantum, cause the VL. Domestic dogs are the most important reservoir host for human VL, and wild canids are also susceptible. In the United States, infections with L. infantum are common in the foxhound dog breed. Little information is available regarding L. infantum in wild canids in the Unites States. Sera from 11 foxes and 256 coyotes originating in Pennsylvania and Tennessee (USA) were tested for antibodies to visceralizing Leishmania spp. with rapid immunochromatographic dipstick assays, which utilize recombinant antigen K39. Anti-Leishmania spp. antibodies were found in 5 of 267 (1.9%) of wild canids from Pennsylvania, including four coyotes and one red fox. These results suggest that wild canids are exposed to Leishmania spp. at a low level in the United States. Copyright 2013 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


PubMed | Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, University of Science and Arts of Iran, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, University of Washington and U.S. Department of Agriculture
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Veterinary parasitology | Year: 2014

Recent studies indicated the predominance of Toxoplasma gondii haplogroup 12 in wildlife in the USA. However, still little is known of the genetic diversity of this parasite circulating in wildlife. In the present study, we tested coyotes (Canis latrans), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and geese (Branta canadensis) from the state of Pennsylvania for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 160 of 367 animals, including 92 (34.5%) of 266 coyotes, 49 (62.0%) of 79 white-tailed deer, 17 (85.0%) of 20 red fox, and two of two Canada geese tested by the modified agglutination test (cut off titer 1:25). Tissues from 105 seropositive animals were bioassayed in mice, and viable T. gondii was isolated from 29 animals, including 10 of 53 coyotes, 11 of 16 foxes, 7 of 49 deer, and one of one goose. DNA isolated from culture-derived tachyzoites of these isolates was characterized initially using multilocus PCR-RFLP markers. Nine genotypes were revealed, including ToxoDB PCR-RFLP #1 (4 isolates), #2 (2 isolates), #3 (4 isolates), #4 (6 isolates), #5 (4 isolates), #54 (1 isolate), #141 (1 isolate), #143 (1 isolate), and #216 (6 isolates), indicating high genetic diversity of T. gondii in wildlife in Pennsylvania. Pathogenicity of six T. gondii isolates (5 of #216 and #141) was determined in outbred Swiss Webster mice. Three of #216 and the #141 isolates were acute virulent to mice, and the other 2 #216 isolates were intermediate virulent. To determine the extent of genetic variation of these as well as a few recently reported virulent isolates from wildlife in North America, intron sequences were generated. Analysis of intron sequences and PCR-RFLP genotyping results indicated that the #216 isolates are likely derived from recombination of the clonal type I and III lineages. To determine if T. gondii virulence can be predicted by typing, we genotyped a collection of strains using PCR-RFLP markers for polymorphic genes ROP5, ROP16, ROP18 and GRA15, which are known to interact with host immune response. The results showed that there is an association of genotypes of ROP5 and ROP18 with mouse-virulence, however, additional gene(s) may also contribute to virulence in distinct T. gondii genotypes.


Skarlinsky T.,Animal Plant Health Inspection Service | Funderburk J.,University of Florida
Florida Entomologist | Year: 2016

Few publications exist toward the identification of larval thrips. As a result, researchers and practitioners often are unable to report larval species data or may misinterpret what is a host plant when adults of multiple species are collected. Therefore, we conducted repetitive plant sampling and detailed examination of larvae with adults, which revealed morphological differences of some undescribed Frankliniella (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) larvae. The morphological differences were confirmed by non-destructive DNA extraction, PCR, and sequencing of the COI mitochondrial gene. A larva II morphological key to 7 Frankliniella species found in Florida is presented with new larval descriptions of 4 species.


PubMed | Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Copenhagen University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Giant African Land Snail Eradication Program Miami
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25-131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48-128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest.


Washburn B.E.,National Wildlife Research Center | Swearingin R.M.,Animal Plant Health Inspection Service | Pullins C.K.,Animal Plant Health Inspection Service | Rice M.E.,Animal Plant Health Inspection Service
Environmental Management | Year: 2016

Green roofs on buildings are becoming popular and represent a new component of the urban landscape. Public benefits of green roof projects include reduced stormwater runoff, improved air quality, reduced urban heat island effects, and aesthetic values. As part of a city-wide plan, several green roofs have been constructed at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Like some other landscaping features, green roofs on or near an airport might attract wildlife and thus increase the risk of bird–aircraft collisions. During 2007–2011, we conducted a series of studies to evaluate wildlife use of newly constructed green roofs and traditional (gravel) roofs on buildings at ORD. These green roofs were 0.04–1.62 ha in area and consisted of primarily stonecrop species for vegetation. A total of 188 birds were observed using roofs during this research. Of the birds using green roofs, 66, 23, and 4 % were Killdeer, European Starlings, and Mourning Doves, respectively. Killdeer nested on green roofs, whereas the other species perched, foraged, or loafed. Birds used green roofs almost exclusively between May and October. Overall, avian use of the green roofs was minimal and similar to that of buildings with traditional roofs. Although green roofs with other vegetation types might offer forage or cover to birds and thus attract potentially hazardous wildlife, the stonecrop-vegetated green roofs in this study did not increase the risk of bird–aircraft collisions. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA)


Carlson D.A.,Utah State University | Gese E.M.,Animal Plant Health Inspection Service
Animal Reproduction Science | Year: 2010

Coyotes (Canis latrans) are seasonally monestrous and form perennial pair-bonds. Breeding is dominated by each pack's alpha male and female, and both sexes share responsibility for territory defense and pup-rearing. They are also opportunistic predators on domestic livestock and pets. But while dominant adults have been implicated as primary killers, depredation is reduced when coyotes are without pups. Contraception, therefore, may represent a non-lethal solution for conflicts between coyotes and humans. Steroid hormones successfully control fertility in some species, but have been considered contraindicated in wildlife and canids in particular; specific concerns include possible induction of aberrant behavior, or uterine and hematopoietic pathologies. Herein we describe a study examining the physiological effectiveness, health safety, and behavioral consequences following treatment of estrous coyotes with exogenous estrogen. We treated captive adult female coyotes in estrus with 0.01 mg/kg estradiol benzoate (EB), either before (n = 5) or immediately after ovulation (n = 6), then documented reproductive outcome, physiological variables and behavioral responses, during and after treatment. Pregnancy was averted in six females treated after ovulation, suggesting that appropriate timing of treatment proved crucial. A transient suppression of sexual behavior was observed, and in some cases, estrus appeared slightly lengthened. However, neither ovulation nor mating behavior was fully suppressed. Importantly, non-pregnant females (and their mates) displayed diestrous socio-sexual behavior similar to pregnant coyotes (behavioral pseudopregnancy). Furthermore, non-pregnant coyotes did not mate again until the next native breeding season, and we observed no deleterious physiological effects during diestrus or subsequent ovarian cycles. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

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