Utrecht, Netherlands
Utrecht, Netherlands

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Kik M.,Dutch Wildlife Health Center | Martel A.,Ghent University | Sluijs A.S.V.D.,Reptile | Pasmans F.,Ghent University | And 3 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2011

In 2010, a mass die-off of over 1000 wild water frogs (Pelophylax spp.) and at least 10 common newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) occurred in a pond in The Netherlands. Haemorrhagic disease with hepatomegaly and splenomegaly was evident. Microscopically, multiple organs presented cells with multifocal intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies, in which ranavirus-like particles were demonstrated ultrastructurally. All specimens examined tested positive for ranavirus by PCR. The sequence obtained showed a 100% identity with the one deposited for common midwife toad virus (CMTV). This is the first report of ranavirus-associated mortality in wild amphibian populations in The Netherlands. It is also the first time CMTV or a CMTV-like virus has been reported in these two species in the adult stage and outside of Spain. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Spitzen-Van Der Sluijs A.,Reptile | Spitzen-Van Der Sluijs A.,Ghent University | Van Den Broek J.,University Utrecht | Kik M.,Dutch Wildlife Health Center | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2016

The ranaviruses are an emerging group of viruses that infect amphibians, fish, and reptiles. Although ranaviruses have not been linked to extinctions, emergence in amphibian communities has resulted in population declines for some species. We present the results of ranavirus-associated mortality in a Dutch national park in the aftermath of an outbreak associated with a common midwife toad virus (CMTV)–like ranavirus. We monitored five bodies of water across Dwingelderveld National Park, the Netherlands, in 2011–13. Dead and live amphibians were counted weekly July–September and every 2 wk in June and October. Dead amphibians were collected and tested for ranavirus infection. In addition, we measured biologic, chemical, and physical site characteristics to test for a correlation with ranavirus-associated mortality. Ranavirus infection was widespread in our study area and we observed nearly continuous presence of dead, ranavirus-infected amphibians in the presence of asymptomatic, live amphibians throughout our study. Fatalities occurred in larval, subadult, and adult amphibians. Ranavirus infection prevalence (based on fatal cases) was significantly associated with increasing fractions of adults and subadults compared to juveniles and larvae in the population, but was unrelated to any other measured site characteristics. Our findings showed that a CMTV-like ranavirus can persist long term in an ecosystem, affecting a diversity of amphibian species and life stages for a prolonged period. This study illustrates the importance of monitoring the modes of spread for ranaviruses and their impact on amphibian populations. © Wildlife Disease Association 2016.


Masry I.E.,Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Disease | Rijks J.,Dutch Wildlife Health Center | Peyre M.,Animal et Gestion Integree des Risques | Taylor N.,University of Reading | And 2 more authors.
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2014

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) due to H5N1 virus was first reported in Egypt in February 2006; since then, the government has allowed avian influenza vaccination in poultry. The present study evaluated the impact of AI vaccination in terms of cumulative annual flock immunity (CAFI): the percentage of bird × weeks protected by immunity. This evaluation took account of the combined effects of vaccination coverage, vaccine efficacy (VE), and different characteristics of household poultry production on the effectiveness of the adopted vaccination strategy (VS), and provided alternative options for improvement. The evaluation used a population and vaccinationmodel that calculates the CAFI. Participatory approaches were employed in 21 villages to develop the vaccination and flock parameters required for the model. The adopted VS were compared in the model with three alternative VS scenarios in terms of the CAFI. Vaccination coverage varied among villages but was generally low (between 1 and 48 %; median 14 %). Under the adopted VS, the CAFI predicted for the villages ranged from 2 to 31 %. It was concluded that despite the enormous effort put into rural household poultry AI vaccination by the Egyptian government, village CAFI is unlikely to be maintained at the levels required to significantly reduce the virus load and restrict transmission. In HPAI-endemic countries that consider AI vaccination as one of the disease control options, the high cost of mass AI vaccination campaigns and their achievable benefits must be compared with other available control measures, which may include targeted vaccination. Achievable vaccination coverage, VE and the different characteristics of commercial and household (village) poultry production are key parameters determining the feasibility and costeffectiveness of different AI vaccination strategies. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013.


Gaubert P.,Montpellier University | Njiokou F.,University of Yaounde I | Olayemi A.,Obafemi Awolowo University | Pagani P.,Dutch Wildlife Health Center | And 8 more authors.
Molecular Ecology Resources | Year: 2015

The bushmeat trade in tropical Africa represents illegal, unsustainable off-takes of millions of tons of wild game - mostly mammals - per year. We sequenced four mitochondrial gene fragments (cyt b, COI, 12S, 16S) in >300 bushmeat items representing nine mammalian orders and 59 morphological species from five western and central African countries (Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea). Our objectives were to assess the efficiency of cross-species PCR amplification and to evaluate the usefulness of our multilocus approach for reliable bushmeat species identification. We provide a straightforward amplification protocol using a single 'universal' primer pair per gene that generally yielded >90% PCR success rates across orders and was robust to different types of meat preprocessing and DNA extraction protocols. For taxonomic identification, we set up a decision pipeline combining similarity- and tree-based approaches with an assessment of taxonomic expertise and coverage of the GENBANK database. Our multilocus approach permitted us to: (i) adjust for existing taxonomic gaps in GENBANK databases, (ii) assign to the species level 67% of the morphological species hypotheses and (iii) successfully identify samples with uncertain taxonomic attribution (preprocessed carcasses and cryptic lineages). High levels of genetic polymorphism across genes and taxa, together with the excellent resolution observed among species-level clusters (neighbour-joining trees and Klee diagrams) advocate the usefulness of our markers for bushmeat DNA typing. We formalize our DNA typing decision pipeline through an expert-curated query database - DNAbushmeat - that shall permit the automated identification of African forest bushmeat items. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Gaubert P.,French Natural History Museum | Bloch C.,SYLVATROP | Benyacoub S.,University dAnnaba | Abdelhamid A.,Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The recent discovery of a lineage of gray wolf in North-East Africa suggests the presence of a cryptic canid on the continent, the African wolf Canis lupus lupaster. We analyzed the mtDNA diversity (cytochrome b and control region) of a series of African Canis including wolf-like animals from North and West Africa. Our objectives were to assess the actual range of C. l. lupaster, to further estimate the genetic characteristics and demographic history of its lineage, and to question its taxonomic delineation from the golden jackal C. aureus, with which it has been considered synonymous. We confirmed the existence of four distinct lineages within the gray wolf, including C. lupus/familiaris (Holarctic wolves and dogs), C. l. pallipes, C. l. chanco and C. l. lupaster. Taxonomic assignment procedures identified wolf-like individuals from Algeria, Mali and Senegal, as belonging to C. l. lupaster, expanding its known distribution c. 6,000 km to the west. We estimated that the African wolf lineage (i) had the highest level of genetic diversity within C. lupus, (ii) coalesced during the Late Pleistocene, contemporaneously with Holarctic wolves and dogs, and (iii) had an effective population size of c. 80,000 females. Our results suggest that the African wolf is a relatively ancient gray wolf lineage with a fairly large, past effective population size, as also suggested by the Pleistocene fossil record. Unique field observations in Senegal allowed us to provide a morphological and behavioral diagnosis of the African wolf that clearly distinguished it from the sympatric golden jackal. However, the detection of C. l. lupaster mtDNA haplotypes in C. aureus from Senegal brings the delineation between the African wolf and the golden jackal into question. In terms of conservation, it appears urgent to further characterize the status of the African wolf with regard to the African golden jackal. © 2012 Gaubert et al.


PubMed | Dutch Wildlife Health Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Veterinary journal (London, England : 1997) | Year: 2011

In 2010, a mass die-off of over 1000 wild water frogs (Pelophylax spp.) and at least 10 common newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) occurred in a pond in The Netherlands. Haemorrhagic disease with hepatomegaly and splenomegaly was evident. Microscopically, multiple organs presented cells with multifocal intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies, in which ranavirus-like particles were demonstrated ultrastructurally. All specimens examined tested positive for ranavirus by PCR. The sequence obtained showed a 100% identity with the one deposited for common midwife toad virus (CMTV). This is the first report of ranavirus-associated mortality in wild amphibian populations in The Netherlands. It is also the first time CMTV or a CMTV-like virus has been reported in these two species in the adult stage and outside of Spain.

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