Pinos Genil, Spain
Pinos Genil, Spain

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Sarasa M.,University of Jaén | Sarasa M.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Perez J.M.,University of Jaén | Alasaad S.,CSIC - Doñana Biological Station | And 6 more authors.
Behavioral Ecology | Year: 2011

Heterogeneity in host compatibility is one of the main hypotheses proposed to explain uneven resistance to parasites and uneven parasite load between hosts. It suggests that differences between hosts modulate their predispositions as suitable environments for their potential parasites. Interesting studies of antiparasitic behavior have reported the existence of behavioral traits that are capable of removing foreign particles and of reducing the success of parasitic infections. These traits favor host neatness, although little is known about the heterogeneity of neatness. We used a standardized pseudoinfection with pseudoectoparasites (PEPs) to test the effects of sex, age, and season on the loss of PEPs by hosts as a means of exploring the factors determining neatness in the Iberian ibex Capra pyrenaica. Behavioral observations were also performed to analyze investment in antiparasitic behavior in terms of sex, age, and season. The life span of PEPs peaked in the period December-January, decreased with host age, and was longer in females than in males. Investment in antiparasitic behavior is also associated with both sex and age and season but in a different pattern with interactions between such factors. Our results disagree with the hypothesis that small-bodied animals should be less compatible to carry contact-transmitted particles, such as ectoparasites, in comparison with larger animals. This preexisting hypothesis is thus an inadequate way of predicting host neatness. Consequently, our experiment underlines the importance that nonimmunological traits play in determining heterogeneity in host compatibility to contact-transmitted foreign bodies and helps improve understanding of neatness and of host-parasite systems. © 2011 The Author.


Sarasa M.,University of Jaén | Sarasa M.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Serrano E.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Perez J.M.,University of Jaén | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Zoology | Year: 2010

Sperm competition is a powerful evolutionary force, and understanding the factors that regulate testes characteristics may lead to a better understanding of the variability in male reproductive success. We explored the effects of age, body condition and season on relative testes mass in the Iberian ibex Capra pyrenaica. We analysed the variability of testes mass from 175 individuals, using a model selection approach based on Akaike's information criterion corrected for a small sample size. The results suggest that season, age and body condition influenced relative testes mass. Allocation to testes mass was greatest in the rutting season (autumn) and at ages that are associated with a subordinate status and a coursing, rather than mate-guarding, reproductive strategy. In addition, males in good condition had relatively heavier testes than those in poor condition. Thus, testes mass in Iberian ibex is governed by multiple factors, and this study leads to a better understanding of gonad plasticity in this polygamous ungulate. The effect of age matches the predictions from theoretical studies on sperm competition, which suggests greater allocation to testes in disadvantaged males. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Zoological Society of London.


Cano-Manuel F.J.,Espacio Natural Sierra Nevada | Lopez-Olvera J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Fandos P.,Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua | Soriguer R.C.,CSIC - Doñana Biological Station | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Microbiology | Year: 2014

Wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations are increasing in the Iberian Peninsula, and population management must include disease management and control. In this study, the epidemiology of 10 selected pathogens (Aujeszky's disease virus - ADV, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus - PRRSV, porcine influenza virus, porcine circovirus, porcine parvovirus, Erysipelotrix rhusiopathiae, Leptospira pomona, Chlamydia/Chlamydiaceae sp., Salmonella sp. and Mycobacterium bovis) in the wild boar population in Sierra Nevada National Park (SNNP), an open unfenced area, is reported, taking into account wild boar population abundance variation in space and time in an open unfenced environment. A total of 1103 wild boar were sampled in 141 hunting events randomly carried out for sampling in seven hunting seasons (October to February from 2002-2003 to 2009-2010 (except 2007-2008). Prevalence was overall lower than those previously reported for fenced wild boar populations in Spain, but all the pathogens analyzed except PRRSV were considered endemic in the SNNP. ADV, E. rhusiopathiae and total pathogen prevalence were positively correlated to wild boar density. Prevalence in the positive areas was significantly higher in females for ADV, E. rhusiopathiae, L. pomona, Chlamydia/. Chlamydiaceae sp. and Salmonella sp., and in males for M. bovis. This longitudinal study provides the first data on the health status of the relatively unmanaged and low density wild boar population of SNNP. It is concluded that non-intensively managed wild boar populations are able to maintain the circulation of several pathogens, even in low prevalences and in open unfenced areas with natural density variation both in time and space. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Lopez-Olvera J.R.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Serrano E.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Serrano E.,University of Aveiro | Armenteros A.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 9 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: In sexually dimorphic species, male susceptibility to parasite infection and mortality is frequently higher than in females. The Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) is a sexually dimorphic mountain ungulate endemic to the Iberian Peninsula commonly affected by sarcoptic mange, a chronic catabolic skin disease caused by Sarcoptes scabiei. Since 1992, sarcoptic mange affects the Iberian ibex population of the Sierra Nevada Natural Space (SNNS). This study aims at exploring whether mange severity, in terms of prevalence and its effects on body condition, is male-biased in Iberian ibex. Findings: One thousand and seventy-one adult Iberian ibexes (439 females and 632 males) were randomly shot-harvested in the SNNS from May 1995 to February 2008. Sarcoptic mange stage was classified as healthy, mildly infected or severely infected. Sex-biased prevalence of severe mange was evaluated by a Chi-square test whereas the interaction between mange severity and sex on body condition was assessed by additive models. Among scabietic individuals, the prevalence of severely affected males was 1.29 times higher than in females. On the other hand, both sexes were not able to take profit of a higher availability of seasonal food resources when sarcoptic, particularly in the severe stages. Conclusions: Sarcoptic mange severity is male-biased in Iberian ibex, though not mange effects on body condition. Behavioural, immunological and physiological characteristics of males may contribute to this partial sex-biased susceptibility to sarcoptic mange. © 2015 López-Olvera et al.


Carvalho J.,University of Aveiro | Carvalho J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Granados J.E.,Espacio Natural Sierra Nevada | Lopez-Olvera J.R.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 11 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: Both parasitic load and resource availability can impact individual fitness, yet little is known about the interplay between these parameters in shaping body condition, a key determinant of fitness in wild mammals inhabiting seasonal environments. Methods: Using partial least square regressions (PLSR), we explored how temporal variation in climatic conditions, vegetation dynamics and sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) severity impacted body condition of 473 Iberian ibexes (Capra pyrenaica) harvested between 1995 and 2008 in the highly seasonal Alpine ecosystem of Sierra Nevada Natural Space (SNNS), southern Spain. Results: Bottom-up regulation was found to only occur in healthy ibexes; the condition of infected ibexes was independent of primary productivity and snow cover. No link between ibex abundance and ibex body condition could be established when only considering infected individuals. Conclusions: The pernicious effects of mange on Iberian ibexes overcome the benefits of favorable environmental conditions. Even though the increase in primary production exerts a positive effect on the body condition of healthy ibexes, the scabietic individuals do not derive any advantage from increased resource availability. Further applied research coupled with continuous sanitary surveillance are needed to address remaining knowledge gaps associated with the transmission dynamics and management of sarcoptic mange in free-living populations. © 2015 Carvalho et al.


PubMed | University of Jaén, Shiraz University, University of Extremadura and Espacio Natural Sierra Nevada
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Veterinary parasitology | Year: 2015

The identification of Oestrus spp. larvae from Bovidae hosts is a difficult task due to the great morphological similarity between species. The lack of unambiguous identification criteria could have also serious epidemiological implications since domestic and wild hosts are sympatric in many natural areas. In order to accurately identify the Oestrus parasitizing hosts, we characterized two different genetic markers, 28S (rRNA) and COI, in larvae collected from domestic sheep and goats, European mouflon and Iberian ibex. Our sequence analyses demonstrate that all samples, except those from Iberian ibex, greatly resembles O. ovis and so we conclude that the species parasitizing this ibex is not O. ovis. Further studies will be needed to confirm whether it is in fact O. caucasicus, as previously suggested, or even a new species.


PubMed | University of Jaén, CSIC - Doñana Biological Station, Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua, Espacio Natural Sierra Nevada and Autonomous University of Barcelona
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Veterinary microbiology | Year: 2014

Wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations are increasing in the Iberian Peninsula, and population management must include disease management and control. In this study, the epidemiology of 10 selected pathogens (Aujeszkys disease virus - ADV, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus - PRRSV, porcine influenza virus, porcine circovirus, porcine parvovirus, Erysipelotrix rhusiopathiae, Leptospira pomona, Chlamydia/Chlamydiaceae sp., Salmonella sp. and Mycobacterium bovis) in the wild boar population in Sierra Nevada National Park (SNNP), an open unfenced area, is reported, taking into account wild boar population abundance variation in space and time in an open unfenced environment. A total of 1103 wild boar were sampled in 141 hunting events randomly carried out for sampling in seven hunting seasons (October to February from 2002-2003 to 2009-2010 (except 2007-2008). Prevalence was overall lower than those previously reported for fenced wild boar populations in Spain, but all the pathogens analyzed except PRRSV were considered endemic in the SNNP. ADV, E. rhusiopathiae and total pathogen prevalence were positively correlated to wild boar density. Prevalence in the positive areas was significantly higher in females for ADV, E. rhusiopathiae, L. pomona, Chlamydia/Chlamydiaceae sp. and Salmonella sp., and in males for M. bovis. This longitudinal study provides the first data on the health status of the relatively unmanaged and low density wild boar population of SNNP. It is concluded that non-intensively managed wild boar populations are able to maintain the circulation of several pathogens, even in low prevalences and in open unfenced areas with natural density variation both in time and space.


PubMed | Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua, Espacio Natural Sierra Nevada, Autonomous University of Barcelona, UK Institute of Zoology and 3 more.
Type: | Journal: Parasites & vectors | Year: 2015

Both parasitic load and resource availability can impact individual fitness, yet little is known about the interplay between these parameters in shaping body condition, a key determinant of fitness in wild mammals inhabiting seasonal environments.Using partial least square regressions (PLSR), we explored how temporal variation in climatic conditions, vegetation dynamics and sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) severity impacted body condition of 473 Iberian ibexes (Capra pyrenaica) harvested between 1995 and 2008 in the highly seasonal Alpine ecosystem of Sierra Nevada Natural Space (SNNS), southern Spain.Bottom-up regulation was found to only occur in healthy ibexes; the condition of infected ibexes was independent of primary productivity and snow cover. No link between ibex abundance and ibex body condition could be established when only considering infected individuals.The pernicious effects of mange on Iberian ibexes overcome the benefits of favorable environmental conditions. Even though the increase in primary production exerts a positive effect on the body condition of healthy ibexes, the scabietic individuals do not derive any advantage from increased resource availability. Further applied research coupled with continuous sanitary surveillance are needed to address remaining knowledge gaps associated with the transmission dynamics and management of sarcoptic mange in free-living populations.


PubMed | Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua, Espacio Natural Sierra Nevada, Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Jaén and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Parasites & vectors | Year: 2015

In sexually dimorphic species, male susceptibility to parasite infection and mortality is frequently higher than in females. The Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) is a sexually dimorphic mountain ungulate endemic to the Iberian Peninsula commonly affected by sarcoptic mange, a chronic catabolic skin disease caused by Sarcoptes scabiei. Since 1992, sarcoptic mange affects the Iberian ibex population of the Sierra Nevada Natural Space (SNNS). This study aims at exploring whether mange severity, in terms of prevalence and its effects on body condition, is male-biased in Iberian ibex.One thousand and seventy-one adult Iberian ibexes (439 females and 632 males) were randomly shot-harvested in the SNNS from May 1995 to February 2008. Sarcoptic mange stage was classified as healthy, mildly infected or severely infected. Sex-biased prevalence of severe mange was evaluated by a Chi-square test whereas the interaction between mange severity and sex on body condition was assessed by additive models. Among scabietic individuals, the prevalence of severely affected males was 1.29 times higher than in females. On the other hand, both sexes were not able to take profit of a higher availability of seasonal food resources when sarcoptic, particularly in the severe stages.Sarcoptic mange severity is male-biased in Iberian ibex, though not mange effects on body condition. Behavioural, immunological and physiological characteristics of males may contribute to this partial sex-biased susceptibility to sarcoptic mange.


PubMed | Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua, Espacio Natural Sierra Nevada, Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Jaén and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Parasitology research | Year: 2015

Sarcoptic mange is a contagious skin disease caused by Sarcoptes scabiei, affecting both domestic and wild mammals, including the Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica), a medium-sized mountain ungulate almost endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. Acute phase proteins (APPs) could be an indicator of sarcoptic mange disease and severity in Iberian ibex. Serum samples from 131 healthy and sarcoptic mange-affected Iberian ibexes were collected from 2005 to 2012 in Sierra Nevada Natural Space in southern Spain. Serum alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), serum amyloid A (SAA) and haptoglobin (Hp) concentrations were quantified, and statistically significant differences according to sarcoptic mange disease and severity were assessed. Both AGP and SAA were significantly higher in the sarcoptic mange-affected ibexes than in the healthy ones as well as in the severely affected ibexes as compared to those with less than 50% of the body surface affected. For the first time, changes in APP are reported in relation to sarcoptic mange in Iberian ibex. It is also reported for the first time that the intensity of APP increase depends on the severity of sarcoptic mange, which could be related with the pathological secondary amyloidosis, leading to organ dysfunction in severely mange-affected animals. Species and population differences in the increase of APP in response to sarcoptic mange could indicate individual and population differences in the immune capability of each population to deal with mange, population prevalence and mortality being the last indicators of such sensitivity.

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