New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine

Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine

Auckland, New Zealand

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Chatterton J.,New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine | Chatterton J.,Animal Health Center | Unwin S.,Animal Health Center | Rehman I.U.,University of Sheffield | Bridson-Walton J.M.,University of Liverpool
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2015

A 40-yr-old female chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) presented with intermittent, short-duration episodes of nonspecific clinical signs that included lethargy and reduced responsiveness to external stimuli. Clinical examination and diagnostics suggested obstructive hepatic disease, which was confirmed by subsequent ultrasonographic examination. During routine laparotomy, a biliary calculus was removed from the distal common bile duct and the gallbladder was removed, which resulted in complete clinical recovery. The biliary calculus was analyzed as a mixed composition of predominantly cholesterol, bilirubin, and calcium. © Copyright 2015 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


van Andel M.,Ministry for Primary Industries | Jackson B.H.,New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine | Midwinter A.C.,Massey University | Alley M.R.,Massey University | And 5 more authors.
New Zealand Veterinary Journal | Year: 2015

Abstract: CASE HISTORY: Salmonellosis was suspected as the cause of death in eight wild animals on Tiritiri Matangi Island, in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, between November and September 2011, including three hihi (Notiomystis cincta), a tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), a masked lapwing (Vanellus miles novaehollandiae), and a saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus). An outbreak investigation to identify the source and distribution of infection was undertaken over the summer of 2011–2012. CLINICAL AND LABORATORY FINDINGS: Surveillance of five species of forest bird (n=165) in December 2011 returned a single positive result for Salmonella spp. Environmental sampling of 35 key water sources and hihi supplementary feeding stations conducted in December 2011 and March 2012 returned isolates of S. enterica subspecies houtenae and S. enterica serovar Saintpaul from a stream, a dam and a supplementary feeding station. The same serotypes were identified in tissue samples collected from post mortem specimens of the affected birds, and their similarity was confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. DIAGNOSIS: Mortality in wildlife associated with infection with S. enterica subspecies houtenae and S. enterica serovar Saintpaul. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This is the first detection of these Salmonella spp. from wild birds in New Zealand. Our study highlights how active surveillance in response to observed disease emergence (here mortalities) can provide important insight for risk assessment and management within populations of endangered species and inform risk assessment in translocation planning. © 2015 New Zealand Veterinary Association.


Forsyth M.B.,New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine | Morris A.J.,Diagnostic Medlab | Sinclair D.A.,Auckland University of Technology | Pritchard C.P.,New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine
Zoonoses and Public Health | Year: 2012

Investigation was undertaken to assess the occurrence of zoonotic infection among staff at Auckland Zoological Park, New Zealand, in 1991, 2002 and 2010. Serial cross-sectional health surveys in 1991, 2002 and 2010 comprising a health questionnaire, and serological, immunological and microbiological analysis for a range of potential zoonotic infections were performed. Laboratory results for zoo animals were also reviewed for 2004-2010 to assess the occurrence of potential zoonotic infections. Veterinary clinic, animal handler, grounds, maintenance and administrative staff participated in the surveys, with 49, 42 and 46 participants in the 1991, 2002 and 2010 surveys, respectively (29% of total zoo staff in 2010). A small number of staff reported work-related infections, including erysipelas (1), giardiasis (1) and campylobacteriosis (1). The seroprevalence of antibodies to hepatitis A virus and Toxoplasma gondii closely reflected those in the Auckland community. No carriage of hepatitis B virus (HBV) was detected, and most of those with anti-HBV antibodies had been vaccinated. Few staff had serological evidence of past leptospiral infection. Three veterinary clinic staff had raised Chlamydophila psittaci antibodies, all <1:160 indicating past exposure. Two staff (in 1991) had asymptomatic carriage of Giardia lamblia and one person (in 2010) had a dermatophyte infection. After 1991, positive tests indicating exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis were <10%, comparable to the general New Zealand population. Zoo animals had infections with potential zoonotic agents, including G. lamblia, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp. and T. gondii, although the occurrence was low. Zoonotic agents pose an occupational risk to zoo workers. While there was evidence of some zoonotic transmission at Auckland Zoo, this was uncommon and risks appear to be adequately managed under current policies and procedures. Nevertheless, ongoing assessment of risk factors is needed as environmental, human and animal disease and management factors change. Policies and procedures should be reviewed periodically in conjunction with disease monitoring results for both animals and staff to minimise zoonotic transmission. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Dalziel A.E.,UK Institute of Zoology | Dalziel A.E.,Royal Veterinary College | Sainsbury A.W.,UK Institute of Zoology | McInnes K.,Conservation House Whare Kaupapa Atawhai | And 2 more authors.
EcoHealth | Year: 2016

Conservation translocations are increasingly used to manage threatened species and restore ecosystems. Translocations increase the risk of disease outbreaks in the translocated and recipient populations. Qualitative disease risk analyses have been used as a means of assessing the magnitude of any effect of disease and the probability of the disease occurring associated with a translocation. Currently multiple alternative qualitative disease risk analysis packages are available to practitioners. Here we compare the ease of use, expertise required, transparency, and results from, three different qualitative disease risk analyses using a translocation of the endangered New Zealand passerine, the hihi (Notiomystis cincta), as a model. We show that the three methods use fundamentally different approaches to define hazards. Different methods are used to produce estimations of the risk from disease, and the estimations are different for the same hazards. Transparency of the process varies between methods from no referencing, or explanations of evidence to justify decisions, through to full documentation of resources, decisions and assumptions made. Evidence to support decisions on estimation of risk from disease is important, to enable knowledge acquired in the future, for example, from translocation outcome, to be used to improve the risk estimation for future translocations. Information documenting each disease risk analysis differs along with variation in emphasis of the questions asked within each package. The expertise required to commence a disease risk analysis varies and an action flow chart tailored for the non-wildlife health specialist are included in one method but completion of the disease risk analysis requires wildlife health specialists with epidemiological and pathological knowledge in all three methods. We show that disease risk analysis package choice may play a greater role in the overall risk estimation of the effect of disease on animal populations involved in a translocation than might previously have been realised. © 2016 International Association for Ecology and Health


PubMed | UK Institute of Zoology, Conservation House Whare Kaupapa Atawhai and New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine
Type: | Journal: EcoHealth | Year: 2016

Conservation translocations are increasingly used to manage threatened species and restore ecosystems. Translocations increase the risk of disease outbreaks in the translocated and recipient populations. Qualitative disease risk analyses have been used as a means of assessing the magnitude of any effect of disease and the probability of the disease occurring associated with a translocation. Currently multiple alternative qualitative disease risk analysis packages are available to practitioners. Here we compare the ease of use, expertise required, transparency, and results from, three different qualitative disease risk analyses using a translocation of the endangered New Zealand passerine, the hihi (Notiomystis cincta), as a model. We show that the three methods use fundamentally different approaches to define hazards. Different methods are used to produce estimations of the risk from disease, and the estimations are different for the same hazards. Transparency of the process varies between methods from no referencing, or explanations of evidence to justify decisions, through to full documentation of resources, decisions and assumptions made. Evidence to support decisions on estimation of risk from disease is important, to enable knowledge acquired in the future, for example, from translocation outcome, to be used to improve the risk estimation for future translocations. Information documenting each disease risk analysis differs along with variation in emphasis of the questions asked within each package. The expertise required to commence a disease risk analysis varies and an action flow chart tailored for the non-wildlife health specialist are included in one method but completion of the disease risk analysis requires wildlife health specialists with epidemiological and pathological knowledge in all three methods. We show that disease risk analysis package choice may play a greater role in the overall risk estimation of the effect of disease on animal populations involved in a translocation than might previously have been realised.


Shaw S.D.,James Cook University | Shaw S.D.,New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine | Berger L.,James Cook University | Bell S.,James Cook University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2014

Knowledge of baseline cutaneous bacterial microbiota may be useful in interpreting diagnostic cultures from captive sick frogs and as part of quarantine or pretranslocation disease screening. Bacteria may also be an important part of innate immunity against chytridiomycosis, a fungal skin disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). In February 2009, 92 distinct bacterial isolates from the ventral skin of 64 apparently healthy Leiopelma archeyi and Leiopelma hochstetteri native frogs from the Coromandel and Whareorino regions in New Zealand were identified using molecular techniques. The most-common isolates identified in L. archeyi were Pseudomonas spp. and the most common in L. hochstetteri were Flavobacterium spp. To investigate the possible role of bacteria in innate immunity, a New Zealand strain of Bd (Kaikorai Valley-Lewingii-2008-SDS1) was isolated and used in an in vitro challenge assay to test for inhibition by bacteria. One bacterial isolate, a Flavobacterium sp., inhibited growth of Bd. These results imply that diverse cutaneous bacteria are present and may play a role in the innate defense in Leiopelma against pathogens, including Bd, and are a starting point for further investigation. © Wildlife Disease Association 2014.


Shaw S.D.,New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine | Shaw S.D.,James Cook University | Skerratt L.F.,James Cook University | Kleinpaste R.,New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine | And 2 more authors.
New Zealand Journal of Zoology | Year: 2012

Diets for captive amphibians are often inadequate and lead to poor health. To determine the natural diet of two New Zealand frog species, we analysed the stomach contents of 16 Archey's frogs (Leiopelma archeyi) from the Moehau Range of the Coromandel Peninsula and nine Hochstetter's frogs (Leiopelma hochstetteri) from the Mochau Range of the Coromandel Peninsula, the Hunua Ranges and Maungatautari. These specimens were obtained as by-catch from invertebrate pitfall traps from 2002 to 2008. Both species ate a wide range of invertebrates including springtails, mites, ants, parasitic wasps, amphipods and isopods. Leiopelma archeyi also ate snails. The mean ratio of maximum prey size ingested to snout-vent length in L. archeyi was 0.31 (range 0.16-0.5), and in L. hochstetteri was 0.42 (range 0.21-0.75). We suggest a reformulated captive diet based on the species and size of invertebrates ingested in the wild. This diet may assist in the prevention of metabolic bone disease. © 2012 The Royal Society of New Zealand.


White D.J.,Landcare Research | Hall R.J.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research | Jakob-Hoff R.,New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine | Wang J.,Institute of Environmental Science and Research | And 2 more authors.
New Zealand Veterinary Journal | Year: 2015

AIM: To investigate the initiating causes of cloacitis (inflammation of the cloaca) in kakapo (Strigops habroptilus). METHODS: Metagenomics using unbiased RNA or DNA sequencing was applied to faecal material from an 11-year-old female kakapo with exudative cloacitis, and a pool of eight birds (male and female aged 1–20 years) with no current signs or history of the disease. Faecal material from the diseased bird was collected pre- and post-treatment. For RNA sequencing, extracted RNA/DNA was subject to DNase, and the remaining RNA reverse transcribed to cDNA and subject to multiple displacement amplification prior to sequencing. RESULTS: No significant alignment to any known avian virus sequence was obtained from any faecal samples. However significant BLAST alignments to five bacteriophages known to infect enterobacteria were obtained. Strong evidence was obtained for the presence of the bacteriophage Escherichia phage TL-2011b, a bacteriophage known to occur in Escherichia coli causing outbreaks of foodborne disease in humans, in the sample from the diseased bird, but not the non-diseased pool. Differences in E. coli community structure between the diseased bird and the non-diseased pool were also apparent. CONCLUSIONS: Escherichia coli infection of human origin is suggested as a possible cause of exudative cloacitis, although confirmatory work is required to test this hypothesis. © 2015 New Zealand Veterinary Association.


PubMed | New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zoonoses and public health | Year: 2012

Investigation was undertaken to assess the occurrence of zoonotic infection among staff at Auckland Zoological Park, New Zealand, in 1991, 2002 and 2010. Serial cross-sectional health surveys in 1991, 2002 and 2010 comprising a health questionnaire, and serological, immunological and microbiological analysis for a range of potential zoonotic infections were performed. Laboratory results for zoo animals were also reviewed for 2004-2010 to assess the occurrence of potential zoonotic infections. Veterinary clinic, animal handler, grounds, maintenance and administrative staff participated in the surveys, with 49, 42 and 46 participants in the 1991, 2002 and 2010 surveys, respectively (29% of total zoo staff in 2010). A small number of staff reported work-related infections, including erysipelas (1), giardiasis (1) and campylobacteriosis (1). The seroprevalence of antibodies to hepatitis A virus and Toxoplasma gondii closely reflected those in the Auckland community. No carriage of hepatitis B virus (HBV) was detected, and most of those with anti-HBV antibodies had been vaccinated. Few staff had serological evidence of past leptospiral infection. Three veterinary clinic staff had raised Chlamydophila psittaci antibodies, all < 1 : 160 indicating past exposure. Two staff (in 1991) had asymptomatic carriage of Giardia lamblia and one person (in 2010) had a dermatophyte infection. After 1991, positive tests indicating exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis were < 10%, comparable to the general New Zealand population. Zoo animals had infections with potential zoonotic agents, including G. lamblia, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp. and T. gondii, although the occurrence was low. Zoonotic agents pose an occupational risk to zoo workers. While there was evidence of some zoonotic transmission at Auckland Zoo, this was uncommon and risks appear to be adequately managed under current policies and procedures. Nevertheless, ongoing assessment of risk factors is needed as environmental, human and animal disease and management factors change. Policies and procedures should be reviewed periodically in conjunction with disease monitoring results for both animals and staff to minimise zoonotic transmission.


PubMed | New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians | Year: 2012

Archeys frogs (Leiopelma archeyi) are first on the list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered (EDGE) amphibians. Captive breeding is an important strategy for protection of the species, but programs are hampered by a lack of information on diseases present in wild and captive populations. Two novel nematodes (Koerneria sp. and Rhabditis sp.) were found separately in four captive Archeys frogs showing clinical signs of hemorrhagic purulent nasal discharge and weight loss. One of these frogs also had a novel protozoal infection (Tetrahymena) in the nasal cavity. Koerneria, Rhabditis, and Tetrahymena have not previously been reported in amphibians in New Zealand. One frog was treated successfully with oral moxidectin at 0.4 mg/kg for the nematode infection and topical metronidazole at 10 mg/kg for the protozoal infection. The clinical signs abated only after both infections were cleared. The second frog died before treatment could be established. The third and fourth frogs were found dead.

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