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Girard, PA, United States

Hyatt M.W.,Adventure Aquarium | Georoff T.A.,Philadelphia Zoo | Nollens H.H.,SeaWorld San Diego | Wells R.L.,Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2015

Aspergillosis is a common respiratory fungal disease in penguins managed under human care. Triazole antifungal drugs, including itraconazole, are most commonly used for treatment; however, itraconazole treatment failures from drug resistance are becoming more common, requiring newer treatment options. Voriconazole, a newer triazole, is being used more often. Until recently, no voriconazole pharmacokinetic studies had been performed in penguins, leading to empiric dosing based on other avian studies. This has led to increased anecdotal reporting of apparent voriconazole toxicity in penguins. This report describes 18 probable and 6 suspected cases of voriconazole toxicity in six penguin species from nine institutions: 12 African penguins (Spheniscus demersus), 5 Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti), 3 Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus), 2 gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua papua), 1 macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus), and 1 emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri). Observed clinical signs of toxicity included anorexia, lethargy, weakness, ataxia, paresis, apparent vision changes, seizure-like activity, and generalized seizures. Similar signs of toxicity have also been reported in humans, in whom voriconazole therapeutic plasma concentration for Aspergillus spp. infections is 2-6 μg/ml. Plasma voriconazole concentrations were measured in 18 samples from penguins showing clinical signs suggestive of voriconazole toxicity. The concentrations ranged from 8.12 to 64.17 μg/ml, with penguins having plasma concentrations above 30 μg/ml exhibiting moderate to severe neurologic signs, including ataxia, paresis, and seizures. These concentrations were well above those known to result in central nervous system toxicity, including encephalopathy, in humans. This case series highlights the importance of species-specific dosing of voriconazole in penguins and plasma therapeutic drug monitoring. Further investigation, including pharmacokinetic studies, is warranted. The authors recommend caution in determining voriconazole dosages for use in penguin species. © Copyright 2015 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Kierulff M.C.M.,Federal University of Espirito Santo | Kierulff M.C.M.,Instituto Pri Matas para a Conservacao da Biodiversidade | Ruiz-Miranda C.R.,State University of Norte Fluminense | de Oliveira P.P.,Instituto Pri Matas para a Conservacao da Biodiversidade | And 5 more authors.
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2012

In 1960, the Golden lion tamarin Leontopithecus rosalia was almost extinct in the wild and the captive population, with poor reproduction and survival, was not well established. In the 1970s, after many improvements, the captive population began to grow and the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve was created to protect the species. In the 1980s, long-term research was begun on the demography and socio-ecology of the Golden lion tamarins, along with community environmental education and a reintroduction programme of captive-born animals (initially in the reserve, later in neighbouring private forests). About 30 zoos contributed the 146 captive-born reintroduced tamarins, and provided information on social behaviour, nutrition and health that was critical to developing reintroduction strategies. In 1994, threatened groups isolated in small fragments were rescued and translocated to a protected forest. Both programmes have been successful as measured by survival and reproduction after release, and both techniques have established growing populations. Although new threats (introduction of exotic primates) continue to challenge our efforts to preserve the species, there is no doubt of the success of almost 30 years of the Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Programme. © 2012 The Authors. International Zoo Yearbook © 2012 The Zoological Society of London.

Sim R.R.,Maryland Zoo in Baltimore | Sim R.R.,Birmingham Zoo Inc. | Allender M.C.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Crawford L.K.,Johns Hopkins University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2016

Frog virus 3 (FV3) and FV3-like viruses are members of the genus Ranavirus (family Iridoviridae) and are becoming recognized as significant pathogens of eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) in North America. In July 2011, 5 turtles from a group of 27 in Maryland, USA, presented dead or lethargic with what was later diagnosed as fibrinonecrotic stomatitis and cloacitis. The presence of FV3-like virus and herpesvirus was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the tested index cases. The remaining 22 animals were isolated, segregated by severity of clinical signs, and treated with nutritional support, fluid therapy, ambient temperature management, antibiotics, and antiviral therapy. Oral swabs were tested serially for FV3-like virus by quantitative real-Time PCR (qPCR) and tested at day 0 for herpesvirus and Mycoplasma sp. by conventional PCR. With oral swabs, 77% of the 22 turtles were FV3-like virus positive; however, qPCR on tissues taken during necropsy revealed the true prevalence was 86%. FV3-like virus prevalence and the median number of viral copies being shed significantly declined during the outbreak. The prevalence of herpesvirus and Mycoplasma sp. by PCR of oral swabs at day 0 was 55% and 68%, respectively. The 58% survival rate was higher than previously reported in captive eastern box turtles for a ranavirus epizootic. All surviving turtles brumated normally and emerged the following year with no clinical signs during subsequent monitoring. The immediate initiation of treatment and intensive supportive care were considered the most important contributing factors to the successful outcome in this outbreak. © Copyright 2016 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

News Article
Site: www.reuters.com

Klondike, a female polar bear, was euthanized after weeks of worsening medical conditions that included mobility problems and infections, officials said. "There was no significant improvement in her condition, and given her advanced age and poor prognosis, zoo staff decided that the best decision would be to humanely euthanize her," Philadelphia Zoo said in a statement posted on Facebook. Klondike exceeded the typical lifespan for her species, which in captivity lives to about 30 years and generally no longer than 20 years in the wild, according to the Pittsburgh Zoo. The zoo's Coldilocks, also 34, has become the country's new oldest polar bear. Both bears arrived at the zoo in October 1981, the year after they were born in different parts of New York state. The world record-holding oldest polar bear, named Debby, died at age 42 seven years ago at Canada's Assiniboine Park Zoo. Polar bears, which can stand as high as 11 feet (3.35 meters) tall and weigh as much as 1,400 pounds (635 kg), use floating sea ice as platforms for hunting, mating and traveling vast distances in the Arctic. They were listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2008 due to disappearing sea ice, becoming the first animals granted such protection because of conditions tied to global climate change.

Archie E.A.,Smithsonian Institution | Archie E.A.,University of Notre Dame | Henry T.,Smithsonian Institution | Henry T.,George Mason University | And 7 more authors.
Immunogenetics | Year: 2010

Genes of the vertebrate major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are crucial to defense against infectious disease, provide an important measure of functional genetic diversity, and have been implicated in mate choice and kin recognition. As a result, MHC loci have been characterized for a number of vertebrate species, especially mammals; however, elephants are a notable exception. Our study is the first to characterize patterns of genetic diversity and natural selection in the elephant MHC. We did so using DNA sequences from a single, expressed DQA locus in elephants. We characterized six alleles in 30 African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and four alleles in three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). In addition, for two of the African alleles and three of the Asian alleles, we characterized complete coding sequences (exons 1-5) and nearly complete non-coding sequences (introns 2-4) for the class II DQA loci. Compared to DQA in other wild mammals, we found moderate polymorphism and allelic diversity and similar patterns of selection; patterns of non-synonymous and synonymous substitutions were consistent with balancing selection acting on the peptides involved in antigen binding in the second exon. In addition, balancing selection has led to strong trans-species allelism that has maintained multiple allelic lineages across both genera of extant elephants for at least 6 million years. We discuss our results in the context of MHC diversity in other mammals and patterns of evolution in elephants. © Springer-Verlag 2009.

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