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Glaser L.,Minnesota Board of Animal Health | Carstensen M.,Wildlife Health Program | Shaw S.,Veterinary Services | Robbe-Austerman S.,National Veterinary Services Laboratories | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) was discovered in a Minnesota cow through routine slaughter surveillance in 2005 and the resulting epidemiological investigation led to the discovery of infection in both cattle and white-tailed deer in the state. From 2005 through 2009, a total of 12 beef cattle herds and 27 free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were found infected in a small geographic region of northwestern Minnesota. Genotyping of isolates determined both cattle and deer shared the same strain of bTB, and it was similar to types found in cattle in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Whole genomic sequencing confirmed the introduction of this infection into Minnesota was recent, with little genetic divergence. Aggressive surveillance and management efforts in both cattle and deer continued from 2010-2012; no additional infections were discovered. Over 10,000 deer were tested and 705 whole herd cattle tests performed in the investigation of this outbreak. Source

Rocke T.E.,U.S. Geological Survey | Tripp D.,Wildlife Health Program | Lorenzsonn F.,U.S. Geological Survey | Falendysz E.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 3 more authors.
EcoHealth | Year: 2015

Gunnison’s prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) have been considered at greater risk from Yersinia pestis (plague) infection in the montane portion of their range compared to populations at lower elevations, possibly due to factors related to flea transmission of the bacteria or greater host susceptibility. To test the latter hypothesis and determine whether vaccination against plague with an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) improved survival, we captured prairie dogs from a C. g. gunnisoni or “montane” population and a C. g. zuniensis or “prairie” population for vaccine efficacy and challenge studies. No differences (P = 0.63) were found in plague susceptibility in non-vaccinated animals between these two populations; however, vaccinates from the prairie population survived plague challenge at significantly higher rates (P < 0.01) than those from the montane population. Upon further analysis, we determined that response to immunization was most likely associated with differences in age, as the prairie group was much younger on average than the montane group. Vaccinates that were juveniles or young adults survived plague challenge at a much higher rate than adults (P < 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively), but no difference (P = 0.83) was detected in survival rates between control animals of different ages. These results suggest that host susceptibility is probably not related to the assumed greater risk from plague in the C. g. gunnisoni or “montane” populations of Gunnison’s prairie dogs, and that SPV could be a useful plague management tool for this species, particularly if targeted at younger cohorts. © 2015 International Association for Ecology and Health (outside the USA) Source

Kinsley A.C.,University of Minnesota | Moon R.D.,University of Minnesota | Johnson K.,Metropolitan Mosquito Control District | Carstensen M.,Wildlife Health Program | Craft M.E.,University of Minnesota
Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association | Year: 2016

An adult mosquito survey was conducted at 12 sites using carbon dioxide traps in northern Minnesota throughout the summer of 2012. Specimens were counted, identified to species, sorted into pools, and tested for eastern equine encephalitis (EEEV) and West Nile virus (WNV). Our findings extend the known range of Culiseta melanura, Anopheles barberi, and An. quadrimaculatus and document the presence and abundance of 27 other mosquito taxa in the region. None of the pools tested positive for EEEV or WNV. Copyright © 2016 by The American Mosquito Control Association, Inc. Source

Geremia C.,Colorado State University | Geremia C.,National Park Service | Miller M.W.,Wildlife Health Program | Hoeting J.A.,Colorado State University | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Epidemics of chronic wasting disease (CWD) of North American Cervidae have potential to harm ecosystems and economies. We studied a migratory population of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) affected by CWD for at least three decades using a Bayesian framework to integrate matrix population and disease models with long-term monitoring data and detailed process-level studies. We hypothesized CWD prevalence would be stable or increase between two observation periods during the late 1990s and after 2010, with higher CWD prevalence making deer population decline more likely. The weight of evidence suggested a reduction in the CWD outbreak over time, perhaps in response to intervening harvest-mediated population reductions. Disease effects on deer population growth under current conditions were subtle with a 72% chance that CWD depressed population growth. With CWD, we forecasted a growth rate near one and largely stable deer population. Disease effects appear to be moderated by timing of infection, prolonged disease course, and locally variable infection. Long-term outcomes will depend heavily on whether current conditions hold and high prevalence remains a localized phenomenon. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. Source

Wunschmann A.,University of Minnesota | Armien A.G.,University of Minnesota | Butler E.,Wildlife Health Program | Schrage M.,Fond du Lac Resource Management Division | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2015

The Minnesota, US moose population has declined dramatically since the 1990s. All 54 carcasses of moose that died of unknown cause or were euthanized by gun shot by tribal or Department of Natural Resources personnel because of perceived signs of illness between 2003 and 2013 and eight carcasses of moose that died from vehicular accidents between 2009 and 2013 were submitted to the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and included in our study. The majority of the animals were underweight or cachectic (n=53; 85%). Neural migration presumably by Parelaphostrongylus tenuis was a common finding (n=28; 45%). Moderate to marked Dermacentor albipictus (‘‘winter tick’’) ectoparasitism with widespread alopecia was the cause or a contributing cause of death in 14 (23%) cases in which grossly apparent anemia was associated with exhaustion of hepatic iron stores. Hepatic lesions associated with Fascioloides magna were common (n=37; 60%) but were unlikely to be the cause of death. Environmental factors favoring winter tick survival, habitat expansion of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and the survival of terrestrial and aquatic snails (serving as intermediate hosts for P. tenuis and F. magna), might contribute to the seemingly severe parasitic burden in Minnesota’s moose population. © Wildlife Disease Association 2015. Source

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