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The association between diet of periurban wild dogs and zoonotic pathogen carriage

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Harriott, L., Gentle, M. N., Traub, R., Soares Magalhães, R. J. and Cobbold, R. (2019) The association between diet of periurban wild dogs and zoonotic pathogen carriage. Australian Mammalogy, 41 (2). pp. 241-249.


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/AM18042

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/AM18042


Established wildlife populations in periurban environments provide an opportunity to spread zoonotic pathogens within human-associated environments. Characteristics of prevalent pathogens harboured by periurban wild dogs suggest that dietary preference could influence their infection status; however, data comparing diet composition and pathogen presence are rarely available. We analysed the stomach contents of 170 periurban wild dogs (Canis familiaris) for the occurrence and biomass of prey items, and then associated this with their known infection status of key zoonotic pathogens. The staple prey items detected were mammalian prey species, most commonly swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor) (20.6 ± 6.1%), canines (C. familiaris) (prey) (10.6 ± 4.6%), eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) (10.0 ± 4.5%), and deer (various species) (10.0 ± 4.5%). Unidentified bird species (10.0 ± 4.5%) were also common. Wild dogs that were positive for Echinococcus granulosus were significantly more likely to have consumed swamp wallabies. These findings demonstrate the importance of managing both the definitive and intermediate stages of E. granulosus, and suggest that diet correlates with pathogen presence in some cases. This information may assist the development of specific strategies to manage zoonotic pathogens of wild dogs, which are currently lacking.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:Reproduced with permission from © CSIRO Publishing. Access to published version is available via Publisher’s website.
Keywords:dingoes, ecology, parasites, predator, public health.
Subjects:Science > Biology > Ecology
Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Animal control and ecology
Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Impact assessment
Live Archive:07 Mar 2019 01:42
Last Modified:28 Jul 2022 01:37

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