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Zoonotic and economically significant pathogens of peri-urban wild dogs across north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland, Australia

Harriott, L., Gentle, M., Traub, R., Soares Magalhães, R. J. and Cobbold, R. (2019) Zoonotic and economically significant pathogens of peri-urban wild dogs across north-eastern New South Wales and south-eastern Queensland, Australia. Wildlife Research .

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1071/WR18110

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/WR18110

Abstract

Context: Peri-urban wild dogs are known to reside within high-risk and densely populated regions and are capable of harbouring a variety of zoonotic pathogens. Despite recognising the potential of peri-urban wild dogs to carry zoonotic pathogens, limited prevalence data are currently available to assist in understanding the potential risks that peri-urban wild dogs pose within developed communities.Aims: The aim of the present research was to establish the current status of key zoonotic and economically significant pathogens in peri-urban wild dogs.Methods: Two hundred and one peri-urban wild dog cadavers were collected from south-eastern Queensland and northern New South Wales. In addition, whole blood, serum and faecal samples were also collected. Pathogens were identified through several morphological, microbiological and molecular methods.Key results: Helminth parasites were detected within 79.6% of peri-urban wild dogs; Echinococcus granulosus was the most common pathogen, with adult worms being detected within 50.7 ± 6.9% of intestines, followed by Spirometra erinacei (36.6 ± 6.4%); hookworms, including Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala (28.8 ± 7.1%); Toxocara canis (5.4 ± 3.1%) and Taenia spp., including T. serialis and T. pisiformis (4.5 ± 2.8%). Bacterial pathogens detected included methicillin-resistant Escherichia coli (20.0 ± 10.1%), Salmonella spp. (3.7 ± 4.0%) and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (3.3 ± 2.7%).Conclusions: The present study is the most comprehensive investigation of zoonotic pathogen carriage in peri-urban wild dogs in Australia. Parasitic infections in peri-urban wild dogs are common, with tapeworms representing the majority of intestinal pathogens. Important zoonotic bacterial pathogens are carried by peri-urban wild dogs, although at a much lower prevalence than are parasites.Implications: The presence of these pathogens in free-ranging peri-urban dog populations suggests a strong potential for public health risk, most notably from E. granulosus. These data are inherently important as baseline information, which is essential to guide risk-based management of peri-urban wild dog impacts.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:disease, dingoes, parasites, bacteria, Echinococcus granulosus, free-ranging dogs.
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Animal control and ecology
Veterinary medicine > Veterinary pathology
Veterinary medicine > Predatory animals and their control
Deposited On:02 Apr 2019 01:13
Last Modified:02 Apr 2019 01:13

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