Infectious keratoconjunctivitis in wild Caprinae: merging field observations and molecular analyses sheds light on factors shaping outbreak dynamics

Gelormini, Giuseppina; Gauthier, Dominique; Vilei, Edy; Crampe, Jean-Paul; Frey, Joachim; Ryser, Marie Pierre (2017). Infectious keratoconjunctivitis in wild Caprinae: merging field observations and molecular analyses sheds light on factors shaping outbreak dynamics. BMC veterinary research, 13(1), p. 67. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12917-017-0972-0

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Background: Infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC) is an ocular infectious disease caused by Mycoplasma conjunctivae which affects small domestic and wild mountain ruminants. Domestic sheep maintain the pathogen but the detection of healthy carriers in wildlife has raised the question as to whether M. conjunctivae may also persist in the wild. Furthermore, the factors shaping the dynamics of IKC outbreaks in wildlife have remained largely unknown. The aims of this study were (1) to verify the etiological role of M. conjunctivae in IKC outbreaks recorded between 2002 and 2010 at four study sites in different regions of France (Pyrenees and Alps, samples from 159 Alpine ibex Capra ibex, Alpine chamois Rupicapra rupicapra and Pyrenean chamois Rupicapra pyrenaica); (2) to establish whether there existed any epidemiological links between the different regions through a cluster analysis of the detected strains (from 80 out of the 159 animals tested); (3) to explore selected pathogen, host and environmental factors potentially influencing the dynamics of IKC in wildlife, by joining results obtained by molecular analyses and by field observations (16,609 animal observations). All of the samples were tested for M. conjunctivae by qPCR, and cluster analysis was based on a highly variable part of the lppS gene. Results: We documented infections with M. conjunctivae in epidemic and endemic situations, both in symptomatic and asymptomatic animals. The identified M. conjunctivae strains were site-specific and persisted in the local wild population for at least 6 years. In epidemic situations, peaks of cases and disease resurgence were associated with the emergence of new similar strains in a given area. Social interactions, seasonal movements and the landscape structure such as natural and anthropogenic barriers influenced the spatio-temporal spread of IKC. Adults were more affected than young animals and host susceptibility differed depending on the involved strain. Conclusion: Our study indicates that IKC is a multifactorial disease and that M. conjunctivae can persist in wildlife populations. The disease course in individual animals and populations is influenced by both host and mycoplasma characteristics, and the disease spread within and among populations is shaped by host behavior and landscape structure. Keywords: Molecular epidemiology, Mycoplasma conjunctivae, Persistence, Resurgence, Ocular disease, Disease spread, Chamois, Ibex

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)

UniBE Contributor:

Gelormini, Giuseppina; Vilei, Edy; Frey, Joachim and Ryser, Marie Pierre

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1746-6148

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Achim Braun Parham

Date Deposited:

06 Jun 2018 12:20

Last Modified:

02 Nov 2018 08:13

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s12917-017-0972-0

PubMed ID:

28259139

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.112372

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/112372

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