Detection of Mycoplasma conjunctivae in the eyes of healthy, free-ranging Alpine ibex: possible involvement of Alpine ibex as carriers for the main causing agent of infectious keratoconjunctivitis in wild Caprinae

Ryser-Degiorgis, Marie-Pierre; Bischof, D.F.; Marreros Canales, Nelson Antonio; Willisch, C.; Signer, C.; Filli, F.; Brosi, G.; Frey, Joachim; Vilei, E.M. (2009). Detection of Mycoplasma conjunctivae in the eyes of healthy, free-ranging Alpine ibex: possible involvement of Alpine ibex as carriers for the main causing agent of infectious keratoconjunctivitis in wild Caprinae. Veterinary microbiology, 134(3-4), pp. 368-74. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.08.005

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Mycoplasma conjunctivae is considered the major cause of infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC) in Alpine ibex (Capra i. ibex) and chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra). While it is known that domestic sheep can act as healthy carriers for M. conjunctivae, this question has not been addressed in wild ungulates so far. In this study, bacteriological investigations and field observations were performed to assess whether free-ranging Alpine ibex can be healthy carriers of M. conjunctivae. Among 136 ibex without clinical signs of IKC, M. conjunctivae was identified 26 times (19.1%) by TaqMan PCR. To assess the potential pathogenicity of M. conjunctivae strains isolated from asymptomatic eyes, strains from three healthy ibex and from 15 IKC-ibex and IKC-chamois were analysed genetically by DNA sequence analysis of the variable part of the lppS gene. No significant differences were observed between strains from asymptomatic and clinically affected animals, reflecting the assumption that healthy ibex may act as carriers for M. conjunctivae strains that may be pathogenic for other individuals. Our results further indicate that development of IKC is associated with M. conjunctivae load in the eyes. In addition, a questionnaire survey revealed that IKC is generally less common in ibex than chamois and that infection in wild ungulates is not necessarily linked to the presence of sheep. These data support the hypothesis that apparently healthy ibex may be important in the epizootiology of IKC and indicate that host predilection may play a role in IKC development.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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:

Ryser, Marie Pierre; Marreros Canales, Nelson Antonio; Frey, Joachim and Vilei, Edi

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0378-1135

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:24

Last Modified:

22 Mar 2016 15:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.08.005

Web of Science ID:

000263755400025

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/38228 (FactScience: 220746)

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