Impact of annual bacterial epizootics on albatross population on a remote island

Jaeger, A. et al. (2020) Impact of annual bacterial epizootics on albatross population on a remote island. EcoHealth, 17(2), pp. 194-202. (doi: 10.1007/s10393-020-01487-8) (PMID:32705577)

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The reduced species richness typical of oceanic islands provides an interesting environmental setup to examine in natura the epidemiological dynamics of infectious agents with potential implications for public health and/or conservation. On Amsterdam Island (Indian Ocean), recurrent die-offs of Indian yellow-nosed albatross (Thalassarche carteri) nestlings have been attributed to avian cholera, caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida. In order to help implementing efficient measures for the control of this disease, it is critical to better understand the local epidemiology of P. multocida and to examine its inter- and intra-annual infection dynamics. We evaluated the infection status of 264 yellow-nosed albatrosses over four successive breeding seasons using a real-time PCR targeting P. multocida DNA from cloacal swabs. Infection prevalence patterns revealed an intense circulation of P. multocida throughout the survey, with a steady but variable increase in infection prevalence within each breeding season. These epizootics were associated with massive nestling dies-offs, inducing very low fledging successes (≤ 20%). These results suggest important variations in the transmission dynamics of this pathogen. These findings and the developed PCR protocol have direct applications to guide future research and refine conservation plans aiming at controlling the disease.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gamble, Dr Amandine
Authors: Jaeger, A., Gamble, A., Lagadec, E., Lebarbenchon, C., Bourret, V., Tornos, J., Barbraud, C., Lemberger, K., Delord, K., Weimerskirch, H., Thiebot, J.-B., Boulinier, T., and Tortosa, P.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:EcoHealth
ISSN (Online):1612-9210
Published Online:23 July 2020

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