Wild deer as potential vectors of anthelmintic-resistant abomasal nematodes between cattle and sheep farms.
ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal (GI) nematodes are among the most important causes of production loss in farmed ruminants, and anthelmintic resistance is emerging globally. We hypothesized that wild deer could potentially act as reservoirs of anthelmintic-resistant GI nematodes between livestock farms. Adult abomasal nematodes and faecal samples were collected from fallow (n = 24), red (n = 14) and roe deer (n = 10) from venison farms and areas of extensive or intensive livestock farming. Principal components analysis of abomasal nematode species composition revealed differences between wild roe deer grazing in the areas of intensive livestock farming, and fallow and red deer in all environments. Alleles for benzimidazole (BZ) resistance were identified in ?-tubulin of Haemonchus contortus of roe deer and phenotypic resistance confirmed in vitro by an egg hatch test (EC50 = 0.149 µg ml(-1) ± 0.13 µg ml(-1)) on H. contortus eggs from experimentally infected sheep. This BZ-resistant H. contortus isolate also infected a calf experimentally. We present the first account of in vitro BZ resistance in wild roe deer, but further experiments should firmly establish the presence of phenotypic BZ resistance in vivo. Comprehensive in-field studies should assess whether nematode cross-transmission between deer and livestock occurs and contributes, in any way, to the development of resistance on livestock farms.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Gastrointestinal nematodes are ubiquitous for both domestic and wild ungulates and have varying consequences for health and fitness. They exist as complex communities of multiple co-infecting species, and we have a limited understanding of how these communities vary in different hosts, regions and circumstances or of how this affects their impacts.<h4>Methods</h4>We have undertaken ITS2 rDNA nemabiome metabarcoding with next-generation sequencing on populations of nematode larvae isolated from 149 fecal samples of roe deer of different sex and age classes in the two isolated populations of Chizé and Trois Fontaines in France not co-grazing with any domestic ungulate species.<h4>Results</h4>We identified 100 amplified sequence variants (ASVs) that were assigned to 14 gastrointestinal nematode taxa overall at either genus (29%) or species (71%) level. These taxa were dominated by parasites classically found in cervids-e.g. Ostertagia leptospicularis, Spiculopteragia spp. Higher parasite species diversity was present in the Trois Fontaines population than in the Chizé population including the presence of species more typically seen in domestic livestock (Haemonchus contortus, Bunostomum sp., Cooperia punctata, Teladorsagia circumcincta). No differences in parasite species diversity or community composition were seen in the samples collected from three zones of differing habitat quality within the Chizé study area. Young roe deer hosted the highest diversity of gastrointestinal nematodes, with more pronounced effects of age apparent in Trois Fontaines. The effect of host age differed between gastrointestinal nematode species, e.g. there was little effect on O. leptospicularis but a large effect on Trichostrongylus spp. No effect of host sex was detected in either site.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The presence of some livestock parasite species in the Trois Fontaines roe deer population was unexpected given the isolation of this population away from grazing domestic livestock since decades. Overall, our results illustrate the influence of host traits and the local environment on roe deer nemabiome and demonstrate the power of the nemabiome metabarcoding approach to elucidate the composition of gastrointestinal nematode communities in wildlife.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Sarcocystis spp. are protozoan parasites of livestock which also infect birds, lower vertebrates and mammals, including man. Wild and domestic ruminants such as red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, cattle, sheep and goats may act as intermediate hosts for many Sarcocystis species, some of which are significant pathogens causing sarcocystosis in livestock and humans. The purpose of the present study was to determine the prevalence of Sarcocystis species in fallow deer farmed in an open pasture system.<h4>Methods</h4>Samples of heart and oesophagus tissue taken from five fallow deer were examined by light microscope for the presence of sarcocysts. Genomic DNA was extracted from individual sarcocysts. ssu rRNA was successfully amplified using their DNA as templates.<h4>Results</h4>Analysis of the ssu rRNA identified the presence of two S. morae sarcocysts in the heart tissue; similarly, S. gracilis sarcocysts were identified in the heart and oesophagus, and Sarcocystis sp. most closely related to S. linearis and S. taeniata were detected in oseophagus.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These findings confirm the presence of Sarcocystis spp. in farmed fallow deer in Poland; however, more molecular studies are needed.
Project description:There is a growing interest on the potential interplay between weather, habitat, and interspecific competition on population dynamics of wild herbivores. Favorable environmental conditions may buffer the negative effects of competition; conversely, competition may be expected to be stronger under harsh environmental conditions. We investigated relationships between competitor abundance, weather, and habitat cover on density and local distribution of a medium-sized herbivore, the roe deer Capreolus capreolus, as well as its spatial overlap with fallow deer Dama dama in a Mediterranean protected area. Over 11 years (2007-2017), roe deer density was not affected by spring-summer rainfall in the previous year and decreased with increasing density of fallow deer in the previous year. Hence, over the considered temporal scale, results supported a major role of competition over weather in influencing population trends of roe deer. At a finer spatial scale, roe deer occupancy was negatively affected by local abundance of fallow deer, especially in "poorer" habitats. We found a slight support for a positive effect of fallow deer density on interspecific spatial overlap. Moreover, fine-scale spatial overlap between deer species increased with decreasing rainfall in spring-summer. Fallow deer were introduced to our study area in historical times and their role as superior competitors over roe deer has been found also in other study areas. We suggest a potential role of harsh weather conditions during the growing season of vegetation (i.e. scarce rainfall) in triggering the potential for ecological overlap, emphasizing the negative effects of interspecific competition.
Project description:This study aimed to investigate the seroprevalence of <i>C. burnetii</i> in domestic ruminants, wild ungulates, as well as the current situation of Q fever in humans in a small region in northwestern Spain where a close contact at the wildlife-livestock-human interface exists, and information on <i>C. burnetii</i> infection is scarce. Seroprevalence of <i>C. burnetii</i> was 8.4% in sheep, 18.4% in cattle, and 24.4% in goats. Real-time PCR analysis of environmental samples collected in 25 livestock farms detected <i>Coxiella</i> DNA in dust and/or aerosols collected in 20 of them. Analysis of sera from 327 wild ungulates revealed lower seroprevalence than that found in domestic ruminants, with 8.4% of Iberian red deer, 7.3% chamois, 6.9% fallow deer, 5.5% European wild boar and 3.5% of roe deer harboring antibodies to <i>C. burnetii</i>. Exposure to the pathogen in humans was determined by IFAT analysis of 1312 blood samples collected from patients admitted at healthcare centers with Q fever compatible symptoms, such as fever and/or pneumonia. Results showed that 15.9% of the patients had IFAT titers ≥ 1/128 suggestive of probable acute infection. This study is an example of a One Health approach with medical and veterinary institutions involved in investigating zoonotic diseases.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Benzimidazole (BZ) anthelmintics are widely used to control infections with parasitic nematodes, but BZ resistance is an emerging threat among several nematode species infecting humans and animals. In Sudan, BZ-resistant Haemonchus contortus populations were recently reported in goats in South Darfur State. The objective of this study was to collect data regarding the situation of BZ resistance in cattle parasitic nematodes in South Darfur using phenotypic and molecular approaches, besides providing some epidemiological data on nematodes in cattle.<h4>Methods</h4>The faecal egg count reduction test and the egg hatch test (EHT) were used to evaluate benzimidazole efficacy in cattle nematodes in five South Darfur study areas: Beleil, Kass, Nyala, Rehed Al-Birdi and Tulus. Genomic DNA was extracted from pools of third-stage larvae (L3) (n = 40) during trials, before and after treatment, and pools of adult male Haemonchus spp. (n = 18) from abattoirs. The polymorphisms F167Y, E198A and F200Y in isotype 1 β-tubulin genes of H. contortus and H. placei were analysed using Sanger and pyrosequencing.<h4>Results</h4>Prevalence of gastro-intestinal helminths in cattle was 71% (313/443). Reduced albendazole faecal egg count reduction efficacy was detected in three study areas: Nyala (93.7%), Rehed Al-Birdi (89.7%) and Tulus (88.2%). In the EHT, EC<sub>50</sub> values of these study areas ranged between 0.032 and 0.037 µg/ml thiabendazole. Genus-specific PCRs detected the genera Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus and Cooperia in L3 samples collected after albendazole treatment. Sanger sequencing followed by pyrosequencing assays did not detect elevated frequencies of known BZ resistance-associated alleles in codon F167Y, E198A and F200Y in isotype 1 β-tubulin gene of H. placei (≤ 11.38%). However, polymorphisms were detected in H. contortus and in samples with mixed infections with H. contortus and H. placei at codon 198, including E198L (16/58), E198V (2/58) and potentially E198Stop (1/58). All pooled L3 samples post-albendazole treatment (n = 13) were identified as H. contortus with an E198L substitution at codon 198.<h4>Conclusions</h4>To the knowledge of the authors, this is the first report of reduced albendazole efficacy in cattle in Sudan and is the first study describing an E198L substitution in phenotypically BZ-resistant nematodes collected from cattle.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Benzimidazole (BZ) resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes is a worldwide problem for livestock production, particularly in small ruminants. Assignment of the emergence of resistance using sensitive and reliable methods is required to adopt the correct strategies for control. In Sudan, BZ resistant Haemonchus contortus populations were recently reported in goats in South Darfur. This study aimed to provide additional data regarding albendazole efficacy and to describe the prevailing molecular BZ resistance mechanisms. METHODS:Faecal egg count reduction and egg hatch tests (EHT) were used to evaluate albendazole efficacy in three different areas of South Darfur using naturally (Rehed Al-Birdi and Tulus) and experimentally infected (Tulus and Um Dafuq) goats. Using samples from Central, East and South Darfur, pyro- and Sanger sequencing were used to detect the polymorphisms F167Y, E198A and F200Y in H. contortus isotype 1 ?-tubulin in DNA extracted from pooled third-stage larval (L3) samples (n?=?36) on days 0 and 10 during trials, and from pooled adult male H. contortus (treated goats, n?=?14; abattoirs, n?=?83) including samples from populations previously found to be resistant in South Darfur. RESULTS:Albendazole efficacies at 5, 7.5 and 10 mg/kg doses were 73.5-90.2% on day 14 in natural and experimental infections while 12.5 mg/kg showed >?96.6% efficacy. EC50 in the EHT were 0.8 and 0.11 µg/ml thiabendazole in natural and experimental infection trials, respectively. PCRs detected Haemonchus, Trichostrongylus and Cooperia in L3 samples from albendazole-treated goats. Haemonchus contortus allele frequencies in codons 167 and 200 using pyrosequencing assays were ??7.4% while codon 198 assays failed. Sanger sequencing revealed five novel polymorphisms at codon 198. Noteworthy, an E198L substitution was present in 82% of the samples (L3 and adults) including all post-treatment samples. Moreover, E198V, E198K and potentially E198I, and E198Stop were identified in a few samples. CONCLUSIONS:To our knowledge, this is the first report of E198L in BZ resistant H. contortus and the second where this is the predominant genotype associated with resistance in any strongyle species. Since this variant cannot be quantified using pyrosequencing, the results highlight important limitations in the general applicability of pyrosequencing to quantify BZ resistance genotypes.
Project description:Hunting constitutes an important industry in Europe. However, data on the prevalence of vector-borne bacteria in large game animal species are lacking from several countries. Blood or spleen samples (239 and 270, respectively) were taken from red, fallow and roe deer, as well as from water buffaloes, mouflons and wild boars in Hungary, followed by DNA extraction and molecular analyses for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, haemoplasmas and rickettsiae.Based on blood samples, the prevalence rate of A. phagocytophilum infection was significantly higher in red deer (97.9%) than in fallow deer (72.7%) and roe deer (60%), and in all these compared to mouflons (6.3%). In addition, 39.2% of the spleen samples from wild boars were PCR positive for A. phagocytophilum, but none of the buffalos. Based on blood samples, the prevalence rates of both Mycoplasma wenyonii (Mw) and 'Candidatus M. haemobos' (CMh) infections were significantly higher in buffaloes (Mw: 91.2%; CMh: 73.3%) than in red deer (Mw: 64.6%; CMh: 45.8%), and in both of them compared to fallow deer (Mw: 30.3%; CMh: 9.1%) and roe deer (Mw: 20%; CMh: 1.5%). The prevalence of Mw and CMh infection significantly correlated with the body sizes of these hosts. Furthermore, Mw was significantly more prevalent than CMh in buffaloes, red and roe deer. Mycoplasma ovis was detected in mouflons, M. suis in wild boars, R. helvetica in one fallow deer and one mouflon, and an unidentified Rickettsia sp. in a fallow deer.Forest-dwelling game animal species were found to be important carriers of A. phagocytophilum. In contrast, animals grazing grassland (i.e. buffaloes) were less likely to get infected with this Ixodes ricinus-borne pathogen. Water buffaloes, deer species, mouflons and wild boars harbored haemoplasmas that may affect domestic ungulates. Evaluated animals with larger body size had significantly higher prevalence of infection with haemoplasmas compared to smaller deer species. The above host species rarely carried rickettsiae.
Project description:Anthelmintic resistance is a major problem for the control of parasitic nematodes of livestock and of growing concern for human parasite control. However, there is little understanding of how resistance arises and spreads or of the "genetic signature" of selection for this group of important pathogens. We have investigated these questions in the system for which anthelmintic resistance is most advanced; benzimidazole resistance in the sheep parasites Haemonchus contortus and Teladorsagia circumcincta. Population genetic analysis with neutral microsatellite markers reveals that T. circumcincta has higher genetic diversity but lower genetic differentiation between farms than H. contortus in the UK. We propose that this is due to epidemiological differences between the two parasites resulting in greater seasonal bottlenecking of H. contortus. There is a remarkably high level of resistance haplotype diversity in both parasites compared with drug resistance studies in other eukaryotic systems. Our analysis suggests a minimum of four independent origins of resistance mutations on just seven farms for H. contortus, and even more for T. circumincta. Both hard and soft selective sweeps have occurred with striking differences between individual farms. The sweeps are generally softer for T. circumcincta than H. contortus, consistent with its higher level of genetic diversity and consequent greater availability of new mutations. We propose a model in which multiple independent resistance mutations recurrently arise and spread by migration to explain the widespread occurrence of resistance in these parasites. Finally, in spite of the complex haplotypic diversity, we show that selection can be detected at the target locus using simple measures of genetic diversity and departures from neutrality. This work has important implications for the application of genome-wide approaches to identify new anthelmintic resistance loci and the likelihood of anthelmintic resistance emerging as selection pressure is increased in human soil-transmitted nematodes by community wide treatment programs.
Project description:Schmallenberg disease is an emerging disease that affects domestic and wild ruminants in Europe. An epidemiological survey was carried out to assess exposure to Schmallenberg virus (SBV) in wild artiodactyls in Spain between 2006 and 2015. A total of 1751 sera from wild artiodactyls, including 1066 red deer, 304 fallow deer, 192 mouflon, 109 wild boar, 49 roe deer and 31 Spanish ibex were tested for antibodies against SBV by ELISA and confirmed by virus neutralization test. SBV was not detected between the 2006/2007 and the 2010/2011 hunting seasons. Overall seroprevalence (including samples collected between the 2011/2012 and 2014/2015 hunting seasons) was 14.6% (160/1099; 95%CI: 12.7-16.6). Mean SBV seroprevalence was 13.3±2.6% in red deer, 23.9±4.2% in fallow deer, 16.4±6.1% in mouflon and 2.8±3.1% in wild boar. No antibodies against SBV were found in roe deer or Spanish ibex. The presence of SBV RNA was confirmed in three of 255 (1.2%) spleen samples from wild ruminants analysed by rRT-PCR. In a multivariate mixed-effects logistic regression model, the main risk factors associated with SBV seroprevalence were: species (fallow deer, red deer and mouflon), age (adults) and interactions between hunting areas of more than 1000 hectares and hunting season (2012/2013, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015). The hypothesis of endemic circulation of SBV in the last few years is supported by the detection of SBV RNA in animals sampled in 2011 and 2015, as well as antibodies detected at low level in juveniles in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The results indicate that SBV circulated in wild ruminant populations in Spain during the same period when the virus was first reported in northern Europe, and at least five months before the first case was officially reported in livestock in Spain.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Benzimidazole (BZ) resistance is an increasingly serious problem due to the excessive use of this anthelmintic for controlling Haemonchus contortus, which is one of the major gastrointestinal nematodes infecting small ruminants worldwide. Three known single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), F167Y (TAC), E198A (GCA) and F200Y (TAC), in the isotype-1 ?-tubulin gene of H. contortus are associated with BZ resistance. Comprehending the spread and origins of BZ resistance-associated SNPs has important implications for the control of this nematode. RESULTS:Twenty-seven adult H. contortus were harvested from wild blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), small wild ruminants sympatric with domestic ruminants, inhabiting the Helan Mountains, China, to monitor the status of BZ resistance. In addition, 20 adult H. contortus from domestic sheep sympatric with this wild ruminant and 36 isotype-1 ?-tubulin haplotype sequences of H. contortus (two of these haplotypes, E198A3 and E198A4, possessed resistance-associated SNP E198A (GCA) from domestic ruminants in eight other geographical regions of China were used to further define the origins of BZ resistance-associated SNPs within the worms collected from blue sheep. The BZ resistance-associated SNP E198A was detected, whereas SNPs F167Y (TAC) and F200Y (TAC) were not found within the worms collected from blue sheep, and the frequency of homozygous resistant E198A (GCA) was 7.40%. The evolutionary tree and network showed consistent topologies for which there was no obvious boundary among the worms from the wild and domestic hosts, and two haplotypes (E198A1 and E198A2) possessing E198A from the wild blue sheep had two different independent origins. E198A1 had the same origin with E198A3 but E198A2 had a different origin with them. Population genetic analyses revealed a low level of Fst values (ranging from 0 to 0.19749) between all H. contortus worm groups in China. CONCLUSIONS:Results of the current study of the three BZ resistance-associated SNPs of H. contortus from wild blue sheep suggested that only E198A (GCA) was present within the worms collected from the wild ruminants and had multiple independent origins.