Pathogens in vertebrate pests in Australia

This review provides an overview of diseases or pathogens that have been identified in vertebrate pests in Australia; particularly feral pigs, foxes and wild dogs, feral cats, feral goats, rabbits, cane toads, rodents (feral mice and ship rats) and European carp. Australian research published between 1990 and 2009 is reviewed. A range of bacterial, viral, fungal, helminth and protozoan pathogens have been identified: many of these have broad host specificity, so could affect a wide range of species.

Pathogens that could significantly impact on native fauna include Toxoplasma gondii (causing toxoplasmosis), Echinococcus granulosus (causing cystic hydatidosis) and Asian fish tapeworm Bothriocephalus acheilognathi. Pathogens with serious zoonotic potential include Coxiella burnetti
(causing Q fever), Brucella (causing brucellosis), Leptospira (causing leptospirosis), Murray Valley encephalitis virus and Angiostrongylus cantonensis (causing neurological disease) and various gastrointestinal pathogens such as Salmonella. Pathogens particularly significant to livestock
include Neospora caninum, Porcine parvovirus, T. gondii and Brucella (all causing reproductive failure) and E. granulosus.

While the greatest potential threat of disease from vertebrate pests may be from future exotic outbreaks such as foot-and-mouth disease, it is clear many other pathogens of concern currently occur in these animals in Australia. The occurrence of such a wide range of pathogens emphasises the need to effectively manage populations of vertebrate pests to avoid the spread of disease into livestock, native species or humans.

Reference type: Report
Author: Henderson, WR
Date (dd/mm/yyyy): null
Year: 2009
Place published: City
Publisher: Invasive Animals CRC
Institution: Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Pages: 31 pp
Notes: Notes
ISBN/ISSN: Web ISBN: 978-0-9806716-4-3
Region: Australia - national
Documents: Pathogens in vertebrate pests in Australia

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