Exposure of Threatened Accipitridae to Mycobacterium bovis Calls for Active Surveillance
- First Online:
- 88 Downloads
Anthropogenic activities have cumulatively led to the dramatic decline of world populations of vultures that currently face serious survival challenges in several regions of the world. In Portugal, the three resident species qualify as endangered and are under conservation efforts, mainly in the central east and south-east regions, where habitat protection and artificial feeding stations were implemented. Concurrently, the areas under protection are highly affected by tuberculosis (TB) in cattle and wild ungulates, whose potentially infected carcasses may naturally or artificially be used as feed by local vultures. In this work, we opportunistically surveyed populations of Eurasian griffon (Gyps fulvus) and Eurasian black vulture (Aegypius monachus) for the presence of Mycobacterium bovis. Nine pathogenic mycobacteria, including one M. bovis isolate, were cultured from the oropharynx of nine of the surveyed vultures (n = 55), sampled in recovery centres or in artificial feeding stations. Genotyping of the M. bovis strain indicated spoligotype SB0121, the most frequent type in Portugal, and a unique MIRU–VNTR profile that differed in two loci from the profiles of SB0121 bovine and deer strains from the same geographical area. The M. bovis-positive griffon exhibited poor clinical condition when admitted to the recovery centre; however, clinical evidence of TB was not present. Although the significance of M. bovis isolation in this vulture specimen could not be ascertained and despite the accepted notion that vultures are naturally resistant to microbial pathogens, the sanitary follow-up of Accipitridae vulture populations in TB-hotspot areas is essential to safeguard ongoing conservation efforts and also to evaluate the suitability of standing legislation on deliberate supplementary feeding schemes for menaced birds of prey.
Keywordsvulture conservation wildlife Mycobacterium bovis artificial feeding camps
- Bercovier H, Vincent V (2001) Mycobacterial infections in domestic and wild animals due to Mycobacterium marinum, M. fortuitum, M. chelonae, M. porcinum, M. farcinogenes, M. smegmatis, M. scrofulaceum, M. xenopi, M. kansasii, M. simiae, and M. genavense. Rev Sci Tech 20:265–290CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- BirdLife International. 2013. Aegypius monachus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T22695231A48120733. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-2.RLTS.T22695231A48120733.en. Downloaded on 03 January 2016.
- BirdLife International. 2015. Gyps fulvus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22695219A80159120. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T22695219A80159120.en. Downloaded on 03 January 2016.
- BirdLife International. 2015. Neophron percnopterus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22695180A85062680. Downloaded on 03 January 2016.Google Scholar
- Cabral MJ, Almeida J, Almeida PR, Delliger T, Ferrand de Almeida N, Oliveira ME, Palmeirim JM, Queirós AI, Rogado L, Santos-Reis M (editors) (2005) Livro Vermelho dos Vertebrados de Portugal. Instituto da Conservação da NaturezaGoogle Scholar
- Direção Geral de Alimentação e Veterinária (2011) Edital nº1: Tuberculose em Caça Maior, 29th april 2011, Lisboa, PortugalGoogle Scholar
- Direção Geral de Alimentação e Veterinária (2013) Plano Nacional de Erradicação da Tuberculose Bovina, Lisboa, PortugalGoogle Scholar
- Donázar JA, Margalida A, Campión D (2009) Vultures, feeding stations and sanitary legislation: a conflict and its consequences from the perspective of conservation biology. Sociedad de Ciencias Aranzadi, San Sebastian, SpainGoogle Scholar
- Lumeij JT, Dorrestein GM, Stam JWE (1981) Recent advances in the study of raptor diseases: observations on tuberculosis in raptors. In: Cooper JE, Greenwood AG (eds.): Proceedings: International Symposium on Diseases of Birds of Prey. Chiron Publications, Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK. 137–139Google Scholar
- OIE (2008) Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals, Sixth editionGoogle Scholar
- Rodriguez-Campos S, Schürch AC, Dale J, Lohan AJ, Cunha MV, Botelho A, De Cruz K, Boschiroli ML, Boniotti MB, Pacciarini M, Garcia-Pelayo MC, Romero B, de Juan L, Domínguez L, Gordon SV, van Soolingen D, Loftus B, Berg S, Hewinson RG, Aranaz A, Smith NH (2012) European 2- a clonal complex of Mycobacterium bovis dominant in the Iberian Peninsula. Infect Genet Evol 12:866–872CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Roth A, Reischl U, Streubel A, Naumann L, Kroppenstedt RM, Habicht M, Fischer M, Mauch H (2000) Novel diagnostic algorithm for identification of mycobacteria using genus-specific amplification of the 16S-23S rRNA gene spacer and restriction endonucleases. J Clin Microbiol. 38(3):1094–104.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Shultz S, Baral HS, Charman S, Cunningham AA, Das D, Ghalsasi GR, Goudar MS, Green RE, Jones A, Nighot P, Pain DJ, Prakash V (2004) Diclofenac poisoning is widespread in declining vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent. Proc Biol Sci 271:S458-S460CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Skoric M, Fictum P, Frgelecova L, Kriz P, Slana I, Kaevska M, Pavlik I (2010) Avian tuberculosis in a captured ruppell’s griffon vulture (Gyps ruppellii): a case report. Vet Med Czech, 55:348–352Google Scholar