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Publications

View citations of publications by National Wildlife Health Center scientists since our founding in 1975.  Access to full-text is provided where possible.

Filter Total Items: 1476

Susceptibility of beavers to chronic wasting disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious, fatal, neurodegenerative prion disease of cervids. The expanding geographical range and rising prevalence of CWD are increasing the risk of pathogen transfer and spillover of CWD to non-cervid sympatric species. As beavers have close contact with environmental and food sources of CWD infectivity, we hypothesized that they may be susceptible to CWD pri

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium from wild birds in the United States represent distinct lineages defined by bird type

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is typically considered a host generalist; however, certain isolates are associated with specific hosts and show genetic features of host adaptation. Here, we sequenced 131 S. Typhimurium isolates from wild birds collected in 30 U.S. states during 1978-2019. We found that isolates from broad taxonomic host groups including passerine birds, water birds (Aequo

Are little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) impacted by dietary exposure to microcystin?

The cyanobacterium, Microcystis aeruginosa, can produce the hepatotoxin microcystin. When toxic M. aeruginosa overwinters in the sediments of lakes, it may be ingested by aquatic insects and bioaccumulate in nymphs of Hexagenia mayflies. When volant Hexagenia emerge from lakes to reproduce, they provide an abundant, albeit temporary, food source for many terrestrial organisms including bats. Littl

Three decades of stranding data reveal insights into endangered hawksbill sea turtles in Hawai‘i

Hawksbill sea turtles Eretmochelys imbricata inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands are extremely rare and listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act. The paucity of data on basic hawksbill ecology continues to hinder effective management of the species. We analyzed stranding data collected between 1984 and 2018 to gain insights into the distribution, demography, and conservation challenges

Demographic implications of lead poisoning for eagles across North America

Lead poisoning occurs worldwide in populations of predatory birds, but exposure rates and population impacts are known only from regional studies. We evaluated the lead exposure of 1210 bald and golden eagles from 38 US states across North America, including 620 live eagles. We detected unexpectedly high frequencies of lead poisoning of eagles, both chronic (46 to 47% of bald and golden eagles, as

Genetic processes facilitating pathogen emergence

The goal of biosecurity is to minimize the risk of introduction and transmission of infectious diseases to people, animals, and plants. This is achieved by accurately identifying pathogens and instituting appropriate methods to prevent their introduction, reemergence, and/or spread. However, disease is dynamic, and biosecurity needs to continually change to keep pace as pathogens evolve. As descri

Experimental inoculation trial to determine the effects of temperature and humidity on White-nose Syndrome in hibernating bats

Disease results from interactions among the host, pathogen, and environment. Inoculation trials can quantify interactions among these players and explain aspects of disease ecology to inform management in variable and dynamic natural environments. White-nose Syndrome, a disease caused by the fungal pathogen, Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd), has caused severe population declines of several bat sp

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is an emerging disease threat to wild birds in North America

Prior to the emergence of the A/goose/Guangdong/1/1996 (Gs/GD) H5N1 influenza A virus, the long-held and well-supported paradigm was that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks were restricted to poultry, the result of cross-species transmission of precursor viruses from wild aquatic birds that subsequently gained pathogenicity in domestic birds. Therefore, management agencies typicall

A novel gonadotropic microsporidian parasite (Microsporidium clinchi n. sp.) infecting a declining population of pheasantshell mussels (Actinonaias pectorosa) (Unioinidae) from the Clinch River, USA

Freshwater mussels of the order Unionida are among the most endangered animal groups globally, but the causes of their population decline are often enigmatic, with little known about the role of disease. In 2018, we collected wild adult pheasantshell (Actinonaias pectorosa) and mucket (Actinonaias ligamentina) during an epidemiologic survey investigating an ongoing mussel mass mortality event in t

Low occurrence of multi-antimicrobial and heavy metal resistance in Salmonella enterica from wild birds in the United States

Wild birds are common reservoirs of Salmonella enterica. Wild birds carrying resistant S. enterica may pose a risk to public health as they can spread the resistant bacteria across large spatial scales within a short time. Here, we whole-genome sequenced 375 S. enterica strains from wild birds collected in 41 U.S. states during 1978–2019 to examine bacterial resistance to antibiotics and heavy met

A review of algal toxin exposures on reserved federal lands and among trust species in the United States

Associated health effects from algal toxin exposure are a growing concern for human and animal health. Algal toxin poisonings may occur from contact with or consumption of water supplies or from ingestion of contaminated animals. The U.S. Federal Government owns or holds in trust about 259 million hectares of land, in addition to the Trust species obligations. We completed the first comprehensive

Impact of molecular modifications on the Immunogenicity and efficacy of recombinant raccoon poxvirus-vectored rabies vaccine candidates in mice

Rabies is an ancient disease that is responsible for approximately 59,000 human deaths annually. Bats (Order Chiroptera) are thought to be the original hosts of rabies virus (RABV) and currently account for most rabies cases in wildlife in the Americas. Vaccination is being used to manage rabies in other wildlife reservoirs like fox and raccoon, but no rabies vaccine is available for bats. We prev