Antibodies Against Canine Distemper Virus in Sympatric Populations of Sechuran Foxes (Lycalopex sechurae) and Domestic Dogs (Canis lupus aamiliaris)
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2014
Miryam Quevedo1, DVM; Jesús Lescano1, DVM; Marina Villalobos2, Biol; Hermelinda Rivera3, DVM, MSc; César Gavidia4, DVM, MSc, PhD
1Laboratory of Animal Anatomy and Wildlife, School of Veterinary Medicine, San Marcos University, Lima, Peru; 2Department of Mammalogy, Center of Ornithology and Biodiversity, Lima, Peru; 3Laboratory of Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Veterinary Medicine, San Marcos University; 4Laboratory of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, San Marcos University, Lima, Peru


Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) outbreaks have caused high mortality rates in wild carnivore populations, in which domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) have been involved as proven or suspected sources of infection.1,2,4 The study of infectious diseases affecting the Sechuran fox (Lycalopex sechurae) has been identified as a priority by the Action Plan for Canids Conservation5 supported by research highlighting the potential for pathogen transmission between domestic dogs and Sechuran foxes inhabiting rural areas of northern Peru.3 Serum samples from 82 non-vaccinated domestic dogs and 13 free-ranging Sechuran foxes were collected in rural communities of the Piura region, located on the northern coast of Peru. Samples were assessed for antibodies against CDV using indirect immunofluorescence. Demographic data and information about the husbandry of domestic dogs was collected by means of questionnaires, and anthropogenic impact on the environment of the communities was qualitatively assessed. Antibodies against CDV were detected in 34.1% (28/82) and 46.2% (6/13) domestic dogs and Sechuran foxes, respectively. A substantial percentage of CDV positive dogs were born in the same area where they were sampled (46.4%) and were allowed to roam freely in different areas (39.3%). Neither dog lifestyle nor dog translocation was significantly associated with CDV serologic status. Anthropogenic impact and presence of CDV antibodies in both dogs and Sechuran foxes were significantly associated. These results suggest that exposure of domestic dogs and Sechuran foxes to CDV have naturally occurred in rural areas on the northern coast of Peru and anthropogenic impact might increase CDV exposure risk.


This study was financially supported by the Veterinary Student Scholar Program (D09ZO-603) of the Morris Animal Foundation and the Research Superior Council (120801171) of San Marcos University.

Literature Cited

1.  Acosta-Jamett G, Chalmers WSK, Cunningham AA, Cleaveland S, Handel IG, Bronsvoort BMdeC. Urban domestic dog populations as a source of canine distemper virus for wild carnivores in the Coquimbo region of Chile. Vet Microbiol. 2011;152(3–4):247–257.

2.  Acosta-Jamett G, Cleaveland S, Cunningham AA, Bronsvoort BMdeC. Demography of domestic dogs in rural and urban areas of the Coquimbo region of Chile and implications for disease transmission. Prev Vet Med. 2010;94(3–4):272-281.

3.  Cossíos ED. Relaciones entre el zorro de Sechura, Pseudalopex sechurae (Thomas), y el hombre en el Perú [Sechuran fox (Pseudalopex sechurae): relationship with people in Peru]. Ecol Apl. 2004;3:134–138.

4.  Fung HML. Community Level Canine Health Assessment: Implications for Human Health and Wildlife Conservation [MSc thesis]. Athens, GA: University of Georgia; 2007.

5.  Sillero-Zubiri C, Macdonald DW, Canids Specialist Group. Canids: foxes, wolves, jackals, and dogs. In: Sillero-Zubiri C, Hoffmann M, Macdonald DW, eds. Action Plan for Canid Conservation in the 21st Century. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group; 2004:310–342.


Speaker Information
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Jesús Lescano, DVM
Laboratory of Animal Anatomy and Wildlife
School of Veterinary Medicine
San Marcos University
Lima, Perú

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