Amyloid in Captive Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus): Impacts on Morbidity and Mortality and Evaluation of Serum Acute Phase Proteins Premortem
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2017
Susan L. Bartlett1, DVM, DACZM; Carolyn Cray2, PhD; Nadine Lamberski3, DVM, DACZM; Michael M. Garner4, DVM, DACVP

1Zoological Health Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY, USA; 2Division of Comparative Pathology, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA; 3San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Global, Escondido, CA, USA; 4Northwest ZooPath, Monroe, WA, USA


A retrospective analysis was performed of histologic results from 96 deceased bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) submitted to Northwest ZooPath from 1995–2015. A high prevalence of amyloidosis was identified; 32% of animals had some degree of amyloid deposition in one or more organs. The degree of amyloidosis was clinically important in 58% of those cases, and assessed as the underlying cause of death in 42%. The most commonly affected organs were liver, kidney, adrenal, intestine, and rumen. Those most severely affected were pancreatic duct, ovary, liver, omasum, adrenal, and intestine. Fatal amyloidosis was commonly due to gastrointestinal complications.

To better understand the acute phase protein (APP) response in bongo and the high prevalence of amyloidosis, sera from 44 clinically normal bongo were tested by electrophoresis and for the APPs serum amyloid A and haptoglobin. Complete blood cell counts and fibrinogen levels also were analyzed when available. These values were compared to those from 13 abnormal animals (27 samples) with various infectious and/or inflammatory conditions. There was a statistically significant (p≤0.05) difference in levels of albumin (normal 2.73±0.09 g/dl; abnormal 2.25±0.13 g/dl), haptoglobin (normal 0.70±0.09 mg/ml; abnormal 1.04±0.11 mg/ml), and fibrinogen (normal 361±72 mg/dl; abnormal 743±69 mg/dl) between normal and abnormal animals. There was not a statistically significant difference in serum amyloid levels between normal (323.5±92.1 mg/L) versus abnormal (566.9±112.6 mg/L) animals. The high amyloid levels in both groups was unexpected. Further studies are needed.


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Susan L. Bartlett, DVM, DACZM
Zoological Health Program
Wildlife Conservation Society
Bronx, NY, USA

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