Infectious Pathogens and Resistance to Diseases Related to Ursids: Are Microparasites a Factor in the Ursid Threatened Species Management Plans?
Conservation and Research Department, Parque Zoologico Buin Zoo, Buin, Chile
The Carnivora comprise 15 families,10 and they are identified as one of the mammal groups most threatened by infectious agents.7,9,11 However, in the case of Ursids, different authors have suggested that members of this family have a high resistance to infectious diseases1-6,8 and, therefore, infectious disease wouldn’t be relevant for their management. In order to verify the relationship between microparasites (virus, protozoa, and bacteria), susceptibility to infection and clinical disease in Ursids, a literature review was conducted.
Reports were found documenting susceptibility to infection by 43 different pathogens and disease by at least 65 clinical reports and 20 pathogens, with viruses being the most common pathogen type associated with clinical cases. Although these reports mostly document individuals being affected rather than wild populations, it is very important to take infectious diseases into account for ex situ and translocation management programs. Thus, biosecurity and preventive plans may be established for selected microparasites as an important issue for captive bear populations and translocation programs. In conclusion, further studies about the relationship of infectious pathogens and Ursidae family may be conducted.
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