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Chapter 7 : Pathogens of Ferrets

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Abstract:

The European ferret, , has assumed a vital role as an animal model of several human conditions, including viral disease, parasitic disease, and cardiovascular disease and in behavioral and hormonal research. In addition, other animal species, including humans, may transmit diseases to ferrets. Therefore, the laboratory animal veterinarian or biomedical researcher may need to consider the potential effects of particular pathogens on the biomedical usefulness of ferrets used in research. Influenza viruses are helical, enveloped, single stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses of the family . Natural infection of laboratory ferrets with human influenza virus may alter studies involving the enterohepatic, hematopoietic, lymphoreticular, musculoskeletal, nervous, and respiratory systems. Rotaviruses are double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses of the family , and are responsible for causing enteritis in the young of several mammalian species, including ferrets. Experimentally, clinical signs in intramuscularly inoculated ferrets consisted of ascending paralysis, ataxia, cachexia, inactivity, anorexia, bladder atony, fever, hyperactivity, hypothermia, tremors, paresis, lethargy, constipation, paresthesia; and rarely, aggressive behavior. Multiple strains exist, and differ in disease characteristics. Pathologic changes in parvovirus-infected ferrets are most prominent in tissues associated with the immune system, and include hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, mesenteric lymphadenopathy, membranous glomerulopathy, interstitial pneumonia, and less commonly, thymic enlargement. is passed by fecaloral transmission, and infects young ferrets shortly after weaning. Diagnosis of infection is complicated by the inability to grow the organism on artificial media, and is therefore based initially on clinical signs and physical examination.

Citation: Baker D. 2003. Pathogens of Ferrets, p 193-206. In Natural Pathogens of Laboratory Animals. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817824.ch7
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References

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Tables

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TABLE 7-1

Body systems known or likely to be affected by pathogen indicated.

Citation: Baker D. 2003. Pathogens of Ferrets, p 193-206. In Natural Pathogens of Laboratory Animals. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817824.ch7

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