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Surveillance of Wildlife Diseases: Lessons from the West Nile Virus Outbreak

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  • Authors: Tracey S. McNamara1, Robert G. McLean2, Emi K. Saito3, Peregrine L. Wolfe4, Colin M. Gillin5, John R. Fischer6, Julie C. Ellis7, Richard French8, Patrick P. Martin9, Krysten L. Schuler10, Dave McRuer11, Edward E. Clark12, Megan K. Hines13, Cris Marsh14, Victoria Szewczyk15, Kurt Sladky16, Lisa Yon17, Duncan Hannant18, William F. Siemer19
  • VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA 91766; 2: Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506; 3: National Surveillance Unit, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health, USDA APHIS Veterinary Services, Fort Collins, CO 80526; 4: Nevada Department of Wildlife, Reno, NV 89512; 5: Wildlife Health and Population Lab, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Corvallis, OR 97330; 6: Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602; 7: Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA 01536; 8: University of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Durham, NH 03824; 9: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Health Unit, Albany, NY 12233-4752; 10: Animal Health Diagnostic Center, Ithaca, NY 14850; 11: Wildlife Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, VA 22980; 12: Wildlife Center of Virginia, Waynesboro, VA 22980; 13: Wildlife Data Integration Network, Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison, WI 53706; 14: Wildlife Data Integration Network, Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison, WI 53706; 15: Wildlife Data Integration Network, Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison, WI 53706; 16: Wildlife Data Integration Network, Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Madison, WI 53706; 17: School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham Sutton Bonington Campus, Nottingham LE12 5RD, United Kingdom, and Twycross Zoo-East Midland Zoological Society, Twycross CV9 3PX, United Kingdom; 18: Department of Applied Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham Sutton Bonington Campus, Nottingham LE12 5RD, United Kingdom; 19: Human Dimensions Research Unit, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; 20: University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
  • Source: microbiolspec October 2013 vol. 1 no. 1 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0014-2012
  • Received 06 December 2012 Accepted 09 December 2012 Published 25 October 2013
  • Tracey S. McNamara, tmcnamara@westernu.edu
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  • Abstract:

    The West Nile virus outbreak of 1999 revealed many weaknesses in this country's ability to respond to disease threats that cross species lines. There were issues of poor communication among human, domestic animal, and wildlife health agencies that delayed diagnosis; a lack of diagnostic capacity of wildlife agencies at the state level; the exclusion of captive wildlife from any surveillance efforts; an inability to visualize the geospatial relationship between the human and avian outbreaks in a timely manner; and marked disparities of funding levels across agencies. Wildlife has played an important role in recent emerging infectious diseases, and it is clear that a One Health approach will be necessary to respond to future threats. The question is, are we any better prepared to recognize and respond to a wildlife-related emerging infectious disease than we were 14 years ago? Have the lessons of WNV been learned?

  • Citation: McNamara T, McLean R, Saito E, Wolfe P, Gillin C, Fischer J, Ellis J, French R, Martin P, Schuler K, McRuer D, Clark E, Hines M, Marsh C, Szewczyk V, Sladky K, Yon L, Hannant D, Siemer W. 2013. Surveillance of Wildlife Diseases: Lessons from the West Nile Virus Outbreak. Microbiol Spectrum 1(1):OH-0014-2012. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.OH-0014-2012.

References

1. Childs J, Shope RE, Fish D, Meslin FX, Peters CJ, Johnson K, Debess E, Dennis G, Jenkins S. 1998. Emerging zoonoses. Emerg Infect Dis 4:453454.
2. Jones KE, Patel NG, Levy MA, Storeygard A, Balk D, Gittleman JL, Daszak, P. 2008. Global trends in emerging infectious diseases. Nature 451:990993.
3. Daszak P, Cunningham AA, Hyatt AD. 2000. Emerging infectious diseases of wildlifethreats to biodiversity and human health. Science 287:443449.
4. Daszak P, Tabor GM, Kilpatrick AM, Epstein J, Plowright R. 2004. Conservation medicine and a new agenda for emerging diseases. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1026:111.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2003. Update: multistate outbreak of monkeypoxIllinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, 2003. MMRW Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 52:642646.
6. Chomel BB, Belotto A, Meslin FX. 2007. Wildlife, exotic pets, and emerging zoonoses. Emerg Infect Dis 13:611.
7. Rabinowitz P, Gordon Z, Chudnov D,Wilcox M, Odofin, L, Liu A, Dein J. 2004. Animals as sentinels of bioterrorism agents. Emerg Infect Dis 12:647652.
8. Friend M. 2006. Disease Emergence and Resurgence: the Wildlife-Human Connection. Circular 1285. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.
9. Kruse H, Kirkemo AM, Handeland K. 2004. Wildlife as source of zoonotic infections. Emerg Infect Dis 10:20672072.
10. Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. 2008. National Fish and Wildlife Health Initiative Toolkit. Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Washington, DC. http://www.fishwildlife.org/files/Fish-Wildlife-Health-Initiative-Toolkit_rev5-09.pdf (last accessed May 20, 2013).
11. Siemer WF, Lauber TB, Decker DJ, Riley SJ. 2012. Agency Capacities To Detect and Respond to Disease Events: 2011 National Survey Results. Human Dimensions Research Unit Series Publication 12-1. Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
12. Siemer WF, Lauber TB, Decker DJ, Riley SJ. 2012. Building capacity to address disease threats: Clues from a study of state wildlife agencies. North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference 77: In press.
13. McLean RG, Ubico SR, Docherty DE, Hansen WR, Sileo L, McNamara TS. 2001. West Nile virus transmission and ecology in birds. Ann N Y Acad Sci 951:5457.
14. Nolen RS. 2012. The CDC for wildlife. JAVMA News 241:13931399.
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2013-10-25
2017-05-24

Abstract:

The West Nile virus outbreak of 1999 revealed many weaknesses in this country's ability to respond to disease threats that cross species lines. There were issues of poor communication among human, domestic animal, and wildlife health agencies that delayed diagnosis; a lack of diagnostic capacity of wildlife agencies at the state level; the exclusion of captive wildlife from any surveillance efforts; an inability to visualize the geospatial relationship between the human and avian outbreaks in a timely manner; and marked disparities of funding levels across agencies. Wildlife has played an important role in recent emerging infectious diseases, and it is clear that a One Health approach will be necessary to respond to future threats. The question is, are we any better prepared to recognize and respond to a wildlife-related emerging infectious disease than we were 14 years ago? Have the lessons of WNV been learned?

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