Office of Emergency Management | Environment, Health & Safety | Biological Safety | Zootonic Diseases |

Diseases Affecting Multiple Animal Species

Rabies

  1. Etiology
    1. A rhabdovirus.
  2. Hosts
    1. All warm ­blooded vertebrates are potentially susceptible
    2. Primates, opossums, rodents and rabbits are more resistant than dogs and cats.
  3. Disease in Animals
    1. The incubation period is variable.
    2. Behavioral changes and/or unexplained paralysis are the most commonly reported signs.
    3. Behavioral changes may include shyness in normally friendly animals, anxiousness, excitability, sudden mood changes, pica, and/or aggressiveness.
    4. Paralysis progresses to eventual death.
  4. Mode of Transmission
    1. Direct contact,is usually from a bite.
    2. Ingestion or mucosal contact with the virus may result in infection.
  5. Disease in Humans
    1. The incubation period can range from nine days to several years.
    2. Symptoms may include anxiety, irritation at the site of virus entry, hyperesthesia, hyperactivity, hydrophobia, acrophobia, increased salivation, laryngopharyngeal muscular spasms, convulsions, coma and death.
  6. Risk
    1. Risk is very low with laboratory animals.
    2. Ferrets are raised in wire-mesh cages are unlikely to come in contact with a rabid animal.
  7. Prevention
    1. Avoid bites and other means of inoculation.
    2. If an animal-­related injury occurs, disinfect wound thoroughly and report to LSCS Risk Management.
    3. The Veternarian on-duty will be notified and the animal will be quarantined under observation.
    4. If the animal is euthanatized, the head may be sent to the County Health Laboratory for rabies testing.
    5. If other wild animals are used, additional special precautions may be implemented.
Dogs must be vaccinated with approved rabies vaccines.

Diseases Affecting Multiple Animal Species

Campylobacteriosis (Vibriosis)

  1. Etiology
    1. Campylobacter jejuni is the most common species
    2. C. fetus ss fetus and C. fetus ss intestinalis are also implicated.
  2. Hosts
    1. Most animal species, i.e., dogs, cats, swine, and other common domestic species.
  3. Disease in Animals
    1. Many animals are considered to be asymptomatic carriers or shedders.
    2. Stress from overcrowding or poor sanitation may increase signs of illness.
    3. Signs may include acute to chronic diarrhea which may be watery, bloody, or mucoid.
    4. Anorexia, fever, and vomiting may or may not occur.
    5. The disease is frequently self-limiting.
  4. Mode of Transmission
    1. Fecal-oral transmission is possible though considered uncommon.
    2. People may become infected by ingesting contaminated water or dairy or poultry products.
  5. Disease in Humans
    1. The incubation period is 2 to 10 days.
    2. Susceptible individuals generally experience vague abdominal cramps followed by acute diarrhea for 3 to 5 days, an a fever.
    3. People often recover without treatment but antibiotics will decrease the amount of bacterial shedding.
  6. Risk
    1. Larger species (dogs, swine, etc.) may carry Campy/obacterbutroutine
    2. Rectal cultures seldom detect shedding.
    3. Risk is very low.
  7. Prevention
    1. Higher risk animal species should be cultured for Campy/obacter.
    2. Good personal hygiene should prevent transmission to employees and students.
    3. Symptomatic animals are diagnosed by rectal culture and treated to decrease or eliminate shedding.


Diseases Affecting Multiple Animal Species

Giardiasis

  1. Etiology
    1. Giardia spp., an enteric protozoa.
  2. Hosts
    1. Giardia is pan of the normal intestinal flora of most domestic and laboratory animal species.
    2. Many of these Giardia species may not be pathogenic to humans.
  3. Disease in Animals
    1. Giardia are typically non­pathogenic to their hosts.
    2. Increased numbers of Giardia can be found in the feces of animals with diarrhea but it is uncertain whether they are a primary cause of disease or rather a secondary response of little clinical significance.
    3. Dogs may show signs of diarrhea, steatorrhea, and weight loss.
  4. Mode of Transmission
    1. Infective cysts are passed in the feces of the affected host.
    2. Individuals become infected after drinking contaminated water either during a camping trip or from a municipal water source that was contaminated with human Giardia.
    3. Individuals may also become exposed if infected fecal material has contaminated skin or clothing and the infective material was subsequently ingested.
  5. Disease in Humans
    1. Signs of giardiasis in humans include diarrhea, steatorrhea, malaise, anorexia and weight loss.
  6. Risk
    1. Various species including dogs may carry Giardia in their intestinal tracts but It is uncertain if they are pathogenic to humans.
    2. Reports of giardiasis are uncommon.
  7. Prevention
    1. Good sanitary hygiene
    2. Wearing disposable latex examination gloves prevents transmission.
    3. Maintaining a high level of sanitation in the animal facilities further reduces risk.
Large animals should be screened during the quarantine process by fecal examination and treated if positive.

Diseases Affecting Multiple Animal Species

Arthropod Infestations

  1. Etiology
    1. Mites, ticks and fleas of numerous species.
  2. Hosts
    1. All animals have a potential for infestation of arthropods.
    2. Animals which arrive directly from their natural habitat would have a higher incidence.
  3. Disease in Animals
    1. Localized dermatitis of varying intensity is generally the most common clinical sign of arthropod infestations.
    2. The greater significance is the potential to serve as vectors for other systemic pathogens.
    3. Diseases which can be transferred include encephalitis (Western, Eastern and St. Louis), rickettsial pox, tularemia, psittacosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, plague, Q fever, Lyme Disease, etc.
  4. Mode of Transmission
    1. Arthropods can be transmitted by direct or indirect methods.
    2. Viral bacterial and rickettsial pathogens are transmitted to humans typically by the bite of the arthropod.
  5. Disease in Humans
    1. Direct effects to humans are usually related to the irritation caused by the specific arthropod on the skin.
    2. The effects of the viral, bacterial, and rickettsial pathogens vary with the disease.
  6. Risk
    1. The incidence of arthropod infestations on laboratory animals is very low.
    2. Animals that are wild-caught, such as fox, should undergo a rigid conditioning program to eliminate arthropods.
  7. Prevention
    1. Ensure that the arthropods do not infest the animal colonies by monitoring during quarantine and through the routine health surveillance program.
    2. Many arthropod species have a free-living phase in their life cycle which they are unable to complete due to the strict sanitary conditions in the animal facilities.

Diseases Affecting Multiple Animal Species

Tularemia

  1. Etiology
    1. Francisella tularensis (small pleomorphic, gram negative coccobacillus)
  2. Hosts
    1. Francisella tularensis is capable of infecting domestic and wild mammals, birds, androdents such as squirrels, voles, and muskrats.
  3. Disease in Animals
    1. The clinical signs of this disease in animals are nonspecific.
    2. In advanced stages, animals exhibit lethargy, fever, anorexia, and listlessness.
    3. Terminally, clinical signs of septicemia (moribund, severe dehydration, petechia, or ecchymoses) are often present.
  4. Mode of Transmission
    1. Transmission to humans occurs most often through insect bites (ticks, flies, or other blood-feeding arthropods) or via contact with contaminated animal products.
    2. Aerosol droplets, contact with contaminated water or mud, and animal bites have been implicated in transmission of this disease.
    3. Although the organism has been reported to penetrate intact human skin, recent research has suggested that the organism penetrates only through cuts or abrasions.
  5. Disease in Humans
    1. Virulent forms of tularemia start abruptly after an average incubation period of 3 to 5 days.
    2. The onset may be accompanied by fever, chitis, headache, malaise, anorexia, and fatigue.
    3. More severe symptoms may include cough, muscle ache, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.
    4. Less virulent strains cause a milder, self-limiting form of the disease, and occur in up to 50% of infected patients.
    5. The most recognized form of this disease, called the ulceroglandular form, is characterized by ulcerative, punched-­out skin lesions at the point of a tick or other insect bite and swollen Iymph nodes. This condition is rarely fatal and responds well to antibiotic treatment.
  6. Risk
    1. The risk of contracting tularemia is low.
  7. Prevention
    1. Follow appropriate safety procedures for handling each animal species.
    2. Always wear gloves and wash hands after handling animals.
    3. Report sick or diseased animals to a staff veterinarian.
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