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Thread: Mcf in wild deer

  1. #1

    Mcf in wild deer

    Is anyone aware of losses in wild deer to Malignant catarrhal fever? can be devastating to park deer, and I just wonder whether what we count as natural mortality on hill ground where sheep and deer mix might in some cases be MCF.
    European Elk seem to be particularly susceptible.
    Also whether deer suffer from plochter / yallowes. that sheep get from ingesting the bog asphodel plant on wet moor grazings ?

  2. #2
    Whilst malignant catarrhal fever can occur in outbreaks I have only ever seen single isolated cases in cattle. It can theoretically affect wild deer. They would need to come into contact with sheep to get the virus one way or another. I suspect it is a very minor cause of illness in wild deer.

    I would also expect bog asphodel to be poisonousness to deer.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    Whilst malignant catarrhal fever can occur in outbreaks I have only ever seen single isolated cases in cattle. It can theoretically affect wild deer. They would need to come into contact with sheep to get the virus one way or another. I suspect it is a very minor cause of illness in wild deer.

    I would also expect bog asphodel to be poisonousness to deer.
    I have never encountered MCF and know nothing of it

    Nor have I seen yallowes in deer, but bog asphodel seems to be poisonous to most things, deer certainly eat it
    but to how much effect it has on them I don't know.

    Bog asphodel was at one time said to cause brittle bones in stock, but as it tends to grow on ground low in calcium
    it was probably the lack of calcium that was causing the brittle bones rather than the bog asphodel.

    Cattle tend to avoid bog asphodel if possible but when they do eat it, it can prove fatal quite quickly
    In sheep it normally effects lambs between two and four months of age , in areas where it is common they seem to build up some immunity to it as they grow older, could it be the same for deer?

    Grouse eat the green shoots and it does not seem to have an effect on them.

    Though its certainly toxic it would appear not to effect every species in the same way, or perhaps to the same extent.

    Apart from the known effects on the kidneys and the liver, lambs can also develop photosensitization, something you think you would notice in deer if it was common.

    Sorry not much help, don't know enough about it, but don't think it can have a great effect on wild deer, as if it did those of us who work among them should have seen some sign of it as bog asphodel is a very common plant in the Highlands.

    Interesting thread though and would be interested to see what others with any experience of bog asphodel and deer have to say on the subject.

  4. #4
    So as not to upset the sheep farmers down here we use euphemisms like "winter death syndrome" to descried the die backs in deer caused by MCF. The Asiatics are much more susceptible than fallow & red deer. Rusa & chital are highly susceptible (no doubt hog deer too) & we also see deaths down here in Bali cattle, buffalo, bison & antelope if they share range with maggot taxis.

    We still don't know how MCF winters, as sheep are only supposed to be contagious for only a short period after infection & the midges which are the vector don't live in even our mild winters as we still get frosts. The best hypothesis I've heard is that it is newborn lambs which haven't developed their own antibodies which are contagious & start the cycle again every spring. I'd be very happy to learn more about MCF & also if anyone has done the blood work, looking for antibodies in wild deer to see the patterns of infection.

    Sharkey

  5. #5
    From the OIE technical manual:
    The domestic sheep is the natural host of OvHV-2 and probably all sheep populations are infected with the virus
    in the absence of any clinical response. Studies of the dynamics of infection within sheep flocks have however,
    generated conflicting results with some suggesting productive infection occurs in the first weeks of a lamb’s life
    while others suggest infection of most lambs does not occur until 3 months of age with excretion of infectious
    virus occurring between 5 and 6 months (Li et al., 2004). There is also evidence that some lambs may become
    infected in utero while other studies suggest that removal of lambs from their dams during the first week permits
    the establishment of virus-free animals. There may therefore be considerable variation in the dynamics of
    infection in different flocks. However, circumstantial evidence of the occurrence of MCF in susceptible species
    does suggest that the perinatal sheep flock is the principal source of infection, but that periodic recrudescence of
    infection may occur in sheep of all ages
    .
    I'm unaware of midges playing any role in the transmission.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    From the OIE technical manual:


    I'm unaware of midges playing any role in the transmission.
    Down here they won't even use the correct name but use euphemisms instead. Midges not the vector? Those of us with animals affected by MCF know that insects are the vector just like with Bluetounge or EHD (Nth America). If I didn't know that midges were the vector for MCF I wouldn't be able to run deer or antelope. Simples.

    Sharkey

  7. #7
    With all due respect - the OIE should know what they are talking about!

    The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

    The need to fight animal diseases at global level led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties through the international Agreement signed on January 25th 1924. In May 2003 the Office became the World Organisation for Animal Health but kept its historical acronym OIE.
    The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.
    It is recognised as a reference organisation by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in 2013 had a total of 178 Member Countries. The OIE maintains permanent relations with 45 other international and regional organisations and has Regional and sub-regional Offices on every continent.
    In the UK it is almost exclusively seen where cattle and sheep have intimate contact. The disease is almost unheard of where cattle don't come into contact with sheep. We've established (with Bluetongue) that midges can travel many hundreds of miles (ie across the English Channel) carrying disease. If midges carried the virus then it would appear everywhere, whether sheep contact or not. Whether your Auzzy midges are different to ours? Even so the OIE statement covers these diseases worldwide. I remain completely unconvinced of spread by culicoides.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    With all due respect - the OIE should know what they are talking about!



    In the UK it is almost exclusively seen where cattle and sheep have intimate contact. The disease is almost unheard of where cattle don't come into contact with sheep. We've established (with Bluetongue) that midges can travel many hundreds of miles (ie across the English Channel) carrying disease. If midges carried the virus then it would appear everywhere, whether sheep contact or not. Whether your Auzzy midges are different to ours? Even so the OIE statement covers these diseases worldwide. I remain completely unconvinced of spread by culicoides.
    With all due respect. We also have die backs of deer from MCF in National Parks were there are no sheep. The only vector that is likely is midges. The die backs occur when conditions suit midges. Ironic eh?

    Sharkey

  9. #9
    Do you have wildebeest in Auz? I wonder of the wildebeest strain can act differently? I've seen the disease in the middle of winter in the UK - no midges. The first case I saw as a student was in the month of March with snow on the ground.

    If insects were a major source, someone other than you would have discovered this.

    The precise means by which OvHV-2 is transmitted from sheep to bison is not yet well defined, particularly that occurring over significant distances. Aerosol probably plays a major mode in the transmission, although other factors, such as climate (wind, temperature, and moisture) and mechanical vectors, such as birds, may also be involved. A previous study has documented that nasal secretions are the predominant vehicle by which OvHV-2 is shed from sheep (8). Nasal secretions from sheep experiencing shedding episodes can reliably infect negative sheep and induce MCF in cattle and bison by experimental aerosolization (9–11), suggesting an important role for aerosol transmission. Prevailing winds can significantly enhance the efficiency of aerosol transmission. Whether or not the morbidity rate would have been higher had the bison been located downwind from the lambs is not known. Birds represent a potential mechanical vector that may have played an important role in this outbreak. During cool wet periods particularly, virus carried in sheep nasal secretions adhering to the feet of birds that walk in the feeders could easily survive to contaminate the feedstuffs of animals residing at a considerable distance. Numerous birds in the vicinity, attracted to the animal feed, could have visited both the sheep feedlot and the bison pastures. Although transmission by birds has not been experimentally documented, individuals considering control measures would be well advised to address this potential source of virus spread. Long distance spread of malignant catarrhal fever virus from feedlot lambs to ranch bison
    From a really nice, detailed review article (my bold):

    Transmission of MCF-associated viruses

    Both AlHV-1 and OvHV-2 appear to be transmitted by contact or aerosol, mainly from wildebeest calves (AlHV-1) and lambs (OvHV-2) under 1-year old (Mushi et al., 1981, Baxter et al., 1997 and Li et al., 1998). Incubation periods after experimental inoculation of cattle are 2–12 weeks (Plowright et al., 1975, Buxton et al., 1984 and Taus et al., 2006).
    The causal viruses are passed between individuals of the reservoir hosts and from reservoir to MCF-susceptible species by the horizontal route, although vertical transmission has been inferred from the detection of anti-MCF virus antibodies in the serum of some gnotobiotic or specific-pathogen-free lambs (Rossiter, 1981) and from recovery of AlHV-1 from a wildebeest fetus (Plowright, 1965). The principal source of free virus in wildebeest is in the tears and nasal secretions (Mushi et al., 1981). OvHV-2 viral DNA also has been detected in samples from the alimentary, respiratory and urogenital tracts of sheep (Hüssy et al., 2002). This may account for some infection of offspring occurring during or shortly after lambing or calving.


    Experimental induction of MCF in cattle has been achieved using wildebeest nasal secretions containing AlHV-1 (Plowright, 1964). Infectious OvHV-2 is present in ovine nasal secretions, but appears to be difficult to isolate from this source, since the period of virus shedding is short for any given animal (Kim et al., 2003 and Li et al., 2004). OvHV-2 collected from ovine nasal secretions will infect naïve sheep (Taus et al., 2005) and also can induce MCF in cattle and bison (Taus et al., 2006).


    While sheep and bison can be infected by intranasal nebulisation with 103–105 genome copies of OvHV-2, infection of cattle is not reliable, even at 1000-fold higher doses (Taus et al., 2005 and Taus et al., 2006). At very high doses, intranasal inoculation of OvHV-2 induced MCF-like clinical signs in naïve sheep, confirming a previous report that this carrier species can develop a mild form of MCF (Buxton et al., 1985 and Li et al., 2005a).


    The MCF-susceptible species generally are thought to be dead-end hosts that do not transmit virus to other animals, which has the beneficial effect of limiting the spread of disease during outbreaks. Some transmission between infected deer has been reported, although such cases appear to be unusual (Reid et al., 1986). The reason for lack of spread between MCF-susceptible animals is likely to be that the virus replicates in a cell-associated manner in these species and cell-free virus is not produced. Malignant catarrhal fever: a review. [Vet J. 2009] - PubMed - NCBI
    I'm not been an arse here - I can find absolutely zero evidence of this particular virus spread by midges (or other insects).

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  10. #10
    MCF has a real species susceptibility range. Sporadic deaths are seen in UK parks and farms particularly with Pere David, sika and bison. In all cases I have seen or heard of sheep have been present in the area. There appears to be a higher incidence in spring (lambing time) maybe associated with either increased viral spread from sheep under stress or the spring of the year being a time that deer may be stressed. It certainly wouldn't be the time of year for midges. The biggest outbreak I saw was on a sika deer farm when after lambing the shed was cleaned out and the contents dumped in a heap in the deer pen... deer started dying within days.

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