Journal article

The association between diet of periurban wild dogs and zoonotic pathogen carriage

Lana Harriott, Matthew Gentle, Rebecca Traub, Ricardo J Soares Magalhaes, Rowland Cobbold



Established wildlife populations in periurban environments provide an opportunity to spread zoonotic pathogens within human-associated environments. Characteristics of prevalent pathogens harboured by periurban wild dogs suggest that dietary preference could influence their infection status; however, data comparing diet composition and pathogen presence are rarely available. We analysed the stomach contents of 170 periurban wild dogs (Canis familiaris) for the occurrence and biomass of prey items, and then associated this with their known infection status of key zoonotic pathogens. The staple prey items detected were mammalian prey species, most commonly swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor) (2..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

Collection of periurban wild dog carcasses was assisted by local governments and other individuals including, but not limited to, Benjamin Allen, Paul Meek, Doug Campbell, Glen Alchin, Suzanne Kallenbach, Warren Driver, Ruth Vicary, Andrew Vicary, Chris Thomas, Darcy Bliesner, Darren Pointon, SEQ Water, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Logan City, Somerset Regional, Gold Coast City and Byron Bay Regional Council. Tian Tian assisted in the cleaning and drying of stomach contents and contributed to the Escherichia coli screening. Barbara Triggs analysed the stomach contents. Lyn Knott, Sze Fui Hii and Tina Maguire provided technical assistance. This research was conducted with financial support from the Invasive Animal Co-operative Research Centre, Biosecurity Queensland and the University of Queensland. Helpful comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript were provided by Benjamin Allen and Joe Scanlan.