Journal article

DIAGNOSING AND CATEGORIZING LEPROSY IN LIVE EURASIAN RED SQUIRRELS (SCIURUS VULGARIS) FOR MANAGEMENT, SURVEILLANCE, AND TRANSLOCATION PURPOSES

Anna-Katarina Schilling, Kristen McCurdy, Amy Fish, Peter WW Lurz, Annemieke Geluk, Anouk Van Hooij, Marianne Farish, Malcolm Mitchell, Karen Stevenson, Anna L Meredith

JOURNAL OF ZOO AND WILDLIFE MEDICINE | AMER ASSOC ZOO VETERINARIANS | Published : 2021

Abstract

The presence of Mycobacterium lepromatosis and Mycobacterium leprae in Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris, ERS) carcasses throughout the British Isles, and leprosy as a disease, have recently been reported using histological and molecular diagnostic methods. In 2016, the first longitudinal study of ERS affected by leprosy was initiated. One of the main challenges was the reliable diagnosis of leprosy in live ERS, which is important for (a) welfare and case management and (b) surveillance or pretranslocation screening efforts. We explored diagnostic methods ranging from detailed clinical assessment and informative categorization of observed lesions, thermal imaging, serology (antiphenoli..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Kate Sampson, Corinna Goeckeritz, AndyWalker, Robert Logan, Angela Cott, Timothy Hartley, Nicki Tutton, Luke Johns, Chris Thain, and others (National Trust for Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, National Trust Brownsea, Dorset Wildlife Trust). Further thanks to Joyce McLuckie, Mizuho Suzuki, Rebecca Amos, Anna George, Katy Barret, Julia Coats, Laura Ryan, Axel Schilling, and Charlotte Avanzi. We thank Paul Corstjens (Department of Cell and Chemical Biology, LUMC), Jess Martin, Jorge DelPozo, Darren Shaw, and Ian Handler. This work was supported by the Principal's Career Development PhD Scholarship by the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Government Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division.