SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.80 issue3Assessment of viability and acrosomal status of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) sperm after treatment with calcium ionophore and heparinEconomic assessment of the performance of trypanotolerant cattle breeds in a pastoral production system in Kenya author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.80 n.3 Cape Town  2009

 

ARTICLE

 

The epidemiology of lion lentivirus infection among a population of free-ranging lions (Panthera leo) in the Kruger National Park, South Africa

 

 

H AdamsI; M van VuurenII; A-M BosmanII; D KeetIII; J NewI; M KennedyI

IDepartment of Comparative Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, 2407 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
IIDepartment of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria
IIIState Veterinary Services, Skukuza, Kruger National Park

 

 


ABSTRACT

Feline immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus of domestic cats that causes significant lifelong infection. Infection with this or similar lentiviruses has been detected in several nondomestic feline species, including African lions (Panthera leo). Although lion lentivirus (FIVple) infection is endemic in certain lion populations in eastern and southern Africa, little is known about its pathogenic effects or its epidemiological impact in free-ranging lions. This report describes the epidemiological investigation of lentivirus positivity of free-ranging lions in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. A nested polymerase chain reaction assay for virus detection was performed on all whole blood samples collected. In addition, serum samples were tested for cross-reactive antibodies to domestic feline lentivirus antigens and to puma lentivirus synthetic envelope peptide antigen. The results were analysed in conjunction with epidemiological data to provide a descriptive epidemiological study on lion lentivirus infection in a free-ranging population of lions. The overall prevalence of lentivirus infection was 69 %, with a prevalence of 41 % in the north of the park, and 80 % in the south. Adult males had the highest prevalence when combining the factors of sex and age: 94 %. The lowest prevalences were found among juveniles, with male juveniles at 29 %. Adults were 5.58 times more likely to test positive for FIVple than juveniles, with adult males being 35 times more likely to be test positive for FIVple compared with juvenile males. This research represents the 1st epidemiological study of the lion lentivirus among free-ranging lions in the Kruger National Park.

Keywords: feline immunodeficiency virus, Kruger National Park, lentivirus, prevalence, lions, Panthera leo, South Africa


 

 

“Full text available only in PDF format”

 

 

REFERENCES

1. Bull M, Kennedy-Stoskopf S, Levine J, Loomis M, Gebhard D, Tompkins W 2003 Evaluation of T lymphocytes in captive African lions (Panthera leo) infected with feline immunodeficiency virus. American Journal of Veterinary Research 64: 1293-1300        [ Links ]

2. Burkhard M, Obert L, O'Neil L, Diehl L, Hoover E 1997 Mucosal transmission of cell-associatedandcell-free feline immuno-deficiency virus. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 13: 347-355        [ Links ]

3. Burkhard M, Valenski L, Leavell S, Dean G, Tompkins W 2002 Evaluation of FIV protein-expressing VEE-replicon vaccine vectors in cats. Vaccine 21: 258-268        [ Links ]

4. Burkhard M, Dean G 2003 Transmission and immunopathogenesis of FIV in cats as a model for HIV. Current HIV Research 1: 15-29        [ Links ]

5. Brown E, Yuhki N, Packer C, O'Brien S 1994 A lion lentivirus related to feline immunodeficiency virus: epidemiologic and phylo-genetic aspects. Journal of Virology 68: 5953-5968        [ Links ]

6. Coffin J 1986 Genetic variation in AIDS viruses. Cell 46: 1-4        [ Links ]

7. Dow S, Poss M, Hoover E 1990 Feline immunodeficiency virus: a neurotropic lentivirus. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 3: 658-668        [ Links ]

8. Dowbenko D, Bell J, Benton C, Groopman J, Nguyen H, Vetterlein D, Capon D, Lasky L 1985 Bacterial expression of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome retrovirus p24 gag protein and its use as a diagnostic reagent. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 82: 7748-7752        [ Links ]

9. Heinsohn R 1997 Group territoriality in two populations of African lions. Animal Behavior 53: 1143-1147        [ Links ]

10. Jessup D 2003 Opportunistic research and sampling combined with fisheries and wildlife management actions or crisis response. Institute of Laboratory Animal Research Journal. 44: 277-85        [ Links ]

11. Jordan H, Howard J, Tompkins W, KennedyStoskopf S 1995 Detection of feline immunodeficiency virus in semen from sero-positive domestic cats (Felis catus). Journal of Virology 69: 7328-7333        [ Links ]

12. Kania S, Kennedy M, Potgieter L 1997 Serologic reactivity using conserved envelope epitopes in feline lentivirus-infected felids. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 9: 125-129        [ Links ]

13. Lutz H, Isenbügel E, Lehmann R, Sabapara R, Wolfensberger C 1992 Retrovirus infections in non-domestic felids: serological studies and attempts to isolate a lentivirus. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 35: 215224        [ Links ]

14. Mermer B, Hillman P, Harris R, Krogmann T, Tonelli Q, Palin W, Andersen P 1992 A re-combinant-based feline immunodeficiency virus antibody enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 35: 133-141        [ Links ]

15. Olmsted R, Langley R, Roelke M, Goeken R, Adger-Johnson D, Goff J, Albert J, Packer C, Laurenson M, Caro T 1992 Worldwide prevalence of lentivirus infection in wild feline species: epidemiologic and phylo-genetic aspects. Journal of Virology 66: 6008-6018        [ Links ]

16. O'Neil L, Burkhard M, Diehl L, Hoover E 1995 Vertical transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses 11: 171-182        [ Links ]

17. Pedersen N C, Ho EW, Brown ML, Yamamoto J K 1987 Isolation of a T-lymphotropic virus from domestic cats with an immunodeficiency-like syndrome. Science 235: 790-793        [ Links ]

18. Pedersen N 1993 The feline immunodeficiency virus. In Levy J (ed) The Retroviridae. Plenum Press, New York: 181-228        [ Links ]

19. Spencer J, Van Dijk A, Horzinek M, Egberink H, Bengis R, Keet D, Morikawa S, Bishop D 1992 Incidence of feline immuno-deficiency virus reactive antibodies in free-ranging lions of the Kruger National Park and the Etosha National Park in southern Africa detected by recombinant FIV p24 antigen. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 59: 315-322        [ Links ]

20. Sunquist M E, Sunquist F 2002 Wild cats of the world. University of Chicago Press, Chicago        [ Links ]

21. Thrusfield M 2007 Veterinary epidemiology. Blackwell Publishing Limited, Ames.         [ Links ]

22. Troyer J, Pecon-Slattery J, Roelke M, Black L, Packer C, O'Brien S 2004 Patterns of feline immunodeficiency virus multiple infection and genome divergence in a free-ranging population of African lions. Journal of Virology 78: 3777-3791        [ Links ]

23. Troyer J, Pecon-Slattery J, Roelke M, Johnson W, VandeWoude S, Vazquez N, Brown M, Frank L, Woodroffe R, Winterbach C, Winterbach H, Hemson G, Bush M, Alexander K, Revilla E, O'Brien S 2005 Seroprevalence and genomic divergence of circulating strains of feline immunodeficiency virus among Felidae and Hyaenidae species. Journal of Virology 79: 8282-8294        [ Links ]

24. Van Vuuren M, Stylianides E, Kania S, Zuckerman E, Hardy W J 2003 Evaluation of an indirect enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay for the detection of feline lentivirus-reactive antibodies in wild felids, employing a puma lentivirus-derived synthetic peptide antigen. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research 70: 1-6        [ Links ]

25. Wobeser G 1994 Samples, sampling and sample collection. In Investigation and management of diseases in wild animals. Plenum Press, New York: 87-102        [ Links ]

 

 

Received: January 2009
Accepted: July 2009

 

 

*Author for correspondence. E-mail: haylevet@yahoo.com

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License