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Marcela Randau, Anjali Goswami
Within carnivorans, cats show comparatively little disparity in overall morphology, with species differing mainly in body size. However, detailed shape analyses of individual osteological structures, such as limbs or skulls, have shown that felids display significant morphological differences that correlate with their observed ecological and behavioural ranges. Recently, these shape analyses have been extended to the felid axial skeleton. Results demonstrate a functionally-partitioned vertebral column, with regions varying greatly in level of correlation between shape and ecology...
2018: Evolutionary Biology
Andrew J Conith, Molly A Meagher, Elizabeth R Dumont
Biodiversity is unevenly distributed in space and time. One possible explanation for this is the influence of climate on the ecology, evolution, and morphology of taxa. Here we investigated the link between climatic variability and phenotypic integration, rates of morphological evolution, and disparity (morphological diversity) in three carnivoran clades (Canidae, Felidae, and Mustelidae). We gathered landmark data from the lower jaw and extracted current temperature and precipitation data from range maps. We found a significant negative relationship between climatic variability and integration for canids and felids...
June 2018: American Naturalist
Alice Nentwig, Marina L Meli, Johanna Schrack, Iris M Reichler, Barbara Riond, Corinne Gloor, Judith Howard, Regina Hofmann-Lehmann, Barbara Willi
BACKGROUND: Cytauxzoonosis is an emerging tick-borne disease of domestic and wild felids. Cytauxzoon felis induces severe and often fatal disease in domestic cats. In Europe, clinical and subclinical infections caused by Cytauxzoon sp. are described. We report the first cases of Cytauxzoon sp. infection in domestic cats in Switzerland. METHODS: Clinical and laboratory data and results of PCR analyses were collected from Cytauxzoon sp. PCR-positive cats and the cats followed for up to 851 days...
May 10, 2018: Parasites & Vectors
Barbara Gandolfi, Hasan Alhaddad, Mona Abdi, Leslie H Bach, Erica K Creighton, Brian W Davis, Jared E Decker, Nicholas H Dodman, Jennifer C Grahn, Robert A Grahn, Bianca Haase, Jens Haggstrom, Michael J Hamilton, Christopher R Helps, Jennifer D Kurushima, Hannes Lohi, Maria Longeri, Richard Malik, Kathryn M Meurs, Michael J Montague, James C Mullikin, William J Murphy, Sara M Nilson, Niels C Pedersen, Carlyn B Peterson, Clare Rusbridge, Rashid Saif, Diane G Shelton, Wesley C Warren, Muhammad Wasim, Leslie A Lyons
The development of high throughput SNP genotyping technologies has improved the genetic dissection of simple and complex traits in many species including cats. The properties of feline 62,897 SNPs Illumina Infinium iSelect DNA array are described using a dataset of over 2,000 feline samples, the most extensive to date, representing 41 cat breeds, a random bred population, and four wild felid species. Accuracy and efficiency of the array's genotypes and its utility in performing population-based analyses were evaluated...
May 4, 2018: Scientific Reports
Érika A Praxedes, Alana A Borges, Maria V O Santos, Alexsandra F Pereira
The conservation of biological resources is an interesting strategy for the maintenance of biodiversity, especially for wild felids who are constantly threatened with extinction. For this purpose, cryopreservation techniques have been used for the long-term storage of gametes, embryos, gonadal tissues, and somatic cells and tissues. The establishment of these banks has been suggested as a practical approach to the preservation of species and, when done in tandem with assisted reproductive techniques, could provide the means for reproducing endangered species...
May 3, 2018: Zoo Biology
Ugyen Penjor, David W Macdonald, Sonam Wangchuk, Tandin Tandin, Cedric Kai Wei Tan
The survival of large carnivores is increasingly precarious due to extensive human development that causes the habitat loss and fragmentation. Habitat selection is influenced by anthropogenic as well as environmental factors, and understanding these relationships is important for conservation management. We assessed the environmental and anthropogenic variables that influence site use of clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa in Bhutan, estimated their population density, and used the results to predict the species' site use across Bhutan...
April 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Haitao Yang, Hailong Dou, Raj Kumar Baniya, Siyu Han, Yu Guan, Bing Xie, Guojing Zhao, Tianming Wang, Pu Mou, Limin Feng, Jianping Ge
We analyzed the scats of Amur tigers and Amur leopards, and examined their annual and seasonal food habits in Northeast China to comprehend their coexistence. Wild boar had the highest annual and seasonal consumption frequencies by the tigers, while both roe deer and sika deer were mostly preyed by the leopards annually. The three species appeared to be the key preys in terms of high proportion of consumed biomass by the two felids. Our data also revealed numerous mid-sized carnivores and small mammals included in the two felids' food list...
May 2, 2018: Scientific Reports
Golam Reza Siyami Gorji, Maryam Rassouli, Hamid Staji
Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Felids are definitive hosts and all warm-blooded animals can be intermediate hosts. Some animals such as sheep, goats and pigs are sensitive to infection. In sheep production systems, toxoplamosis can cause abortion and economic loss. In public health, this disease can be transmitted to humans by the consumption of undercooked infected meat or other organs. In this study, T. gondii DNA was detected by B1 gene amplification in 140 randomly-selected brains of slaughtered sheep in Semnan, Iran...
2018: Annals of Parasitology
Jeffrey C Chandler, Laurie A Baeten, Doreen L Griffin, Thomas Gidlewski, Thomas J DeLiberto, Jeannine M Petersen, Ryan Pappert, John W Young, Sarah N Bevins
Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague, and is considered a category A priority pathogen due to its potential for high transmissibility and the significant morbidity and mortality it causes in humans. Y. pestis is endemic to the Western United States and much of the world, necessitating programs to monitor for this pathogen on the landscape. Elevated human risk of plague infection has been spatially correlated with spikes in seropositive wildlife numbers, particularly rodent-eating carnivores which are frequently in contact with the enzootic hosts and the associated arthropod vectors of Y...
April 25, 2018: Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Anelisie da Silva Santos, Tatiane Campos Trigo, Tadeu Gomes de Oliveira, Leandro Silveira, Eduardo Eizirik
The pampas cat is a small felid that occurs in open habitats throughout much of South America. Previous studies have revealed intriguing patterns of morphological differentiation and genetic structure among its populations, as well as molecular evidence for hybridization with the closely related L. tigrinus. Here we report phylogeographic analyses encompassing most of its distribution (focusing particularly on Brazilian specimens, which had been poorly sampled in previous studies), using a novel dataset comprising 2,143 bp of the mitogenome, along with previously reported mtDNA sequences...
2018: Genetics and Molecular Biology
Xianli Shi, Mingwei Wang, A Y Abdullahi, Yeqi Fu, Fang Yang, Xingang Yu, Weida Pan, Xinxin Yan, Jianxiong Hang, Pan Zhang, Guoqing Li
Ancylostoma ceylanicum may inhabit the small intestine of canids, felids and humans, can pose a potential risk to public health. This study is the first time to amplify complete mitochondrial genome sequence of A. ceylanicum from dog and to compare it with Ancylostoma tubaeforme, Ancylostoma duodenale and Ancylostoma caninum. The results showed that the complete mitochondrial genome of A. ceylanicum was 13,660 bp in length, including 12 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes and 22 tRNA genes and 3 non-coding regions (AT-rich region, SNCR and LNCR)...
April 13, 2018: Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Zeli Zhang, Qinyong Gu, Daniela Marino, Kyeong-Lim Lee, Il-Keun Kong, Dieter Häussinger, Carsten Münk
The replication of lentiviruses highly depends on host cellular factors, which defines their species-specific tropism. Cellular restriction factors that can inhibit lentiviral replication were recently identified. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) was found to be sensitive to several feline cellular restriction factors, such as apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like 3 (APOBEC3) and tetherin, but FIV evolved to counteract them. Here, we describe the molecular mechanisms by which feline APOBEC3 restriction factors inhibit FIV replication and discuss the molecular interaction of APOBEC3 proteins with the viral antagonizing protein Vif...
April 10, 2018: Viruses
Victoria Jeffers, Zoi Tampaki, Kami Kim, William J Sullivan
A critical factor in the transmission and pathogenesis of Toxoplasma gondii is the ability to convert from an acute disease-causing, proliferative stage (tachyzoite), to a chronic, dormant stage (bradyzoite). The conversion of the tachyzoite-containing parasitophorous vacuole membrane into the less permeable bradyzoite cyst wall allows the parasite to persist for years within the host to maximize transmissibility to both primary (felids) and secondary (virtually all other warm-blooded vertebrates) hosts. This review presents our current understanding of the latent stage, including the factors that are important in bradyzoite induction and maintenance...
March 30, 2018: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences: CMLS
Deborah J Bird, William J Murphy, Lester Fox-Rosales, Iman Hamid, Robert A Eagle, Blaire Van Valkenburgh
The evolution of mammalian olfaction is manifested in a remarkable diversity of gene repertoires, neuroanatomy and skull morphology across living species. Olfactory receptor genes (ORGs), which initiate the conversion of odorant molecules into odour perceptions and help an animal resolve the olfactory world, range in number from a mere handful to several thousand genes across species. Within the snout, each of these ORGs is exclusively expressed by a discrete population of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), suggesting that newly evolved ORGs may be coupled with new OSN populations in the nasal epithelium...
March 14, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Jo Anne Au Yong, Daniel D Lewis, Scott B Citino, Mark W Cunningham, Alan R Cross, James P Farese, Luisito S Pablo
The clinical outcomes of six free-ranging Florida panthers ( Puma concolor coryi) that underwent surgical stabilization of appendicular long-bone fractures (three femoral fractures, one tibial and one tibial and fibular fracture and two radial and ulnar fractures) were evaluated. These panthers presented to the University of Florida from 2000-2014. Estimated age of the panthers ranged from 0.5 to 4.5 yr, and weights ranged from 22 to 65 kg. Causes of injuries were vehicular collision ( n = 4) and capture related ( n = 2)...
March 2018: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Muhammad A Saeed, Mohammed H Rashid, Jane Vaughan, Abdul Jabbar
Members of the genus Sarcocystis (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) are intracellular protozoan parasites that infect a wide range of domestic and wild animals, resulting in economic losses in production animals worldwide. Sarcocystis spp. have indirect life-cycles where canids and felids serve as main definitive hosts while a range of domestic and wild animals serve as intermediate hosts, including South American camelids (SACs) such as alpacas, llamas and guanacos. These animals primarily occur in South American countries on Andean, elevated plains but in recent years, alpacas and llamas have become emerging animal industries in other parts of the world such as Australia, Europe and the USA due to their high-quality fiber, meat and hides...
March 6, 2018: Parasites & Vectors
Maira Aparecida Christello Trindade, Marcia Raquel Pegoraro de Macedo, Gertrud Muller
Parasitic diseases affecting wild carnivores remain largely unknown or poorly described. Dioctophymosis is a parasitosis caused by the nematode Dioctophyme renale that is found worldwide. It affects domestic and wild animals and has been reported frequently in Brazil. This paper reports dioctophymosis in a wild felid for the first time.
February 19, 2018: Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinária, Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology
Adnan Hodžić, Amer Alić, Georg Gerhard Duscher
Wild felids may play a significant role in the transmission of various pathogens to domestic cats, in particular, but also to other animals and humans. However, since data on the occurrence of blood-borne organisms in European wild cats (Felis silvestris silvestris) are scarce, the present study aimed to provide an insight into the genetic diversity of the agents carried by this sylvatic species in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to elucidate their pathogenic impact. Tissue samples from 18 adult wild cats were collected and examined by PCR and histopathology...
March 2018: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
G Steenkamp, S C Boy, P J van Staden, M N Bester
Descriptions of several oral, maxillofacial and dental conditions/diseases exist for a variety of captive large felids, but little is reported on the pathology of free roaming large felids. Apart from focal palatine erosions (FPEs) as initially described by Fitch and Fagan (1982) and some reference to absent incisor teeth, few data exist on diseases affecting the oral, maxillofacial and dental structures of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), regardless of their captivity status. This study reports 18 different conditions affecting the teeth, bone and oral cavity soft tissue of cheetahs, based on initial assessment of 256 animals over 11 years (2002-2012) in South Africa and Namibia...
January 2018: Journal of Comparative Pathology
Andreia F Silva, Sara Escada-Rebelo, Sandra Amaral, Renata S Tavares, Stefan Schlatt, João Ramalho-Santos, Paula C Mota
The reduced number of animals in most wild felid populations implies a loss of genetic diversity. The death of juveniles, prior to the production of mature sperm, represents a loss of potential genetic contribution to future populations. Since 2011 mouse testicular organ culture has introduced an alternative mechanism to produce sperm in vitro from immature tissue. However, extension of this technology to other species has remained limited. We have used the domestic cat (Felis catus) as a model for wild felids to investigate spermatogenesis initiation and regulation, with the mouse serving as a control species...
2018: PloS One
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