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Canine distemper in Nepal's Annapurna Conservation Area - Implications of dog husbandry and human behaviour for wildlife disease


Ng, D and Carver, S and Gotame, M and Karmasharya, D and Karmacharya, D and Pradhan, SM and Rana, AN and Johnson, CN, Canine distemper in Nepal's Annapurna Conservation Area - Implications of dog husbandry and human behaviour for wildlife disease, PLoS One, 14, (12) Article e0220874. ISSN 1932-6203 (2019) [Refereed Article]


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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0220874


Dogs are often commensal with human settlements. In areas where settlements are adjacent to wildlife habitat, the management of dogs can affect risk of spillover of disease to wildlife. We assess dog husbandry practices, and measure the prevalence of Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) in dogs, in 10 villages in Nepal's Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA), an important region for Himalayan wildlife. A high proportion (58%) of owned dogs were allowed by their owners to roam freely, and many village dogs originated from urban areas outside the region. CDV antibodies, indicating past exposure, were detected in 70% of dogs, and 13% were positive for P-gene, suggesting current circulation of CDV. This is the first detection of canine distemper virus in a National Park in Nepal Himalaya. Dogs were generally in good condition, and none exhibited clinical signs of CDV infection, which suggests that infections were asymptomatic. CDV exposure varied with village location and age of dogs, but this variation was minor, consistent with high rates of movement of dogs across the region maintaining high seroprevalence. Residents reported the occurrence of several species of wild carnivores in or close to villages. These results suggest a high potential for transmission of CDV from village dogs to wild carnivores in ACA. We suggest that control of dog immigration, along with vaccination and neutering of dogs could mitigate the risk of CDV spillover into wild carnivore populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:disease transmission, human-animal relationships
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Ng, D (Ms Debby Ng)
UTAS Author:Carver, S (Associate Professor Scott Carver)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CN (Professor Christopher Johnson)
ID Code:145584
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2021-07-27
Last Modified:2021-09-08
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