Canine parvovirus detected from a serval (Leptailurus serval) in South Africa

Almero Oosthuizen, Helene Brettschneider, Desire L. Dalton, Elizabeth C. du Plessis, Raymond Jansen, Antoinette Kotze, Emily P. Mitchell

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Abstract

Canine parvovirus first emerged in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), most likely as a variant of the feline panleucopaenia virus. Relatively recently, canine parvovirus-2a and canine parvovirus-2b infections have been identified in both symptomatic and asymptomatic domestic cats, while canine parvovirus infections have also been demonstrated in wild felids. This report documents the first known case of canine parvovirus-2b detected in unvaccinated serval (Leptailurus serval) from South Africa. The serval presented with clinical signs of vomiting, anorexia and diarrhoea that responded to symptomatic treatment. Two weeks later, severe leucopaenia, thrombocytopenia and death occurred. Typical enteric histological lesions of parvovirus infection were not observed on histopathological examination of the small intestine; however, histological lesions consistent with septicaemia were present. Canine parvovirus was detected in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded small intestine using polymerase chain reaction. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequence of the canine parvovirus viral capsid protein gene showed similarities between the sample from the serval and canine parvovirus-2b isolates from domestic dogs in Argentina and South Africa. A case of canine parvovirus-2b in a domestic dog from South Africa in 2012 that fell within the same clade as the serval sample appears distantly related because of the long branch length. The significance of these findings is explored. More extensive surveys of canine parvovirus in domestic and wild felids and canids are needed to understand the epidemiology of canine parvovirus in non-domestic felids in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera1671
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the South African Veterinary Association
Volume90
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the staff of the NZG Biobank, and Pathology section of the Department of Paraclinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria. They also thank the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, IDEXX Laboratories, Dr Peter Caldwell of the Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic, Dr Katja Koeppel of the Johannesburg Zoo and Dr Lucia Lange of PathCare for submitting samples to the NZG Biobank that was used in this study. This study was supported by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) with a funding grant to H.B. (grant no 80457), as well as through NZG core grant allocations for the molecular work in this study.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) with a funding grant to H.B. (grant no 80457), as well as through NZG core grant allocations for the molecular work in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019. The Authors.

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