Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cause of death established: Chamois in region of Austria had pneumonia

Date:
May 16, 2014
Source:
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Summary:
In spring 2010, nearly a third of the chamois living in a region of northern Austria suddenly died of unexplained causes. Concerned hunters and foresters sent the carcasses for analysis. Extensive investigations have now revealed that the animals died of bacterial pneumonia caused by two strains of bacteria that are highly unusual in chamois.

Two different strains of bacteria caused the sudden chamois-deaths.
Credit: A. Haymerle

In spring 2010, nearly a third of the chamois living in a region of northern Austria suddenly died of unexplained causes. Concerned hunters and foresters sent the carcasses to the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna for analysis. Extensive investigations have now revealed that the animals died of bacterial pneumonia caused by two strains of bacteria that are highly unusual in chamois. The results have been published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases.

Related Articles


Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) share their habitat with a number of other wild animals as well as with farm animals. Because of the risk of disease transmission between species, when dead or sick animals are discovered by hunters or foresters it is extremely important determining the causes. Early identification of the cause of disease or death can be crucial to prevent a wide-scale outbreak. The Pathological Laboratory at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology specializes in such cases.

Severe pneumonia as cause of death

Nineteen dead chamois from the region of Amstetten, Lilienfeld and Salzburg in north-central Austria were investigated. The researchers performed autopsies, investigating various tissues and testing for the presence of bacteria, viruses and parasites. The analysis revealed that the animals had died of a massive pneumonia.

The causes of the pneumonia turned out to be bacteria with the evocative names Mannheimia glucosida (in honour of the German biologist Walter Mannheim, nothing to do with the German town) and Bibersteinia trehalosi. The bacteria had previously been detected only in cattle and sheep. That they can cause deadly and epidemic pneumonia in chamois was unknown. "It is against the law to administer medical treatment to wild animals, so we don't really have many possibilities to prevent an epidemic," explains Annika Posautz from the pathology team of the Research Institute. "All we can do is try to minimize contact between animals, for example by avoiding the use of salt licks."

There has been no acute die-off of chamois since the cases in 2010. So why were the bacteria so harmful at that time? Posautz believes that "It was probably a combination of several factors. The winter of 2009-2010 was very harsh and the animals were suffering from parasite infestation. The combination of these two factors weakened their immune systems and probably led to the deaths."

Threat to domestic animals

In the Alps, chamois are frequently in close contact with domestic animals such as cattle and sheep that graze in the pastures. This puts farm animals as well as wildlife population at risk for inter-species transmission of infections. Close cooperation with hunters and foresters is essential to ensure that any outbreaks are detected as soon as possible. It is then possible to put emergency measures in place, including increased monitoring of the animals and actions to minimize contact between diseased and healthy individuals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Annika Posautz, Igor Loncaric, Anna Kübber-Heiss, Alexander Knoll, Christian Walzer. Acute Die-off of Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) in the Eastern Austrian Alps due to Bacterial Bronchopneumonia withPasteurellaceae. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 2014; 140507082448006 DOI: 10.7589/2013-04-090

Cite This Page:

Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. "Cause of death established: Chamois in region of Austria had pneumonia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140516092050.htm>.
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. (2014, May 16). Cause of death established: Chamois in region of Austria had pneumonia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140516092050.htm
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien. "Cause of death established: Chamois in region of Austria had pneumonia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140516092050.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) — A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins