Short Communication

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
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 90 | a1671 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v90i0.1671 | © 2019 Almero Oosthuizen, Helene Brettschneider, Desire L. Dalton, Elizabeth C. du Plessis, Raymond Jansen, Antoinette Kotze, Emily P. Mitchell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 January 2018 | Published: 25 March 2019

About the author(s)

Almero Oosthuizen, Department of Research and Specialised Services, National Zoological Gardens, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of Environmental, Water and Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Helene Brettschneider, Department of Research and Specialised Services, National Zoological Gardens, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa
Desire L. Dalton, Department of Research and Specialised Services, National Zoological Gardens, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa; and, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Elizabeth C. du Plessis, IDEXX Laboratories (Pty) Ltd, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Raymond Jansen, Department of Environmental, Water and Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Antoinette Kotze, Department of Research and Specialised Services, National Zoological Gardens, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of Genetics, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Emily P. Mitchell, Department of Research and Specialised Services, National Zoological Gardens, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa; and Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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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.


Keywords

canine parvovirus, serval, Leptailurus serval, feline Panleucopaenia, South Africa, Wild carnivore

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