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Vet Microbiol. 2009 Apr 14;136(1-2):160-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.10.035. Epub 2008 Nov 28.

Characterization of an outbreak of astroviral diarrhea in a group of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus).

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Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


A Mamastrovirus was identified in an outbreak of diarrhea in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). Five young adult and two adult cheetahs presented with lethargy, anorexia, watery diarrhea and regurgitation over an 11-day period. Fecal samples were submitted for electron microscopy and culture. Electron microscopy results revealed particles morphologically consistent with an astrovirus, and no other viral pathogens or significant bacterial pathogens were identified. The astrovirus was confirmed and sequenced using consensus astroviral PCR, resulting in a 367 base pair partial RNA-dependent-RNA polymerase (RdRp) product and a 628 base pair partial capsid product. Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses were performed on both the RdRp and the capsid protein segments. All animals were monitored and treated with bismuth subsalicylate tablets (524mg PO BID for 5 days), and recovered without additional intervention. This is the first report we are aware of documenting an astrovirus outbreak in cheetah.

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