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J Wildl Dis. 1994 Oct;30(4):486-91.

Serologic survey of selected canine pathogens among free-ranging jackals in Kenya.

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Department of Veterinary Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, University of California, Davis 95616.


Serum samples from 76 free-ranging adult jackals of three species from four localities in Kenya were examined for circulating antibodies against four canine pathogens: rabies virus, canine parvovirus (CPV-2), canine distemper virus (CDV), and Ehrlichia canis. Samples were collected between April 1987 and January 1988. Among black-backed jackals (Canis mesomelas), the most sampled species, the mean prevalence of antibodies to CPV-2, CDV, rabies virus, and E. canis was 34% (14 positive/55 sampled), 9% (4/55), 3% (1/28), and 2% (1/36), respectively. There were no significantly differences among sampling locations. In one area, antibody prevalence of CPV-2 was significantly higher for golden jackals (C. aureus; 9/16) than for C. mesomelas (5/26). Only three side-striped jackals (C. adustus) were sampled, but antibodies to CPV-2 and CDV were present. As jackals often are the most abundant wild carnivore in African ecosystems, they could serve as an important indicator species to monitor the potential of exposure of rare and endangered canids to specific canine diseases.

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