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J Zoo Wildl Med. 1997 Jun;28(2):153-7.

Encephalomyocarditis virus infections in an Australian zoo.

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Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Camden, New South Wales, Australia.


Fatal encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) infections in a ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus), three mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), a pygmy hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis), and two Goodfellows tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) occurred at Taronga Zoo. This is the first description of EMCV in a zoological collection outside of the United States. Regardless of species, the most common clinical presentation was sudden death. The gross pathologic changes were diffuse or focal pallor of the myocardium with occasional marked pulmonary congestion. Necrotizing nonsuppurative myocarditis was consistently present. EMCV was isolated from only one of 54 feral rodents examined. No antibodies to EMCV were detected with a serum neutralization test in 79 stored sera from a wide variety of zoo mammals. Titers of 1:16, 1:16, and 1:4 were recorded for a spider monkey (Aeteles geoffroyi), a lion (Panthera leo), and an orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), respectively. Of seven mandrills tested in 1988, six had measurable virus titers. Later testing indicated that these titers did not persist, and one mandrill with a titer > 1:128 in 1988 subsequently succumbed to EMCV infection in 1991.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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