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  • Author or Editor: Donald E. Mattson x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine humoral responses to an equine West Nile virus (WNV) vaccine in healthy alpacas and llamas and compare responses in alpacas and llamas with responses in horses.

Design—Clinical trial.

Animals—28 alpacas, 56 llamas, and 16 horses.

Procedure—Horses received 2 vaccinations at 4- week intervals, and alpacas and llamas received 3 vaccinations at 3-week intervals. Fifty-five llamas received a fourth vaccination 3 weeks after the third. Blood samples were collected immediately prior to each vaccination, 3 weeks after the last vaccination for alpacas and llamas, and 4 weeks after the last vaccination for horses and tested for virus-neutralizing antibodies. Samples from 29 randomly selected vaccinated llamas were used.

Results—None of the animals developed any local or systemic adverse reactions. Four of 28 (14%) alpacas, 4 of 29 (14%) llamas, and 7 of 16 (44%) horses were seropositive 3 (llamas and alpacas) or 4 (horses) weeks after administration of the first vaccination; 27 of 28 (96%) alpacas, 26 of 29 (90%) llamas, and 15 of 16 (94%) horses were seropositive after administration of the second vaccination; and all 28 alpacas and 28 of 29 (97%) llamas were seropositive 3 weeks after administration of the third vaccination.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that vaccination with the equine WNV vaccine is safe in alpacas and llamas. Administration of 3 vaccinations generally resulted in virus-neutralizing antibody titers similar to those observed following 2 vaccinations in horses; however, because it is not known what antibody titer would be protective against clinical WNV disease in alpacas or llamas, we cannot conclude that the vaccine was efficacious. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:414–416)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 2.5-month-old female alpaca that had been born prematurely was examined because of moderate mucopurulent nasal discharge and high rectal temperature.

Clinical Findings—In addition to pyrexia and clinical signs of disease of the upper portion of the respiratory tract, the cria had inappetence and was in an unthrifty condition. Hematologic abnormalities included low WBC count, low hemoglobin concentration, and low PCV. Samples of blood were submitted for bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) isolation and serologic evaluation. Other adults and newborn crias in the herd were similarly examined. Bovine viral diarrhea virus was detected in the cria, and a diagnosis of persistent infection with BVDV was made at 5.5 months of age. Persistent BVDV infection was suspected in another cria born into the herd but was not identified in any of the adult alpacas.

Treatment and Outcome—Despite several treatments with antimicrobials, no permanent improvement of the cria's condition was achieved. Because of the poor prognosis, the owners requested euthanasia of the cria; BVDV was isolated from specimens of multiple organs collected at necropsy.

Clinical Relevance—To date, BVDV infection in New World camelids has not been regarded as a major disease entity. Findings in the cria of this report illustrate that some strains of BVDV readily infect alpacas. Clinical description of the disease plus clinicopathologic findings suggest that persistent BVDV infection may be greatly overlooked as a cause of chronic anemia and failure to thrive in alpacas.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify potential pathogens in feces from llama and alpaca crias with diarrhea.

Design—Prospective observational study.

Animals—45 unweaned crias with diarrhea.

Procedure—Fecal samples were evaluated for Eimeria spp, Giardia spp, Cryptosporidium spp, enteric viruses, and Salmonella spp. A questionnaire yielded information concerning herd management and presence of other affected camelids.

Results—28 crias were ≤ 31 days old, 11 were 32 to 62 days old, and 6 were 63 to 210 days old. Potential pathogens were isolated from feces from 32 of the 45 crias. A total of 39 potential pathogens were obtained, including coronavirus (n = 19 crias; 42%), Giardia spp (8; 18%), Eimeria spp (6; 13%), Cryptosporidium spp (4; 9%), rotavirus (1; 2%), and nematode ova (1; 2%). Salmonella spp were not isolated. Most crias from which potential pathogens were isolated were identified during outbreaks of diarrhea involving other camelids, although only coronavirus was isolated from crias identified during outbreaks involving adult camelids. Coronavirus was detected throughout the year, whereas protozoa were most commonly isolated during the fall and winter.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a variety of potential pathogens may be isolated from young crias with diarrhea. Many crias shed coronavirus, which may also have been affecting older camelids. Protozoa were isolated most often during wetter months, suggesting that crias born during these months may have greater exposure to protozoal pathogens. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223: 1806–1808)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association