Actinomycetales infections in slender-horned gazelles: Six cases (1987-1989)

Hailu Kinde From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Kinde, Walker, Daft), and The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola, Palm Desert, CA 92260 (Skinner, Hughes).

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Richard L. Walker From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Kinde, Walker, Daft), and The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola, Palm Desert, CA 92260 (Skinner, Hughes).

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Virginia A. Skinner From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Kinde, Walker, Daft), and The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola, Palm Desert, CA 92260 (Skinner, Hughes).

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Barbara M. Daft From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Kinde, Walker, Daft), and The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola, Palm Desert, CA 92260 (Skinner, Hughes).

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Roberta L. Hughes From the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616 (Kinde, Walker, Daft), and The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola, Palm Desert, CA 92260 (Skinner, Hughes).

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Summary

Disseminated Actinomycetales infections were diagnosed in 6 slender-horned gazelles at a zoologic park over a 17-month period. Nocardia and Mycobacterium spp were isolated. Possible predisposing causes leading to infection were investigated. Environmental contamination where the gazelles were housed was not high, and other breeds of gazelles at the park did not become infected, indicating that environmental exposure was not the sole factor involved. Information gathered from questionnaires sent to other zoologic parks and personnel communications indicated that this was not an isolated incident. Investigation into the genetic lineage of the gazelles revealed substantial inbreeding in prior generations. These findings suggested inbreeding may have been an important predisposing factor leading to infection. Careful scrutiny to ensure maximal heterozygosity of future breedings is warranted.

Summary

Disseminated Actinomycetales infections were diagnosed in 6 slender-horned gazelles at a zoologic park over a 17-month period. Nocardia and Mycobacterium spp were isolated. Possible predisposing causes leading to infection were investigated. Environmental contamination where the gazelles were housed was not high, and other breeds of gazelles at the park did not become infected, indicating that environmental exposure was not the sole factor involved. Information gathered from questionnaires sent to other zoologic parks and personnel communications indicated that this was not an isolated incident. Investigation into the genetic lineage of the gazelles revealed substantial inbreeding in prior generations. These findings suggested inbreeding may have been an important predisposing factor leading to infection. Careful scrutiny to ensure maximal heterozygosity of future breedings is warranted.

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