Pathogens in invasive animals of Australia

This review provides an overview of diseases or pathogens that have been identified in invasive animals in Australia; particularly feral pigs, foxes and wild dogs, feral cats, feral goats, rabbits, cane toads, rodents (feral mice and ship rats) and European carp. Australian research published between 1990 and 2009 is reviewed. A range of bacterial, viral, fungal, helminth and protozoan pathogens have been identified: many of these have broad host specificity, so could affect a wide range of species.

Pathogens that could significantly impact on native species include Toxoplasma gondii (causing toxoplasmosis), Echinococcus granulosis (causing cystic hydatidosis) and Asian fish tapeworm Bothriocephalus acheilognathi. Pathogens with serious zoonotic potential include Coxiella burnetti (causing Q fever), Brucella (causing brucellosis), Leptospira (causing leptospirosis), Murray Valley encephalitis virus, Angiostrongylus cantonensis (causing neurological disease) and various gastrointestinal organisms. Pathogens particularly significant to livestock include Neospora caninum, porcine parvovirus, T. gondii and Brucella (all causing reproductive failure) and E. granulosus.

While the greatest potential threat of disease from invasive animals may be from future exotic outbreaks such as foot-and-mouth disease, it is clear many other pathogens of concern currently occur in these animals. The occurrence of such a wide range of pathogens emphasises the need to effectively manage populations of invasive animals to avoid the spread of disease into livestock, native species or humans.

Author Henderson, W.R.
Date null
Year 2009
Place published City
Institution Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
Pages 30 pp
Notes Notes
ISBN/ISSN Web ISBN: 978-0-9806716-4-3
Documents Pathogens in invasive animals of Australia