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Sample records for achatina fulica ferussac

  1. [Occurrence of Achatina fulica Bowdich, 1822 (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in Brazil: intermediate snail host of angiostrongyliasis].

    PubMed

    Teles, H M; Vaz, J F; Fontes, L R; Domingos, M de F

    1997-06-01

    Achatina fulica, the intermediate snail host of angiostrongyliasis and also an agricultural pest, is being bred in Brazil for human consumption as "escargot". The snail has escaped from its artificial breeding sites and its dispersal in Itariri country, State of S. Paulo, is reported here for the first time. A. fulica is a transmitter of the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis, nematode which causes meningoencephalic angiostrongyliasis; the risks of human contamination are commented on. PMID:9515269

  2. [NADPH-diaphorase activity in digestive system of gastropod molluscs Achatina fulica and Littorina littorea].

    PubMed

    Zaĭtseva, O V; Kuznetsova, T V; Markosova, T G

    2009-01-01

    Localization and peculiarities of NO-ergic elements were studied for he first time throughout the entire length of digestive tract of the marine gastropod mollusc Achatina fulica (Prosobranchia) and the terrestrial molusc Littorina littorea (Pulmonata) by using histochemical method of detection of NADPH-diaphorase (NADPHd). NO-ergic cells and fibers were revealed in all parts of the mollusc digestive tract beginning from pharynx. An intensive NADPHd activity was found in many intraepithelial cells of the open type and in their processes in intra- and subepithelial nerve plexuses, single subepithelial neurons, granular connective tissue cells, and numerous nerve fibers among muscle elements of he digestive tract wall as well as in nerves innervating the tract. NADPHd was also present in receptor cells of he oral area and in the central A. fulica ganglia participating in innervation of the digestive tract. The digestive tract NO-ergic system ofA. fulica has a more complex organization that that of L. littorea. In the A. fulica pharynx, stomach, and midgut, directly beneath epithelium, there is revealed a complex system of glomerular structures formed by thin NADPHd-positive nerve fibers coming from the side of epithelium. More superficially under the main groups of muscle elements, small agglomerations of NADPHd-positive neurons are seen, which could be considered as primitive, non-formed microganglia. Peculiarities of distribution and a possible functional role of NO-ergic elements in the digestive tract of molluscs are discussed as compared with other invertebrate and vertebrate animals. PMID:19370997

  3. Bacterial diversity in different regions of gastrointestinal tract of Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica)

    PubMed Central

    Pawar, Kiran D; Banskar, Sunil; Rane, Shailendra D; Charan, Shakti S; Kulkarni, Girish J; Sawant, Shailesh S; Ghate, Hemant V; Patole, Milind S; Shouche, Yogesh S

    2012-01-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of invasive land snail Achatina fulica is known to harbor metabolically active bacterial communities. In this study, we assessed the bacterial diversity in the different regions of GI tract of Giant African snail, A. fulica by culture-independent and culture-dependent methods. Five 16S rRNA gene libraries from different regions of GI tract of active snails indicated that sequences affiliated to phylum γ-Proteobacteria dominated the esophagus, crop, intestine, and rectum libraries, whereas sequences affiliated to Tenericutes dominated the stomach library. On phylogenetic analysis, 30, 27, 9, 27, and 25 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from esophagus, crop, stomach, intestine, and rectum libraries were identified, respectively. Estimations of the total bacterial diversity covered along with environmental cluster analysis showed highest bacterial diversity in the esophagus and lowest in the stomach. Thirty-three distinct bacterial isolates were obtained, which belonged to 12 genera of two major bacterial phyla namely γ-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Among these, Lactococcus lactis and Kurthia gibsonii were the dominant bacteria present in all GI tract regions. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis indicated significant differences in bacterial load in different GI tract regions of active and estivating snails. The difference in the bacterial load between the intestines of active and estivating snail was maximum. Principal component analysis (PCA) of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism suggested that bacterial community structure changes only in intestine when snail enters estivation state. PMID:23233413

  4. The complete mitochondrial genome of the giant African snail Achatina fulica (Mollusca: Achatinidae).

    PubMed

    Yang, Huirong; Zhang, Jia-En; Guo, Jing; Deng, Zhixin; Luo, Hao; Luo, Mingzhu; Zhao, Benliang

    2016-05-01

    We present the complete mitochondrial genome of the Achatina fulica in this study. The results show that the mitochondrial genome is 15,057 bp in length, which is comprised of 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 21 tRNA genes. The nucleotide compositions of the light strand are 35.47% of A, 27.97% of T 19.46% of C, and 17.10% of G. Except the ND3, 7 tRNA, ATP6, ATP8, COX3 and 12S-rRNA on the light strand, the rest are encoded on the heavy strand. Five types of inferred initiation codons are ATA (ND1, ND5), GTG (ND6), ATG (COX3, COX2), ATT (ND4) and TTG (COX1, ND2, ND3, ND4L, ATP6, ATP8, Cytb), and 3 types of inferred termination codons are T (COX3, ND2), TAA (ND1, ND4L, ND5, ND6, ATP6), and TAG (ND3, ND4, COX1, COX2, Cytb, ATP8). There are 24 intergenic spacers and 6 gene overlaps. The tandem repeat sequence (total 52 bp) of (AATAATT)n is observed in 16S-rRNA. Gene arrangement and distribution are inconsistent with the typical vertebrates. PMID:25231719

  5. Prediction of anticancer peptides against MCF-7 breast cancer cells from the peptidomes of Achatina fulica mucus fractions

    PubMed Central

    E-kobon, Teerasak; Thongararm, Pennapa; Roytrakul, Sittiruk; Meesuk, Ladda; Chumnanpuen, Pramote

    2015-01-01

    Several reports have shown antimicrobial and anticancer activities of mucous glycoproteins extracted from the giant African snail Achatina fulica. Anticancer properties of the snail mucous peptides remain incompletely revealed. The aim of this study was to predict anticancer peptides from A. fulica mucus. Two of HPLC-separated mucous fractions (F2 and F5) showed in vitro cytotoxicity against the breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) and normal epithelium cell line (Vero). According to the mass spectrometric analysis, 404 and 424 peptides from the F2 and F5 fractions were identified. Our comprehensive bioinformatics workflow predicted 16 putative cationic and amphipathic anticancer peptides with diverse structures from these two peptidome data. These peptides would be promising molecules for new anti-breast cancer drug development. PMID:26862373

  6. Development of ten microsatellite loci in the invasive giant African land snail, Achatina (=Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich, 1822

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morrison, Cheryl L.; Springmann, Marcus J.; Iwanowicz, Deborah D.; Wade, Christopher M.

    2015-01-01

    A suite of tetra-nucleotide microsatellite loci were developed for the invasive giant African land snail, Achatina (=Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich, 1822, from Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing data. Ten of the 96 primer sets tested amplified consistently in 30 snails from Miami, Florida, plus 12 individuals representative of their native East Africa, Indian and Pacific Ocean regions. The loci displayed moderate levels of allelic diversity (average 5.6 alleles/locus) and heterozygosity (average 42 %). Levels of genetic diversity were sufficient to produce unique multi-locus genotypes and detect phylogeographic structuring among regional samples. The invasive A. fulica can cause extensive damage to important food crops and natural resources, including native flora and fauna. The loci characterized here will be useful for determining the origins and tracking the spread of invasions, detecting fine-scale spatial structuring and estimating demographic parameters.

  7. First record of a nematode Metastrongyloidea (Aelurostrongylus abstrusus larvae) in Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica (Mollusca, Achatinidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Thiengo, Silvana C; Fernandez, Monica A; Torres, Eduardo J L; Coelho, Pablo M; Lanfredi, Reinalda M

    2008-05-01

    Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica was introduced in Brazil in the 1980s for commercial purposes ("escargot" farming) and nowadays, mainly by human activity, it is widespread in at least 23 out of 26 Brazilian states and Brasília, including the Amazonian region and natural reserves, where besides a general nuisance for people it is a pest and also a public health concern, since it is one of the natural intermediate host of Angiostrongylus cantonensis, ethiological agent of the meningoencephalitis in Asia. As Brazil is experiencing the explosive phase of the invasion, the Laboratório de Malacologia do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz/Fiocruz has been receiving samples of these molluscs for identification and search for Angiostrongylus cantonensis and Angiostrongylus costaricensis larvae. While examining samples of A. fulica different nematode larvae were obtained, including Aelurostrongylus, whose different species are parasites of felids, dogs, primates, and badger. Morphological and morphometric analyses presented herein indicated the species Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, as well as the occurrence of other nematode larvae (Strongyluris-like) found in the interior of the pallial cavity of A. fulica. This is the first report in Brazil of the development of A. abstrusus infective larvae in A. fulica evidencing the veterinary importance of this mollusc in the transmission of A. abstrusus to domestic cats. Since the spread of A. fulica is pointed out in the literature as one of the main causative spread of the meningoencephalitis caused by A. cantonensis the authors emphasize the need of sanitary vigilance of snails and rats from vulnerable areas for A. cantonensis introduction as the port side areas. PMID:18078952

  8. Isolation of aerobic cultivable cellulolytic bacteria from different regions of the gastrointestinal tract of giant land snail Achatina fulica.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Guilherme L; Correa, Raquel F; Cunha, Raquel S; Cardoso, Alexander M; Chaia, Catia; Clementino, Maysa M; Garcia, Eloi S; de Souza, Wanderley; Frasés, Susana

    2015-01-01

    The enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose by cellulases is one of the major limiting steps in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to yield bioethanol. To overcome this hindrance, significant efforts are underway to identify novel cellulases. The snail Achatina fulica is a gastropod with high cellulolytic activity, mainly due to the abundance of glycoside hydrolases produced by both the animal and its resident microbiota. In this study, we partially assessed the cellulolytic aerobic bacterial diversity inside the gastrointestinal tract of A. fulica by culture-dependent methods and evaluated the hydrolytic repertoire of the isolates. Forty bacterial isolates were recovered from distinct segments of the snail gut and identified to the genus level by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Additional phenotypic characterization was performed using biochemical tests provided by the Vitek2 identification system. The overall enzymatic repertoire of the isolated strains was investigated by enzymatic plate assays, containing the following substrates: powdered sugarcane bagasse, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), p-nitrophenyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (pNPG), p-nitrophenyl-β-D-cellobioside (pNPC), 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (MUG), 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-cellobioside (MUC), and 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-xylopyranoside (MUX). Our results indicate that the snail A. fulica is an attractive source of cultivable bacteria that showed to be valuable resources for the production of different types of biomass-degrading enzymes. PMID:26347735

  9. Isolation of aerobic cultivable cellulolytic bacteria from different regions of the gastrointestinal tract of giant land snail Achatina fulica

    PubMed Central

    Pinheiro, Guilherme L.; Correa, Raquel F.; Cunha, Raquel S.; Cardoso, Alexander M.; Chaia, Catia; Clementino, Maysa M.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Frasés, Susana

    2015-01-01

    The enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose by cellulases is one of the major limiting steps in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to yield bioethanol. To overcome this hindrance, significant efforts are underway to identify novel cellulases. The snail Achatina fulica is a gastropod with high cellulolytic activity, mainly due to the abundance of glycoside hydrolases produced by both the animal and its resident microbiota. In this study, we partially assessed the cellulolytic aerobic bacterial diversity inside the gastrointestinal tract of A. fulica by culture-dependent methods and evaluated the hydrolytic repertoire of the isolates. Forty bacterial isolates were recovered from distinct segments of the snail gut and identified to the genus level by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Additional phenotypic characterization was performed using biochemical tests provided by the Vitek2 identification system. The overall enzymatic repertoire of the isolated strains was investigated by enzymatic plate assays, containing the following substrates: powdered sugarcane bagasse, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), p-nitrophenyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (pNPG), p-nitrophenyl-β-D-cellobioside (pNPC), 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (MUG), 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-cellobioside (MUC), and 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-xylopyranoside (MUX). Our results indicate that the snail A. fulica is an attractive source of cultivable bacteria that showed to be valuable resources for the production of different types of biomass-degrading enzymes. PMID:26347735

  10. Rapid upregulation of heart antioxidant enzymes during arousal from estivation in the Giant African snail (Achatina fulica).

    PubMed

    Salway, Kurtis D; Tattersall, Glenn J; Stuart, Jeffrey A

    2010-11-01

    Estivation is an adaptive response to environments characterized by elevated temperatures and desiccative stress, as may occur during summer dry seasons. Similar to diapause and hibernation, it is characterized by low levels of activity, a drastically suppressed metabolic rate and enhanced stress resistance. We tested the hypothesis that Achatina fulica, a pulmonate land snail, enhances stress resistance during estivation and/or arousal by upregulating intracellular antioxidant defenses in the heart, kidney, hepatopancreas and foot tissues. No statistically significant changes in mitochondrial or cytosolic superoxide dismutase levels or activities, or glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase or catalase activities were associated with estivation in any tissue, however. In contrast, during arousal from estivation, activities of several antioxidant enzymes increased in heart, hepatopancreas and foot. In heart, a rapid increase in MnSOD protein levels was observed that peaked at 2h post arousal, but no such change was observed in CuZnSOD protein levels. Glutathione peroxidase activity was upregulated at 1h post arousal and remained elevated until 8h post arousal in heart tissue. Glutathione peroxidase was also upregulated at 24h post arousal in foot tissue. Glutathione reductase activity was upregulated at 4h post arousal in heart and foot tissues whereas catalase activity showed no changes. Markers of lipid peroxidation and protein damage revealed no significant increases during estivation or arousal. Therefore, antioxidant enzymes may play a role in oxidative stress defense specifically during arousal from estivation in A. fulica. PMID:20621194

  11. Gut Bacterial Communities in the Giant Land Snail Achatina fulica and Their Modification by Sugarcane-Based Diet

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Alexander M.; Cavalcante, Janaína J. V.; Vieira, Ricardo P.; Lima, Joyce L.; Grieco, Maria Angela B.; Clementino, Maysa M.; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Albano, Rodolpho M.; Martins, Orlando B.

    2012-01-01

    The invasive land snail Achatina fulica is one of the most damaging agricultural pests worldwide representing a potentially serious threat to natural ecosystems and human health. This species is known to carry parasites and harbors a dense and metabolically active microbial community; however, little is known about its diversity and composition. Here, we assessed for the first time the complexity of bacterial communities occurring in the digestive tracts of field-collected snails (FC) by using culture-independent molecular analysis. Crop and intestinal bacteria in FC were then compared to those from groups of snails that were reared in the laboratory (RL) on a sugarcane-based diet. Most of the sequences recovered were novel and related to those reported for herbivorous gut. Changes in the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were observed when the snails were fed a high-sugar diet, suggesting that the snail gut microbiota can influence the energy balance equation. Furthermore, this study represents a first step in gaining a better understanding of land snail gut microbiota and shows that this is a complex holobiont system containing diverse, abundant and active microbial communities. PMID:22438932

  12. Effect of Climate Change on Invasion Risk of Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica Férussac, 1821: Achatinidae) in India

    PubMed Central

    Rekha Sarma, Roshmi; Munsi, Madhushree; Neelavara Ananthram, Aravind

    2015-01-01

    The Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) is considered to be one the world’s 100 worst invasive alien species. The snail has an impact on native biodiversity, and on agricultural and horticultural crops. In India, it is known to feed on more than fifty species of native plants and agricultural crops and also outcompetes the native snails. It was introduced into India in 1847 and since then it has spread all across the country. In this paper, we use ecological niche modeling (ENM) to assess the distribution pattern of Giant African Snail (GAS) under different climate change scenarios. The niche modeling results indicate that under the current climate scenario, Eastern India, peninsular India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are at high risk of invasion. The three different future climate scenarios show that there is no significant change in the geographical distribution of invasion prone areas. However, certain currently invaded areas will be more prone to invasion in the future. These regions include parts of Bihar, Southern Karnataka, parts of Gujarat and Assam. The Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands are highly vulnerable to invasion under changed climate. The Central Indian region is at low risk due to high temperature and low rainfall. An understanding of the invasion pattern can help in better management of this invasive species and also in formulating policies for its control. PMID:26618637

  13. Variation of acharan sulfate and monosaccharide composition and analysis of neutral N-glycans in African giant snail (Achatina fulica)

    PubMed Central

    Park, Youmie; Zhang, Zhenqing; Laremore, Tatiana N.; Li, Boyangzi; Sim, Joon-Soo; Im, A-Rang; Ahn, Mi Young

    2009-01-01

    Acharan sulfate content from African giant snail (Achatina fulica) was compared in eggs and snails of different ages. Acharan sulfate was not found in egg. Acharan sulfate disaccharide →4)-α-d-GlcNpAc (1→4)-α-l-IdoAp2S(1→, analyzed by SAX (strong-anion exchange)–HPLC was observed soon after hatching and increases as the snails grow. Monosaccharide compositional analysis showed that mole % of glucosamine, a major monosaccharide of acharan sulfate, increased with age while mole % of galactose decreased with age. These results suggest that galactans represent a major energy source during development, while acharan sulfate appearing immediately after hatching, is essential for the snail growth. The structures of neutral N-glycans released from eggs by peptide N-glycosidase F (PNGase F), were next elucidated using ESI-MS/MS, MALDI-MS/MS, enzyme digestion, and monosaccharide composition analysis. Three types of neutral N-glycan structures were observed, truncated (Hex2–4-Hex-NAc2), high mannose (Hex5–9-HexNAc2), and complex (Hex3-HexNAc2–10) types. None showed core fucosylation. PMID:18670878

  14. Effect of Climate Change on Invasion Risk of Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica Férussac, 1821: Achatinidae) in India.

    PubMed

    Sarma, Roshmi Rekha; Munsi, Madhushree; Ananthram, Aravind Neelavara

    2015-01-01

    The Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) is considered to be one the world's 100 worst invasive alien species. The snail has an impact on native biodiversity, and on agricultural and horticultural crops. In India, it is known to feed on more than fifty species of native plants and agricultural crops and also outcompetes the native snails. It was introduced into India in 1847 and since then it has spread all across the country. In this paper, we use ecological niche modeling (ENM) to assess the distribution pattern of Giant African Snail (GAS) under different climate change scenarios. The niche modeling results indicate that under the current climate scenario, Eastern India, peninsular India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are at high risk of invasion. The three different future climate scenarios show that there is no significant change in the geographical distribution of invasion prone areas. However, certain currently invaded areas will be more prone to invasion in the future. These regions include parts of Bihar, Southern Karnataka, parts of Gujarat and Assam. The Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands are highly vulnerable to invasion under changed climate. The Central Indian region is at low risk due to high temperature and low rainfall. An understanding of the invasion pattern can help in better management of this invasive species and also in formulating policies for its control. PMID:26618637

  15. The Giant Snail Achatina fulica as a Candidate Species for Advanced Bioregenerative Life Support Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbitskaya, Olga; Manukovsky, Nickolay; Kovalev, Vladimir

    Maintenance of crew health is of paramount importance for long duration space missions. Weight loss, bone and calcium loss, increased exposure to radiation and oxidative stress are critical concerns that need to be alleviated. Rational nutrition is a resource for mitigating the influence of unfavorable conditions. The insufficiency of vegetarian diet has been examined by the Japanese, Chinese and U.S. developers of bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS). Hence, inclusion of animals such as silkworm in BLSS looks justified. The giant snail is currently under studying as a source of animal food and a species of reducing waste in BLSS. An experimental system to conduct cultivation of giant snail was developed. It was established that there are some reasons to use the giant snails in BLSS. It could be a source of delicious meat. A. fulica is capable of consuming a wide range of feedstuffs including plant residues. Cultivation of snail in the limited volume does not demand the big expenditures of labor. The production of crude edible biomass and protein of A. fulica was 60±15 g and 7±1.8 g respectively per 1 kg of consumed forage (fresh salad leaves, root and leafy tops of carrot). To satisfy daily animal protein needs (30-35 g) a crewman has to consume 260-300 g of snail meat. To produce such amount of snail protein it takes to use 4.3-5.0 kg of plant forage daily. The nutritional composition of A. fulica whole bodies (without shell) and a meal prepared in various ways was quantitatively determined. Protein, carbohydrate, fat acid and ash content percentages were different among samples prepared in various ways. The protein content was highest (68 %) in the dry sample washed with CH3 COOH solution. Taking into consideration the experimental results a conceptual configuration of BLSS with inclusion of giant snail was developed and mass flow rates between compartments were calculated. Keywords: animal food; protein; giant snail; BLSS; conceptual configuration.

  16. Complete mitochondrial genome of the giant African snail, Achatina fulica (Mollusca: Achatinidae): a novel location of putative control regions (CR) in the mitogenome within Pulmonate species.

    PubMed

    He, Zhang-Ping; Dai, Xia-Bin; Zhang, Shuai; Zhi, Ting-Ting; Lun, Zhao-Rong; Wu, Zhong-Dao; Yang, Ting-Bao

    2016-01-01

    The whole sequence (15,057 bp) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the terrestrial snail Achatina fulica (order Stylommatophora) was determined. The mitogenome, as the typical metazoan mtDNA, contains 13 protein-coding genes (PCG), 2 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA) and 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNA). The tRNA genes include two trnS without standard secondary structure. Interestingly, among the known mitogenomes of Pulmonata species, we firstly characterized an unassigned lengthy sequence (551 bp) between the cox1 and the trnV which may be the CR for the sake of its AT bases usage bias (65.70%) and potential hairpin structure. PMID:24975387

  17. Distribution, feeding behavior and control strategies of the exotic land snail Achatina fulica (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) in the northeast of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Albuquerque, F S; Peso-Aguiar, M C; Assunção-Albuquerque, M J T

    2008-11-01

    The goal of this study was to document the distribution and establishment A. fulica such as their feeding preference and behavior in situ. The study was carried out at the city of Lauro de Freitas, Bahia state, Brazil, between November 2001 and November 2002. We used catch per unit effort methods to determine abundance, distribution, habitat choice and food preferences. The abundance and distribution of A. fulica was most representative in urban area, mainly near to the coastline. Lots and house gardens were the most preferred sites during active hours. The results indicated that A. fulica started their activity at the end of the evening and stopped in mid-morning. Their preferred food were vascular plants such as Hibiscus syriacus, Ricinus communis, Carica papaya, Galinsonga coccinea, Lippia alba, Ixora coccinea, Musa parasidisiaca, Mentha spicata and Cymbopogon citrates. Our results indicate that A. fulica are well adapted and established in this city and modified environments facilitate their establishment and dispersion. However, human perturbation, such as clearance of lots could be limiting for the persistence of A. fulica populations. PMID:19197503

  18. Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection in molluscs in the municipality of São Gonçalo, a metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: role of the invasive species Achatina fulica in parasite transmission dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Ana PM; Gentile, Rosana; Maldonado, Arnaldo; Torres, Eduardo J Lopes; Thiengo, Silvana C

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the infection dynamics ofAngiostrongylus cantonensis in its possible intermediate hosts over two years in an urban area in the state of Rio de Janeiro where the presence ofA. cantonensis had been previously recorded in molluscs. Four of the seven mollusc species found in the study were exotic.Bradybaena similaris was the most abundant, followed byAchatina fulica, Streptaxis sp., Subulina octona, Bulimulus tenuissimus, Sarasinula linguaeformis and Leptinaria unilamellata. Only A. fulica and B. similaris were parasitised by A. cantonensis and both presented co-infection with other helminths. The prevalence of A. cantonensisin A. fulica was more than 50% throughout the study. There was an inverse correlation between the population size ofA. fulica and the prevalence of A. cantonensis and abundance of the latter was negatively related to rainfall. The overall prevalence of A. cantonensis in B. similariswas 24.6%. A. fulica was the most important intermediary host of A. cantonensis in the studied area andB. similaris was secondary in importance for A. cantonensis transmission dynamics. PMID:26517652

  19. Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection in molluscs in the municipality of São Gonçalo, a metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: role of the invasive species Achatina fulica in parasite transmission dynamics.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Ana P M; Gentile, Rosana; Maldonado Júnior, Arnaldo; Lopes Torres, Eduardo J; Thiengo, Silvana C

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the infection dynamics of Angiostrongylus cantonensisin its possible intermediate hosts over two years in an urban area in the state of Rio de Janeiro where the presence ofA. cantonensis had been previously recorded in molluscs. Four of the seven mollusc species found in the study were exotic.Bradybaena similaris was the most abundant, followed by Achatina fulica, Streptaxis sp., Subulina octona, Bulimulus tenuissimus, Sarasinula linguaeformis and Leptinaria unilamellata. Only A. fulica and B. similaris were parasitised by A. cantonensis and both presented co-infection with other helminths. The prevalence of A. cantonensis in A. fulica was more than 50% throughout the study. There was an inverse correlation between the population size ofA. fulica and the prevalence of A. cantonensis and abundance of the latter was negatively related to rainfall. The overall prevalence of A. cantonensis in B. similaris was 24.6%. A. fulica was the most important intermediary host of A. cantonensis in the studied area and B. similaris was secondary in importance for A. cantonensis transmission dynamics. PMID:26517652

  20. Restricted Genetic Variation in Populations of Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica outside of East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands Points to the Indian Ocean Islands as the Earliest Known Common Source

    PubMed Central

    Fontanilla, Ian Kendrich C.; Sta. Maria, Inna Mikaella P.; Garcia, James Rainier M.; Ghate, Hemant; Naggs, Fred; Wade, Christopher M.

    2014-01-01

    The Giant African Land Snail, Achatina ( = Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich, 1822, is a tropical crop pest species with a widespread distribution across East Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean, and North and South America. Its current distribution is attributed primarily to the introduction of the snail to new areas by Man within the last 200 years. This study determined the extent of genetic diversity in global A. fulica populations using the mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene. A total of 560 individuals were evaluated from 39 global populations obtained from 26 territories. Results reveal 18 distinct A. fulica haplotypes; 14 are found in East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, but only two haplotypes from the Indian Ocean islands emerged from this region, the C haplotype, now distributed across the tropics, and the D haplotype in Ecuador and Bolivia. Haplotype E from the Philippines, F from New Caledonia and Barbados, O from India and Q from Ecuador are variants of the emergent C haplotype. For the non-native populations, the lack of genetic variation points to founder effects due to the lack of multiple introductions from the native range. Our current data could only point with certainty to the Indian Ocean islands as the earliest known common source of A. fulica across the globe, which necessitates further sampling in East Africa to determine the source populations of the emergent haplotypes. PMID:25203830

  1. Identifiable Achatina giant neurones: their localizations in ganglia, axonal pathways and pharmacological features.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, H; Araki, Y; Emaduddin, M; Zhang, W; Han, X Y; Salunga, T L; Wong, S M

    1996-01-01

    1. An African giant snail (Achatina fulica Férussac), originally from East Africa, is now found abundantly in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, including Okinawa in Japan. This is one of the largest land snail species in the world. The Achatina central nervous system is composed of the buccal, cerebral and suboesophageal ganglia. The 37 giant neurones were identified in these ganglia by the series of studies conducted over about 20 years. The identifications were made by the localization of these neurones in the ganglia, their axonal pathways and their pharmacological features. 2. In the left buccal ganglion, the four giant neurones, d-LBAN, d-LBMB, d-LBCN and d-LBPN, were identified. In the left and right cerebral ganglia, d-LCDN, d-RCDN, v-LCDN and v-RCDN were identified. The suboesophageal ganglia are further composed of the left and right parietal, the visceral, the left and right pleural, and the left and right pedal ganglia. In the right parietal ganglion, PON, TAN, TAN-2, TAN-3, RAPN, d-RPLN, BAPN, LPPN, LBPN, LAPN and v-RPLN were identified. In the visceral ganglion, VIN, FAN, INN, d-VLN, v-VLN, v-VAN, LVMN, RVMN and v-VNAN were identified. In the left parietal ganglion, v-LPSN was identified. In the left and right pedal ganglia, LPeNLN, RPeNLN, d-LPeLN, d-LPeCN, d-RPeAN, d-LPeDN, d-LPeMN and d-LPeEN were identified. 3. Of the small molecule compounds tested, dopamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, GABA, L-glutamic acid, threo- or erythro-beta-hydroxy-L-glutamic acid were effective on the Achatina giant neurones. We suppose that these compounds act as the neurotransmitters for these neurones. 4. Of the neuroactive peptides, achatin-I(Gly-D-Phe-Ala-Asp). APGW-amide(Ala-Pro-Gly-Trp-NH2) and Achatina cardioexcitatory peptide (ACEP-1)(Ser-Gly-Gln-Ser-Trp-Arg-Pro-Gln-Gly-Arg-Phe-NH2) were proposed as neurotransmitters, because these were effective on the Achatina giant neurones and their presence was demonstrated in the Achatina ganglia. Further, myomodulin (Pro

  2. Effects of lead pollution from vehicular exhaust fumes against sentinel juvenile Achatina achatina.

    PubMed

    Ebenso, I E; Ologhobo, A D

    2008-11-01

    We investigated lead metal pollution induced by traffic fumes along roads with differing traffic intensity near abandoned battery factory (Niger Delta, Nigeria). Juvenile Achatina achatina were positioned as sentinels in plastic snaileries 2 m on road sides. Lead contamination in snail tissue by atomic absorption spectrophotometer increased with increasing vehicular traffic intensity. Snails showed low positive (r (2) = 0.40) relationship and significant (p < 0.05) accumulation of atmospheric lead pollution. Edible snails sold along road sides are prone to lead contamination. PMID:18784896

  3. Cysteine-Rich Atrial Secretory Protein from the Snail Achatina achatina: Purification and Structural Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Shabelnikov, Sergey; Kiselev, Artem

    2015-01-01

    Despite extensive studies of cardiac bioactive peptides and their functions in molluscs, soluble proteins expressed in the heart and secreted into the circulation have not yet been reported. In this study, we describe an 18.1-kDa, cysteine-rich atrial secretory protein (CRASP) isolated from the terrestrial snail Achatina achatina that has no detectable sequence similarity to any known protein or nucleotide sequence. CRASP is an acidic, 158-residue, N-glycosylated protein composed of eight alpha-helical segments stabilized with five disulphide bonds. A combination of fold recognition algorithms and ab initio folding predicted that CRASP adopts an all-alpha, right-handed superhelical fold. CRASP is most strongly expressed in the atrium in secretory atrial granular cells, and substantial amounts of CRASP are released from the heart upon nerve stimulation. CRASP is detected in the haemolymph of intact animals at nanomolar concentrations. CRASP is the first secretory protein expressed in molluscan atrium to be reported. We propose that CRASP is an example of a taxonomically restricted gene that might be responsible for adaptations specific for terrestrial pulmonates. PMID:26444993

  4. [Distribution of acetylcholinesterase activity in the digestive system of the gastropod molluscs Littorina littorea and Achatina fulica].

    PubMed

    Zaĭtseva, O V; Kuznetsova, T V

    2008-01-01

    With the use of the histochemical procedure for the demonstration of acetylcholinesterase (AchE) activity, the distribution cholinergic regulatory elements was studied in the esophagus, the pharynx, the stomach, the liver (the digestive gland) and the intestine in sea and terrestrial gastropod molluscs that differed in their general organization level, lifestyle, habitat and feeding type. In both molluscs, all the parts of the digestive tract contained the significant amount of intraepithelial AchE-positive cells of the open type, single subepithelial neurons and the nervous fibers localized among the muscle cells of the wall of the organs. The basal processes of the AchE-positive intraepithelial cells were shown to form the intraepithelial nerve plexus and to pass under the epithelium. The peculiarities and common principles in the distribution of the nervous elements detected, their possible function and the regulatory role in the digestion in gastropod molluscs and other animals are discussed. PMID:19069417

  5. [SPECTRAL AND ACID-BASE PROPERTIES OF HEMOLYMPH PLASMA AND ITS FRACTIONS FROM GASTROPOD PULMONATE MOLLUSC ACHATINA FULICA].

    PubMed

    Petrova, T A; Lianguzov, A Yu; Malygina, N M

    2016-01-01

    The set of normal biochemical indicators of the hemolymph plasma of gastropod pulmonate mollusc Achatinafulica is described. Comparative analysis of the whole plasma and its subfractions enriched and depleted of oxygen-carrying protein hemocyanin was performed by spectrophotometry and spectrofluorimetry methods. Individual features of the absorption spectra were analyzed using fourth derivatives. The optimum method for estimating protein concentration was chosen. To characterize acid-base properties of plasma hemolymph and its sub-fractions we calculated buffer capacity, equivalence points and pK values of dominant buffer groups. It is shown that the major role in maintaining the buffer capacity of hemolymph belongs to the bicarbonate system. These results are compared with data for Helix pomatia available in literature. In the future the indicators studied in this work will be used to develop ecotoxicological criteria for the environmental assessment. PMID:27220238

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome of Fulica atra (Avian, Gruiformes, Rallidae).

    PubMed

    He, Ke; Ren, Ting; Zhu, Songhui; Zhao, Ayong

    2016-09-01

    To analyze the gene structure and the evolutionary roadmap of Fulica atra, the complete mitogenome is sequenced. It is composed of 37 genes and 1 control region, and the structure and arrangement of all genes are identical to other Rallidae. The comparative mitogenome revealed that the start codon and stop codon varied in Rallidae, and the gene lengths are different in ND2, COX1, ND3, ND5 and CYTB due to incompleteness of stop codon, frameshift mutation and various numbers of amino acids. We analyzed the correlation between phylogeny and gene characteristic in Rallidae with respect to the usage of start/stop codon and gene length, but no correlation was found. It indicates these discrepancies might happen independently. This work can afford an in-depth insight of phyletic evolution in Rallidae. PMID:25758044

  7. Modulation by APGW-amide, an Achatina endogenous inhibitory tetrapeptide, of currents induced by neuroactive compounds on Achatina neurons: amines and amino acids.

    PubMed

    Han, X Y; Salunga, T L; Zhang, W; Takeuchi, H; Matsunami, K

    1997-10-01

    1. Modulatory effects of APGW-amide (Ala-Pro-Gly-Trp-NH2), proposed as an inhibitory neurotransmitter of Achatina neurons, perfused at 3 x 10(-6) M on the currents induced by small-molecule putative neurotransmitters were examined by using Achatina giant neuron types, v-RCDN (ventral-right cerebral distinct neuron), TAN (tonically autoactive neuron) and RAPN (right anterior pallial nerve neuron), under voltage clamp. These putative neurotransmitters were ejected locally to the neuron by brief pneumatic pressure. 2. Outward current (Iout) induced by erythro-beta-hydroxy-L-glutamic acid (erythro-L-BHGA) on v-RCDN, which was probably K+ dependent, was enhanced with membrane conductance (g) increase under APGW-amide. From dose (pressure duration)-response curves of erythro-L-BHGA measured in physiological solution (control curve) and with APGW-amide (drug curve), ED50 values of the two curves were nearly comparable, whereas Emax of the drug curve was significantly larger than that of the other. From a Lineweaver-Burk plot of these data, the cross point of the control line and the drug line was on the abscissa. 3. K(+)-dependent Iout caused by dopamine (DA) on v-RCDN was inhibited with a g increase by APGW-amide. The inhibition of this current caused by APGW-amide was mainly in a noncompetitive and partly uncompetitive manner. 4. 5-Hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) produced an inward current (Iin) with two (fast and slow) components on TAN, which was probably Na+ dependent. The fast component of the Iin was inhibited by APGW-amide. The inhibition was mainly in a noncompetitive manner. 5. The currents induced by acetylcholine, gamma-aminobutyric acid and L-glutamic acid on Achatina neuron types were not affected by APGW-amide. 6. The inhibitory effects of APGW-amide on the Iin (fast component) induced by 5-HT were nearly equipotent or a bit stronger than those on the Iout caused by DA. 7. The g increase produced by APGW-amide would be a cause for inhibiting the Iout induced by DA

  8. Spread of the Rat Lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) in Giant African Land Snails (Lissachatina fulica) in Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Iwanowicz, Deborah D; Sanders, Lakyn R; Schill, W Bane; Xayavong, Maniphet V; da Silva, Alexandre J; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Smith, Trevor

    2015-07-01

    The rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) is a parasitic nematode that causes rat lungworm disease. It is the leading cause of eosinophilic meningitis and is a zoonotic health risk. We confirmed the presence of A. cantonensis using species-specific, quantitative PCR in 18 of 50 (36%) giant African land snails (Lissachatina fulica) collected from Miami, Florida, US in May 2013. These snails were collected from seven of 21 core areas that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services monitor weekly. Rat lungworms have not previously been identified in these areas. Duplicate DNA extractions of foot muscle tissue from each snail were tested. Of the seven core areas we examined, six were positive for A. cantonensis and prevalence of infection ranged from 27% to 100%. Of the 18 positive snails, only five were positive in both extractions. Our results confirm an increase in the range and prevalence of rat lungworm infection in Miami. We also emphasize the importance of extracting sufficient host tissue to minimize false negatives. PMID:25973628

  9. Molecular characterization, expression patterns, and ligand-binding properties of two odorant-binding protein genes from Orthaga achatina (Butler) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae).

    PubMed

    Liu, Shi-Jing; Liu, Nai-Yong; He, Peng; Li, Zhao-Qun; Dong, Shuang-Lin; Mu, Lan-Fang

    2012-08-01

    It is postulated that insect pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are involved in sex pheromone reception, while the general odorant-binding proteins (GOBPs) are involved in reception of the general odorants including plant volatiles. However, this functional specificity is not completely conclusive. In the present study, full-length sequences of two new OBP genes were molecularly identified as OachPBP1 and OachGOBP2 from Orthaga achatina, an important pest of the camphor tree Cinnamomum camphora. Quantification of transcript levels by qRT-PCR showed that the two genes highly expressed in antennae, with OachPBP1 male-biased and OachGOBP2 similar between sexes. These expression patterns are consistent with the generally proposed functions of PBPs and GOBPs. With the recombinant proteins obtained by a bacterial expression system, the binding specificity of these proteins was further investigated and compared using the competitive binding assay. OachPBP1 exhibited high binding affinities with all three putative sex pheromones and 10 pheromone analogs, supporting its role in pheromone reception. On the other hand, in addition to binding with some plant volatiles, OachGOBP2 surprisingly displayed similar or even higher binding affinities with the sex pheromones than OachPBP1. Therefore, we propose that OachGOBP2 might play roles in reception of sex pheromone. Additionally, plant volatiles farnesol and farnesene showed high binding with both OachGOBP2 and OachPBP1, suggesting that these volatile chemicals have regulatory functions in the behavior of O. achatina. PMID:22648659

  10. Extraordinary MHC class II B diversity in a non-passerine, wild bird: the Eurasian Coot Fulica atra (Aves: Rallidae)

    PubMed Central

    Alcaide, Miguel; Muñoz, Joaquin; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Soriguer, Ramón; Figuerola, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) hosts the most polymorphic genes ever described in vertebrates. The MHC triggers the adaptive branch of the immune response, and its extraordinary variability is considered an evolutionary consequence of pathogen pressure. The last few years have witnessed the characterization of the MHC multigene family in a large diversity of bird species, unraveling important differences in its polymorphism, complexity, and evolution. Here, we characterize the first MHC class II B sequences isolated from a Rallidae species, the Eurasian Coot Fulica atra. A next-generation sequencing approach revealed up to 265 alleles that translated into 251 different amino acid sequences (β chain, exon 2) in 902 individuals. Bayesian inference identified up to 19 codons within the presumptive peptide-binding region showing pervasive evidence of positive, diversifying selection. Our analyses also detected a significant excess of high-frequency segregating sites (average Tajima's D = 2.36, P < 0.05), indicative of balancing selection. We found one to six different alleles per individual, consistent with the occurrence of at least three MHC class II B gene duplicates. However, the genotypes comprised of three alleles were by far the most abundant in the population investigated (49.4%), followed by those with two (29.6%) and four (17.5%) alleles. We suggest that these proportions are in agreement with the segregation of MHC haplotypes differing in gene copy number. The most widespread segregating haplotypes, according to our findings, would contain one single gene or two genes. The MHC class II of the Eurasian Coot is a valuable system to investigate the evolutionary implications of gene copy variation and extensive variability, the greatest ever found, to the best of our knowledge, in a wild population of a non-passerine bird. PMID:24683452

  11. Morphologic and molecular characteristics of Sarcocystis atraii n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) infecting the common coot (Fulica atra) from Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Morsey, Ahmed; El-Seify, Mahmoud; Desouky, Abdel-Razik Y; Abdel-Aziz, Mohamed M; El-Dakhly, Khaled Mohamed; Kasem, Samy; Abdo, Walied; Haridy, Mohie; Sakai, Hiroki; Yanai, Tokuma

    2015-12-01

    A single morphologic type of Sarcocystis cysts found in two out of 43 examined common coots, Fulica atra, is considered to represent a new species for which the name Sarcocystis atraii n. sp. is proposed and its description is provided. Coots were hunted from the vicinity of Brolos Lake located at KafrElsheikh province, Egypt. The structural morphology of the revealed sarcocysts was described using light and transmission electron microscopy. Sarcocysts were found in the leg and thigh muscles. The cysts were microscopic and measured 165-850 μm in length × 50-85 μm in width. Histologically; the sarcocyst wall was wavy and had minute undulations. Ultrastructurally, it measured 1-3 μm in thickness and possessed many mushroom-like villar protrusions sometimes originating from other mushroom-like villar protrusions that measured approximately 0.5-2 μm in length and up to 2 μm in width, with the presence of electron dense ground substance of 300 nm to 1 μm thick. The bradyzoites were elongated, banana-shaped and measured 7.5-14 × 1.5-2.5 μm, with centrally or terminally located nuclei. The ultrastructural features of the cyst wall belonged to type 24. On the basis of sequencing and phylogenic analyses for 18S rRNA , 28S rRNA genes and ITS-1 region; S. atraii n. sp. is considered a genetically distinct species, being most closely related to avian Sarcocystis spp. whose definitive hosts are predatory mammals. PMID:26408592

  12. Epizootic vacuolar myelinopathy of the central nervous system of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, N.J.; Meteyer, C.U.; Sileo, L.

    1998-01-01

    Unprecedented mortality occurred in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at DeGray Lake, Arkansas, during the winters of 1994-1995 and 1996-1997. The first eagles were found dead during November, soon after arrival from fall migration, and deaths continued into January during both episodes. In total, 29 eagles died at or near DeGray Lake in the winter of 1994-1995 and 26 died in the winter of 1996-1997; no eagle mortality was noted during the same months of the intervening winter or in the earlier history of the lake. During the mortality events, sick eagles were observed overflying perches or colliding with rock walls. Signs of incoordination and limb paresis were also observed in American coots (Fulica americana) during the episodes of eagle mortality, but mortality in coots was minimal. No consistent abnormalities were seen on gross necropsy of either species. No microscopic findings in organs other than the central nervous system (CNS) could explain the cause of death. By light microscopy, all 26 eagles examined and 62/77 (81%) coots had striking, diffuse, spongy degeneration of the white matter of the CNS. Vacuolation occurred in all myelinated CNS tissue, including the cerebellar folia and medulla oblongata, but was most prominent in the optic tectum. In the spinal cord, vacuoles were concentrated near the gray matter, and occasional swollen axons were seen. Vacuoles were uniformly present in optic nerves but were not evident in the retina or peripheral or autonomic nerves. Cellular inflammatory response to the lesion was distinctly lacking. Vacuoles were 8-50 microns in diameter and occurred individually, in clusters, or in rows. In sections stained by luxol fast blue/periodic acid-Schiff stain, the vacuoles were delimited and transected by myelin strands. Transmission electron microscopy revealed intramyelinic vacuoles formed in the myelin sheaths by splitting of one or more myelin lamellae at the intraperiodic line. This lesion is characteristic of

  13. Epizootic vacuolar myelinopathy of the central nervous system of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana).

    PubMed

    Thomas, N J; Meteyer, C U; Sileo, L

    1998-11-01

    Unprecedented mortality occurred in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at DeGray Lake, Arkansas, during the winters of 1994-1995 and 1996-1997. The first eagles were found dead during November, soon after arrival from fall migration, and deaths continued into January during both episodes. In total, 29 eagles died at or near DeGray Lake in the winter of 1994-1995 and 26 died in the winter of 1996-1997; no eagle mortality was noted during the same months of the intervening winter or in the earlier history of the lake. During the mortality events, sick eagles were observed overflying perches or colliding with rock walls. Signs of incoordination and limb paresis were also observed in American coots (Fulica americana) during the episodes of eagle mortality, but mortality in coots was minimal. No consistent abnormalities were seen on gross necropsy of either species. No microscopic findings in organs other than the central nervous system (CNS) could explain the cause of death. By light microscopy, all 26 eagles examined and 62/77 (81%) coots had striking, diffuse, spongy degeneration of the white matter of the CNS. Vacuolation occurred in all myelinated CNS tissue, including the cerebellar folia and medulla oblongata, but was most prominent in the optic tectum. In the spinal cord, vacuoles were concentrated near the gray matter, and occasional swollen axons were seen. Vacuoles were uniformly present in optic nerves but were not evident in the retina or peripheral or autonomic nerves. Cellular inflammatory response to the lesion was distinctly lacking. Vacuoles were 8-50 microns in diameter and occurred individually, in clusters, or in rows. In sections stained by luxol fast blue/periodic acid-Schiff stain, the vacuoles were delimited and transected by myelin strands. Transmission electron microscopy revealed intramyelinic vacuoles formed in the myelin sheaths by splitting of one or more myelin lamellae at the intraperiodic line. This lesion is characteristic of

  14. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers for the Hawaiian coot, Fulica alai, and Hawaiian gallinule, Gallinula galeata sandvicensis, through next-generation sequencing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.

    2014-01-01

    We used next generation shotgun sequencing to develop novel microsatellite markers for two endangered waterbirds; the Hawaiian coot (Fulica alai) and Hawaiian gallinule (Gallinula galeata sandvicensis). The 20 loci polymorphic in the Hawaiian coot displayed moderate allelic diversity (average 3.8 alleles/locus) and heterozygosity (average 59.5 %). The 12 loci variable for the Hawaiian gallinule exhibited lower levels of allelic diversity (average 2.4 alleles/locus) and heterozygosity (average 47.5 %). Loci were in linkage equilibrium and only one locus deviated from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. These loci are sufficiently variable to assess levels of genetic diversity and will be useful for conservation genetic studies to aid in the management of these endangered waterbirds.

  15. Details of the paranephridial system of a species of Prohyptiasmus (Cyclocoelidae: Hyptiasminae) from an American coot, Fulica americana (Rallidae) in Oklahoma.

    PubMed

    Dronen, Norman O; Jiménez, F Agustín; Gardner, Scott L

    2012-10-01

    During a study of the endohelminths of aquatic birds from the central flyway of North America, the details of the paranephridial systems of 3 immature specimens of Prohyptiasmus sp. were examined; the worms had been collected by the late Dr. J. Teague Self, former Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma from an American coot, Fulica americana (Raillidae), from the Cheyenne Bottoms, Roger Mills County, Oklahoma and deposited in the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology. The excretory vesicle was Y-shaped and had a reduced stem. There were 3 main excretory canals on each side that, in the case of the most lateral 2 pairs, reached anteriorly to the level of the oral sucker. The most lateral canals entered the excretory vesicle about halfway down the stem on each side; the middle canals entered the vesicle at the tips of the branches of the vesicle; and the most medial canals entered the vesicle on the anterior edge about halfway between the branch point and the tips of the branches. There were numerous smaller secondary canals that interconnected with each other and with the 6 main paranephridial canals, forming a net-like system. PMID:22414140

  16. Elemental contaminants in the livers and ingesta of four subpopulations of the American coot (Fulica americana): An herbivorous winter migrant in San Francisco Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hui, C.A.

    1998-01-01

    Water birds with diets high in animal foods in the San Francisco Bay area are exposed to trace elements that are potentially health impairing. Water birds with herbivorous diets have been less thoroughly examined. The concentrations of trace elements in the livers and the esophageal contents of an herbivorous water bird, the American coot (Fulica americana) were measured to compare levels of contaminant exposure among different locations in the Bay system and with other water birds. A total of 39 coots were collected from four sites: Napa River and Mare Island Strait in the north, Berkeley in the middle, and Coyote Creek in the south. Livers of Berkeley samples differed significantly from those of Napa River and Mare Island Strait by their greater concentrations of As and B and lower concentrations of Cu, but they seemed to be within normal ranges for birds. Otherwise the concentrations of trace elements in the livers did not differ among sites. Ingesta samples from Berkeley differed from the other sites because they tended to be higher in Al, V, and Zn. In contrast to waterfowl, livers from the herbivorous coots in San Francisco Bay showed little exposure to Cd, Hg, Pb, or Se. Coot ingesta showed few samples with measurable levels of Cd, Hg, or Se and had low levels of Pb. The herbivorous diet of coots may shield them from exposure to such elements. However, high levels of V were present in coot livers and ingesta from all four sites, suggesting adaptation to this toxic element. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  17. A Severe Case of Angiostrongylus Eosinophilic Meningitis with Encephalitis and Neurologic Sequelae in Hawai‘i

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Edward; Ferguson, Tomas M; Park, Sarah Y; Manuzak, Augustina; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Morgan, Stephen; Ciminera, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Angiostrongylus eosinophilic meningitis is caused by infection with larvae of the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis. We report the case of an adult who ingested a raw, giant African snail (Achatina fulica) on the island of O‘ahu in Hawai‘i and developed an eosinophilic meningoencephalitis with severe headache, confusion, sixth cranial nerve palsy, ataxia, limb weakness, and paresthesia. He was treated with lumbar punctures to relieve pressure, high dose corticosteroids, and 14 days of albendazole. He had a prolonged convalescence, requiring 3 months of prednisone, and still had evidence of motor nerve weakness 4 months after exposure. A field investigation at the site of exposure yielded 5 of 9 Achatina fulica snails with evidence of A. cantonensis DNA by PCR. Cerebrospinal fluid samples from the patient were negative acutely but positive on day 15 of symptoms, using an investigational, real-time PCR assay. We discuss clinical management of this case in light of the current medical literature. PMID:23901383

  18. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, V. S.; Manukovsky, N. S.; Tikhomirov, A. A.; Kolmakova, A. A.

    2015-07-01

    The discrete-time model of snail breeding consists of two sequentially linked submodels: "Stoichiometry" and "Population". In both submodels, a snail population is split up into twelve age groups within one year of age. The first submodel is used to simulate the metabolism of a single snail in each age group via the stoichiometric equation; the second submodel is used to optimize the age structure and the size of the snail population. Daily intake of snail meat by crewmen is a guideline which specifies the population productivity. The mass exchange of the snail unit inhabited by land snails of Achatina fulica is given as an outcome of step-by-step modeling. All simulations are performed using Solver Add-In of Excel 2007.

  19. The Trade in Medicinal Animals in Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Felipe Silva; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Coutinho, Henrique Douglas Melo; Almeida, Waltécio de Oliveira; Alves, Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega

    2012-01-01

    Over the centuries, a significant part of the Brazilian fauna is widely sold, more specifically in retail stores or street markets. The objective was to characterize the sale of medicinal animals in five large northeast cities. Information about the sale of zootherapeutic items was obtained in the cities of Aracaju-SE, Fortaleza-CE, Maceio-AL, Recife-PE, and Salvador-BA. A total of 68 animal species were sold for medicinal purposes in the cities studied; these are the first results on the use and sale of zootherapeutics in the markets of Aracaju, Fortaleza, and Salvador and first recorded on the medicinal use of the Achatina fulica, Trachycardium muricatum, Philodryas olfersii, Desmodus rotundus, and Leptodactylus vastus. Knowledge of the fauna utilized popular medicine is indispensable for conservation, demonstrating that research on this subject is necessary to determine appropriate practices for the management of the fauna. PMID:22216053

  20. The trade in medicinal animals in northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Felipe Silva; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Coutinho, Henrique Douglas Melo; Almeida, Waltécio de Oliveira; Alves, Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega

    2012-01-01

    Over the centuries, a significant part of the Brazilian fauna is widely sold, more specifically in retail stores or street markets. The objective was to characterize the sale of medicinal animals in five large northeast cities. Information about the sale of zootherapeutic items was obtained in the cities of Aracaju-SE, Fortaleza-CE, Maceio-AL, Recife-PE, and Salvador-BA. A total of 68 animal species were sold for medicinal purposes in the cities studied; these are the first results on the use and sale of zootherapeutics in the markets of Aracaju, Fortaleza, and Salvador and first recorded on the medicinal use of the Achatina fulica, Trachycardium muricatum, Philodryas olfersii, Desmodus rotundus, and Leptodactylus vastus. Knowledge of the fauna utilized popular medicine is indispensable for conservation, demonstrating that research on this subject is necessary to determine appropriate practices for the management of the fauna. PMID:22216053

  1. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system.

    PubMed

    Kovalev, V S; Manukovsky, N S; Tikhomirov, A A; Kolmakova, A A

    2015-07-01

    The discrete-time model of snail breeding consists of two sequentially linked submodels: "Stoichiometry" and "Population". In both submodels, a snail population is split up into twelve age groups within one year of age. The first submodel is used to simulate the metabolism of a single snail in each age group via the stoichiometric equation; the second submodel is used to optimize the age structure and the size of the snail population. Daily intake of snail meat by crewmen is a guideline which specifies the population productivity. The mass exchange of the snail unit inhabited by land snails of Achatina fulica is given as an outcome of step-by-step modeling. All simulations are performed using Solver Add-In of Excel 2007. PMID:26256627

  2. The Occurrence of the Rat Lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, in Nonindigenous Snails in the Gulf of Mexico Region of the United States

    PubMed Central

    Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Bishop, Henry S; da Silva, Alexandre J; Carter, Jacoby; White-Mclean, Jodi; Smith, Trevor

    2013-01-01

    Nonindigenous apple snails, Pomacea maculata (formerly Pomacea insularum), are currently spreading rapidly through the southeastern United States. This mollusk serves as an intermediate host of the rat lungworm parasite (Angiostrongylus cantonensis), which can cause eosinophilic meningitis in humans who consume infected mollusks. A PCR-based detection assay was used to test nonindigenous apple snails for the rat lungworm parasite in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida. Only apple snails obtained from the New Orleans, Louisiana, area tested positive for the parasite. These results provide the first evidence that Angiostrongylus cantonensis does occur in nonindigenous apple snails in the southeastern United States. Additionally, Angiostrongylus cantonensis was identified in the terrestrial species Achatina fulica in Miami, Florida, indicating that rat lungworm is now established in Florida as well as Louisiana. Although the study suggests that the rat lungworm is not widespread in the Gulf States region, the infected snail population could still pose a risk to human health and facilitate the spread of the parasite to new areas. PMID:23901374

  3. Angiostrongylus cantonensis and rat lungworm disease in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Thiengo, Silvana Carvalho; Simões, Raquel de Oliveira; Fernandez, Monica Ammon; Maldonado, Arnaldo

    2013-06-01

    The metastrongyloid nematode genus Angiostrongylus includes 18 species, two of which are relevant from a medical standpoint, Angiostrongylus costaricensis and Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The first was described from Costa Rica in 1971 and causes abdominal angiostrongyliasis in the Americas, including in Brazil. Angiostrongylus cantonensis, first described in 1935 from Canton, China, is the causative agent of eosinophilic meningitis. The natural definitive hosts are rodents, and molluscs are the intermediate hosts. Paratenic or carrier hosts include crabs, freshwater shrimp, amphibians, flatworms, and fish. Humans become infected accidentally by ingestion of intermediate or paratenic hosts and the parasite does not complete the life cycle as it does in rats. Worms in the brain cause eosinophilic meningitis. This zoonosis, widespread in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, has now been reported from other regions. In the Americas there are records from the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, Ecuador, and Haiti. In Brazil seven human cases have been reported since 2007 from the southeastern and northeastern regions. Epidemiological studies found infected specimens of Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus as well as many species of molluscs, including the giant African land snail, Achatina fulica, from various regions of Brazil. The spread of angiostrongyliasis is currently a matter of concern in Brazil. PMID:23901376

  4. Induction of nucleolin translocation by acharan sulfate in A549 human lung adenocarcinoma.

    PubMed

    Joo, Eun Ji; Yang, Hui; Park, Youmie; Park, Nam Young; Toida, Toshihiko; Linhardt, Robert J; Kim, Yeong Shik

    2010-08-01

    Acharan sulfate (AS), isolated from the giant African snail Achatina fulica, is a novel glycosaminoglycan, consisting primarily of the repeating disaccharide structure alpha-D-N-acetylglucosaminyl (1 --> 4) 2-sulfoiduronic acid. AS shows anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo. Despite this activity, AS is only weakly cytotoxic towards cancer cells. We examine the interactions between AS and cell-surface proteins in an effort to explain this anti-tumor activity. Using flow cytometry and affinity column chromatography, we confirm that AS has strong affinity to specific cell-surface proteins including nucleolin (NL) in A549 human lung adenocarcinomas. Surprisingly, we found the translocation of NL from nucleus to cytoplasm under the stimulation of AS (100 microg/ml) in vitro. Also, as NL exits the nucleus, the levels of growth factors such as bFGF and signaling cascade proteins, such as p38, p53, and pERK, are altered. These results suggest that the communication between AS and NL plays a critical role on signal transduction in tumor inhibition. PMID:20564223

  5. NMR structural determination of unique invertebrate glycosaminoglycans endowed with medical properties.

    PubMed

    Pomin, Vitor H

    2015-09-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are sulfated polysaccharides of complex structure endowed with numerous biomedical functions. Although ubiquitously distributed in vertebrates, GAGs can also occur in certain terrestrial or marine invertebrates. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has been the analytical technique mostly employed in structural characterization of GAGs from any source. This review aims at illustrating the application of NMR in structural determination of few representative invertebrate GAG examples of unique structures and endowed with therapeutic actions. They are the holothurian fucosylated chondroitin sulfate, the acharan sulfate isolated from the snail Achatina fulica, the dermatan sulfates with distinct sulfation patterns extracted from ascidian species, the sulfated glucuronic acid-containing heparan sulfate isolated from the gastropode Nodipecten nodosum, and the hybrid heparin/heparan sulfate molecule obtained from the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. These invertebrate GAGs exhibit distinct structures when compared to those extracted from mammalian GAGs. The distinct structures of the invertebrate GAGs lead also to different mechanisms of actions as compared to the mammalian GAG standards. Invertebrate GAGs comprise promising therapeutic candidates in fights against diseases. Solution NMR has been playing a pivotal role in this carbohydrate-based drug research, discovery and development. PMID:26083200

  6. The occurrence of the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, in nonindigenous snails in the Gulf of Mexico region of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Teem, John L.; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Bishop, Henry S.; da Silva, Alexandre J.; Carter, Jacoby; White-McLean, Jodi; Smith, Trevor

    2013-01-01

    Nonindigenous apple snails, Pomacea maculata (formerly Pomacea insularum), are currently spreading rapidly through the southeastern United States. This mollusk serves as an intermediate host of the rat lungworm parasite (Angiostrongylus cantonensis), which can cause eosinophilic meningitis in humans who consume infected mollusks. A PCR-based detection assay was used to test nonindigenous apple snails for the rat lungworm parasite in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida. Only apple snails obtained from the New Orleans, Louisiana, area tested positive for the parasite. These results provide the first evidence that Angiostrongylus cantonensis does occur in nonindigenous apple snails in the southeastern United States. Additionally, Angiostrongylus cantonensis was identified in the terrestrial species Achatina fulica in Miami, Florida, indicating that rat lungworm is now established in Florida as well as Louisiana. Although the study suggests that the rat lungworm is not widespread in the Gulf States region, the infected snail population could still pose a risk to human health and facilitate the spread of the parasite to new areas.

  7. The occurrence of the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, in nonindigenous snails in the Gulf of Mexico region of the United States.

    PubMed

    Teem, John L; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Bishop, Henry S; da Silva, Alexandre J; Carter, Jacoby; White-McLean, Jodi; Smith, Trevor

    2013-06-01

    Nonindigenous apple snails, Pomacea maculata (formerly Pomacea insularum), are currently spreading rapidly through the southeastern United States. This mollusk serves as an intermediate host of the rat lungworm parasite (Angiostrongylus cantonensis), which can cause eosinophilic meningitis in humans who consume infected mollusks. A PCR-based detection assay was used to test nonindigenous apple snails for the rat lungworm parasite in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida. Only apple snails obtained from the New Orleans, Louisiana, area tested positive for the parasite. These results provide the first evidence that Angiostrongylus cantonensis does occur in nonindigenous apple snails in the southeastern United States. Additionally, Angiostrongylus cantonensis was identified in the terrestrial species Achatina fulica in Miami, Florida, indicating that rat lungworm is now established in Florida as well as Louisiana. Although the study suggests that the rat lungworm is not widespread in the Gulf States region, the infected snail population could still pose a risk to human health and facilitate the spread of the parasite to new areas. PMID:23901374

  8. PHYLOGENY OF ANGIOSTRONGYLUS CANTONENSIS IN THAILAND BASED ON CYTOCHROME C OXIDASE SUBUNIT I GENE SEQUENCE.

    PubMed

    Apichat, Vitta; Narongrit, Srisongcram; Jittranuch, Thiproaj; Anucha, Wongma; Wilaiwan, Polsut; Chamaiporn, Fukruksa; Thatcha, Yimthin; Bandid, Mangkit; Aunchalee, Thanwisai; Paron, Dekumyoy

    2016-05-01

    Angiostrongylus cantonensis is an emerging infectious agent causing eosinophilic meningitis or meningoencephalitis in humans with clinical manifestation of severe headache. Molecular genetic studies on classification and phylogeny of A. cantonensis in Thailand are limited. This study surveyed A. cantonensis larvae prevalence in natural intermediate hosts across Thailand and analyzed their phylogenetic relationships. A total of 14,032 freshwater and land snails were collected from 19 provinces of Thailand. None of Filopaludina sp, Pomacea sp, and Cyclophorus sp were infected with Angiostrongylus larvae, whereas Achatina fulica, Cryptozona siamensis, and Megaustenia siamensis collected from Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Phetchabun, Phitsanulok, and Tak Provinces were infected, with C. siamensis being the common intermediate host. Based on morphology, larvae isolated from 11 samples of these naturally infected snails preliminarily were identified as A. cantonensis. Comparison of partial nucleotide sequences of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene revealed that four sequences are identical to A. cantonensis haplotype ac4 from Bangkok and the other seven to that of A. cantonensis isolate AC Thai, indicating two independent lineages of A. cantonensis in Thailand. PMID:27405119

  9. Angiostrongylus cantonensis and Rat Lungworm Disease in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    de Oliveira Simões, Raquel; Fernandez, Monica Ammon; Júnior, Arnaldo Maldonado

    2013-01-01

    The metastrongyloid nematode genus Angiostrongylus includes 18 species, two of which are relevant from a medical standpoint, Angiostrongylus costaricensis and Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The first was described from Costa Rica in 1971 and causes abdominal angiostrongyliasis in the Americas, including in Brazil. Angiostrongylus cantonensis, first described in 1935 from Canton, China, is the causative agent of eosinophilic meningitis. The natural definitive hosts are rodents, and molluscs are the intermediate hosts. Paratenic or carrier hosts include crabs, freshwater shrimp, amphibians, flatworms, and fish. Humans become infected accidentally by ingestion of intermediate or paratenic hosts and the parasite does not complete the life cycle as it does in rats. Worms in the brain cause eosinophilic meningitis. This zoonosis, widespread in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, has now been reported from other regions. In the Americas there are records from the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, Ecuador, and Haiti. In Brazil seven human cases have been reported since 2007 from the southeastern and northeastern regions. Epidemiological studies found infected specimens of Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus as well as many species of molluscs, including the giant African land snail, Achatina fulica, from various regions of Brazil. The spread of angiostrongyliasis is currently a matter of concern in Brazil. PMID:23901376

  10. Angiostrongylus cantonensis Infection on Mayotte Island, Indian Ocean, 2007-2012

    PubMed Central

    Epelboin, Loïc; Blondé, Renaud; Chamouine, Abdourahim; Chrisment, Alexandra; Diancourt, Laure; Villemant, Nicolas; Atale, Agnès; Cadix, Claire; Caro, Valérie; Malvy, Denis; Collet, Louis

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Human angiostrongyliasis (HA) is a neurological helminthic disease caused by the lung worm Angiostrongylus cantonensis. It is suspected in the combination of travel or a residence in an endemic area and eosinophilic meningitis. In Mayotte, an island in the Indian Ocean, cases are rare but regular. The main objective of our study was to describe the epidemiological and diagnosis clues of HA in Mayotte. The secondary objectives were to evaluate the contribution of Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT- PCR) for the diagnosis of HA, delineate the characteristics of the local transmission and ascertain the presence of A. cantonensis in Achatina fulica, the potential vector of the disease. Materials and Methods Between 2007 and 2012, all cases of eosinophilic meningitis were retrospectively included and investigated by RT- PCR in the CSF. Descriptive analysis was conducted for clinical, biological and radiological features, and were analyzed for all patients together with the search for prognostic factors for mortality. Concurrently, geolocalization and temporal parameters were studied to correlate the occurrence of the cases with rainfall seasons and snails were collected to enhance a parasitic carriage with real time PCR. Results During the 6-year period of the study, 14 cases were identified (2.3 cases/year) and 9 among 10 remaining CSF were positive in PCR. Among 14 cases of EM, 13 were less than 2 year-old children. The 1 year mortality rate was 5/14 (35.7%). Among survivors, 3/7 (42.8%) presented neurological sequelae. Factors associated with mortality were dysfunction of cranial nerves, abnormal brain imaging, and CSF glucose level inferior to 2 mmol/l. Occurrence of cases was temporarily and spatially correlated to the rainy season. Among the 64 collected giant snails, 6 (9.4%) were positive with A. cantonensis PCR. The likely main route of transmission was the children licking snails, carriers of the parasite. Conclusion In Mayotte, HA was mainly

  11. [Ecotoxicological effect and soil environmental criteria of the heavy metal chromium(VI)].

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Nan; Liu, Zheng-Tao; Wang, Wan-Hua; Zhang, Cong; Chen, Li-Hong

    2014-08-01

    Nowadays, systematic studies about water quality criteria are being carried out in China, but studies on soil environmental criteria are comparatively insufficient. In this study, germination and root growth of 8 terrestrial plants (Triticum aestivum, Lactuca sativa, Cucumis sativus, Zea mays, Brassica pekinensis, Glycine max, Allium tuberosum and Solanum lycopersicum) and growth inhibition of 1 terrestrial animal (Achatina fulica) were used to determine the chronic ecotoxicological effects of chromium (VI) using the agricultural moisture soil of Baoding. In addition, with the native toxicity data selected, the HC5 (hazardous concentration for 5% of species) and the ecological protected soil environmental criteria of chromium (VI) in Baoding moisture soil were calculated using the log-normal species sensitivity distribution (SSD) method. Results showed that the no observed effect concentration (NOEC) values for the growth of the terrestrial plants T. aestivum, L. sativa, C. sativus, Z. mays, B. pekinensis, G. max, A. tuberosum, S. lycopersicum, and the terrestrial invertebrate snail A. fulica were 19.0, 21.0, 28.0, 32.0, 28.0, 32.0, 32.0, 12.0 and 20.0 mg x kg(-1), respectively. The comparison of species toxicity data that were tested in the same conditions showed that the terrestrial plant S. lycopersicum was the most sensitive species to chromium (VI), T. aestivum and L. sativa had the same sensitivity to chromium (VI) exposure, whereas, plants C. sativus, Z. mays, B. pekinensis, G. max and A. tuberosum had the same sensitivity to chromium (VI) exposure. Finally, the HC5 value of chromium (VI) in the moisture soil of Baoding was calculated to be 7.7 (4.1 < CI < 11. 3) mg x kg(-1) using the log-normal SSD method, and the ecological protected soil environmental criteria of chromium (VI) was 1.5-7.7 mg x kg(-1). With the investigation of this work, we expect that it could provide useful information for the study of soil environmental criteria in China. PMID:25338393

  12. Metagenomic Analysis of the Microbiota from the Crop of an Invasive Snail Reveals a Rich Reservoir of Novel Genes

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Alexander M.; Cavalcante, Janaína J. V.; Cantão, Maurício E.; Thompson, Claudia E.; Flatschart, Roberto B.; Glogauer, Arnaldo; Scapin, Sandra M. N.; Sade, Youssef B.; Beltrão, Paulo J. M. S. I.; Gerber, Alexandra L.; Martins, Orlando B.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.

    2012-01-01

    The shortage of petroleum reserves and the increase in CO2 emissions have raised global concerns and highlighted the importance of adopting sustainable energy sources. Second-generation ethanol made from lignocellulosic materials is considered to be one of the most promising fuels for vehicles. The giant snail Achatina fulica is an agricultural pest whose biotechnological potential has been largely untested. Here, the composition of the microbial population within the crop of this invasive land snail, as well as key genes involved in various biochemical pathways, have been explored for the first time. In a high-throughput approach, 318 Mbp of 454-Titanium shotgun metagenomic sequencing data were obtained. The predominant bacterial phylum found was Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Viruses, Fungi, and Archaea were present to lesser extents. The functional analysis reveals a variety of microbial genes that could assist the host in the degradation of recalcitrant lignocellulose, detoxification of xenobiotics, and synthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins, contributing to the adaptability and wide-ranging diet of this snail. More than 2,700 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase (GH) domains and carbohydrate-binding modules were detected. When we compared GH profiles, we found an abundance of sequences coding for oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes (36%), very similar to those from wallabies and giant pandas, as well as many novel cellulase and hemicellulase coding sequences, which points to this model as a remarkable potential source of enzymes for the biofuel industry. Furthermore, this work is a major step toward the understanding of the unique genetic profile of the land snail holobiont. PMID:23133637

  13. Metagenomic analysis of the microbiota from the crop of an invasive snail reveals a rich reservoir of novel genes.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Alexander M; Cavalcante, Janaína J V; Cantão, Maurício E; Thompson, Claudia E; Flatschart, Roberto B; Glogauer, Arnaldo; Scapin, Sandra M N; Sade, Youssef B; Beltrão, Paulo J M S I; Gerber, Alexandra L; Martins, Orlando B; Garcia, Eloi S; de Souza, Wanderley; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R

    2012-01-01

    The shortage of petroleum reserves and the increase in CO(2) emissions have raised global concerns and highlighted the importance of adopting sustainable energy sources. Second-generation ethanol made from lignocellulosic materials is considered to be one of the most promising fuels for vehicles. The giant snail Achatina fulica is an agricultural pest whose biotechnological potential has been largely untested. Here, the composition of the microbial population within the crop of this invasive land snail, as well as key genes involved in various biochemical pathways, have been explored for the first time. In a high-throughput approach, 318 Mbp of 454-Titanium shotgun metagenomic sequencing data were obtained. The predominant bacterial phylum found was Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Viruses, Fungi, and Archaea were present to lesser extents. The functional analysis reveals a variety of microbial genes that could assist the host in the degradation of recalcitrant lignocellulose, detoxification of xenobiotics, and synthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins, contributing to the adaptability and wide-ranging diet of this snail. More than 2,700 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase (GH) domains and carbohydrate-binding modules were detected. When we compared GH profiles, we found an abundance of sequences coding for oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes (36%), very similar to those from wallabies and giant pandas, as well as many novel cellulase and hemicellulase coding sequences, which points to this model as a remarkable potential source of enzymes for the biofuel industry. Furthermore, this work is a major step toward the understanding of the unique genetic profile of the land snail holobiont. PMID:23133637

  14. Characterization of GdFFD, a d-Amino Acid-containing Neuropeptide That Functions as an Extrinsic Modulator of the Aplysia Feeding Circuit*

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Lu; Livnat, Itamar; Romanova, Elena V.; Alexeeva, Vera; Yau, Peter M.; Vilim, Ferdinand S.; Weiss, Klaudiusz R.; Jing, Jian; Sweedler, Jonathan V.

    2013-01-01

    During eukaryotic translation, peptides/proteins are created using l-amino acids. However, a d-amino acid-containing peptide (DAACP) can be produced through post-translational modification via an isomerase enzyme. General approaches to identify novel DAACPs and investigate their function, particularly in specific neural circuits, are lacking. This is primarily due to the difficulty in characterizing this modification and due to the limited information on neural circuits in most species. We describe a multipronged approach to overcome these limitations using the sea slug Aplysia californica. Based on bioinformatics and homology to known DAACPs in the land snail Achatina fulica, we targeted two predicted peptides in Aplysia, GFFD, similar to achatin-I (GdFAD versus GFAD, where dF stands for d-phenylalanine), and YAEFLa, identical to fulyal (YdAEFLa versus YAEFLa), using stereoselective analytical methods, i.e. MALDI MS fragmentation analysis and LC-MS/MS. Although YAEFLa in Aplysia was detected only in an all l-form, we found that both GFFD and GdFFD were present in the Aplysia CNS. In situ hybridization and immunolabeling of GFFD/GdFFD-positive neurons and fibers suggested that GFFD/GdFFD might act as an extrinsic modulator of the feeding circuit. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that GdFFD induced robust activity in the feeding circuit and elicited egestive motor patterns. In contrast, the peptide consisting of all l-amino acids, GFFD, was not bioactive. Our data indicate that the modification of an l-amino acid-containing neuropeptide to a DAACP is essential for peptide bioactivity in a motor circuit, and thus it provides a functional significance to this modification. PMID:24078634

  15. Phylogenetic relationship of the Brazilian isolates of the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda: Metastrongylidae) employing mitochondrial COI gene sequence data

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis can cause eosinophilic meningoencephalitis in humans. This nematode’s main definitive hosts are rodents and its intermediate hosts are snails. This parasite was first described in China and currently is dispersed across several Pacific islands, Asia, Australia, Africa, some Caribbean islands and most recently in the Americas. Here, we report the genetic variability among A. cantonensis isolates from different geographical locations in Brazil using mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences. Methods The isolates of A. cantonensis were obtained from distinct geographical locations of Brazil. Genomic DNAs were extracted, amplified by polymerase reaction, purified and sequenced. A partial sequence of COI gene was determined to assess their phylogenetic relationship. Results The sequences of A. cantonensis were monophyletic. We identified a distinct clade that included all isolates of A. cantonensis from Brazil and Asia based on eight distinct haplotypes (ac1, ac2, ac3, ac4, ac5, ac6, ac7 and ac8) from a previous study. Interestingly, the Brazilian haplotype ac5 is clustered with isolates from Japan, and the Brazilian haplotype ac8 from Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Pará and Pernambuco states formed a distinct clade. There is a divergent Brazilian haplotype, which we named ac9, closely related to Chinese haplotype ac6 and Japanese haplotype ac7. Conclusion The genetic variation observed among Brazilian isolates supports the hypothesis that the appearance of A. cantonensis in Brazil is likely a result of multiple introductions of parasite-carrying rats, transported on ships due to active commerce with Africa and Asia during the European colonization period. The rapid spread of the intermediate host, Achatina fulica, also seems to have contributed to the dispersion of this parasite and the infection of the definitive host in different Brazilian regions. PMID:23130987

  16. Eosinophilic meningitis beyond the Pacific Basin: the global dispersal of a peridomestic zoonosis caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis, the nematode lungworm of rats.

    PubMed

    Kliks, M M; Palumbo, N E

    1992-01-01

    The principal etiologic agent of human eosinophilic meningitis, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, was first detected in rats in Canton, China in 1933. The first human case was detected on Taiwan in 1944. Epidemic outbreaks were noted on Ponape (E. Caroline Is.) from 1944 to 1948. The disease may present as transient meningitis or a more severe disease involving the brain, spinal cord and nerve roots, with a characteristic eosinophilia of the peripheral blood and CSF. Since 1961 it has been known that human infections are usually acquired by purposeful or accidental ingestion of infective larvae in terrestrial mollusks, planaria and fresh-water crustacea. There is no effective specific treatment. The African land snail, Achatina fulica played an important role in the panpacific dispersal of the organism: it will be important in Africa in the future as well. Rats were, and will continue to be the principal agents of expansion of the parasite beyond the Indopacific area. During and just after WWII the parasite was introduced, and/or spread passively from South and Southeast Asia into the Western Pacific islands and eastward and southward through Micronesia, Melanesia, Australia and into Polynesia, sequestered in shipments of war material and facilitated by post-war commerce. In the 1950s numerous cases were identified for the first time on Sumatra, the Philippines, Taiwan, Saipan, New Caledonia, and as far east as Rarotonga and Tahiti. Then cases were detected in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Java, Sarawak, the New Hebrides, Guam and Hawaii during the 1960s. Subsequently in the Pacific Basin the disease has appeared on Okinawa, other Ryukyu islands, Honshu, Kyushu, New Britain, American Samoa and Western Samoa, Australia, Hong Kong, Bombay, India, Fiji and most recently in mainland China. The parasite in rats now occurs throughout the Indopacific Basin and littoral. Beyond the Indopacific region, the worm has been found in rodents in Madagascar (ca 1963), Cuba (1973), Egypt

  17. Nutritional status of four species of giant land snails in Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Fagbuaro, O.; Oso, J.A.; Edward, J.B.; Ogunleye, R.F.

    2006-01-01

    Four species of African giant land snails (Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer, Archachatina marginata (saturalis) Philippi, Achatina achatina and Limicolaria spp.) were assessed for their proximate and mineral compositions aimed at establishing their nutritive values on wet weight basis. Analysis of muscle revealed that composition of crude protein varied from 18.66%±0.57% in Limicolaria spp. and 20.56%±0.05% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer; moisture content was 76.56%±0.04% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer and 78.68%±0.68% in Limicolaria spp. and ash was 1.34%±0.02% in Achatina achatina and 1.44%±0.01% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer. These values were statistically different from each other (P<0.05). Carbohydrate and fat content were generally low. Crude fibre was not detected in any of the species. The concentrations of zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, potassium and sodium in the flesh of the snails were determined. Values of iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium were consistently high while cobalt, copper and lead were not detected. Snails complement the required trace and minor elements needed for proper growth and development in human being, so it is recommended for regular consumption. PMID:16909467

  18. Nutritional status of four species of giant land snails in Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Fagbuaro, O; Oso, J A; Edward, J B; Ogunleye, R F

    2006-09-01

    Four species of African giant land snails (Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer, Archachatina marginata (saturalis) Philippi, Achatina achatina and Limicolaria spp.) were assessed for their proximate and mineral compositions aimed at establishing their nutritive values on wet weight basis. Analysis of muscle revealed that composition of crude protein varied from 18.66%+/-0.57% in Limicolaria spp. and 20.56%+/-0.05% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer; moisture content was 76.56%+/-0.04% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer and 78.68%+/-0.68% in Limicolaria spp. and ash was 1.34%+/-0.02% in Achatina achatina and 1.44%+/-0.01% in Archachatina marginata (ovum) Pfeiffer. These values were statistically different from each other (P<0.05). Carbohydrate and fat content were generally low. Crude fibre was not detected in any of the species. The concentrations of zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, potassium and sodium in the flesh of the snails were determined. Values of iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium were consistently high while cobalt, copper and lead were not detected. Snails complement the required trace and minor elements needed for proper growth and development in human being, so it is recommended for regular consumption. PMID:16909467

  19. Muellerius capillaris in north-east Zaire: prevalence in sheep and goats and determination of intermediate hosts.

    PubMed

    Cabaret, J; Chartier, C

    1989-12-01

    Muellerius capillaris was the only species of nematode recovered from the lungs of young and adult sheep and goats of north-east Zaire. The prevalences were of 19% (sheep) and 32% (goats). The slug Atoxon pallens contained larvae in natural conditions and represents a potential intermediate host. The land snails Achatinidae (Achatina stuhlmanni and Limicolaria spp.) could not be experimentally infected with M. capillaris larvae. PMID:2600412

  20. Land snails as a diet diversification proxy during the early upper palaeolithic in Europe.

    PubMed

    Fernández-López de Pablo, Javier; Badal, Ernestina; Ferrer García, Carlos; Martínez-Ortí, Alberto; Sanchis Serra, Alfred

    2014-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of terrestrial gastropods in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeological record, it is still unknown when and how this type of invertebrate resource was incorporated into human diets. In this paper, we report the oldest evidence of land snail exploitation as a food resource in Europe dated to 31.3-26.9 ka yr cal BP from the recently discovered site of Cova de la Barriada (eastern Iberian Peninsula). Mono-specific accumulations of large Iberus alonensis land snails (Ferussac 1821) were found in three different archaeological levels in association with combustion structures, along with lithic and faunal assemblages. Using a new analytical protocol based on taphonomic, microX-Ray Diffractometer (DXR) and biometric analyses, we investigated the patterns of selection, consumption and accumulation of land snails at the site. The results display a strong mono-specific gathering of adult individuals, most of them older than 55 weeks, which were roasted in ambers of pine and juniper under 375°C. This case study uncovers new patterns of invertebrate exploitation during the Gravettian in southwestern Europe without known precedents in the Middle Palaeolithic nor the Aurignacian. In the Mediterranean context, such an early occurrence contrasts with the neighbouring areas of Morocco, France, Italy and the Balkans, where the systematic nutritional use of land snails appears approximately 10,000 years later during the Iberomaurisian and the Late Epigravettian. The appearance of this new subsistence activity in the eastern and southern regions of Spain was coeval to other demographically driven transformations in the archaeological record, suggesting different chronological patterns of resource intensification and diet broadening along the Upper Palaeolithic in the Mediterranean basin. PMID:25141047

  1. Land Snails as a Diet Diversification Proxy during the Early Upper Palaeolithic in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-López de Pablo, Javier; Badal, Ernestina; Ferrer García, Carlos; Martínez-Ortí, Alberto; Sanchis Serra, Alfred

    2014-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of terrestrial gastropods in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeological record, it is still unknown when and how this type of invertebrate resource was incorporated into human diets. In this paper, we report the oldest evidence of land snail exploitation as a food resource in Europe dated to 31.3-26.9 ka yr cal BP from the recently discovered site of Cova de la Barriada (eastern Iberian Peninsula). Mono-specific accumulations of large Iberus alonensis land snails (Ferussac 1821) were found in three different archaeological levels in association with combustion structures, along with lithic and faunal assemblages. Using a new analytical protocol based on taphonomic, microX-Ray Diffractometer (DXR) and biometric analyses, we investigated the patterns of selection, consumption and accumulation of land snails at the site. The results display a strong mono-specific gathering of adult individuals, most of them older than 55 weeks, which were roasted in ambers of pine and juniper under 375°C. This case study uncovers new patterns of invertebrate exploitation during the Gravettian in southwestern Europe without known precedents in the Middle Palaeolithic nor the Aurignacian. In the Mediterranean context, such an early occurrence contrasts with the neighbouring areas of Morocco, France, Italy and the Balkans, where the systematic nutritional use of land snails appears approximately 10,000 years later during the Iberomaurisian and the Late Epigravettian. The appearance of this new subsistence activity in the eastern and southern regions of Spain was coeval to other demographically driven transformations in the archaeological record, suggesting different chronological patterns of resource intensification and diet broadening along the Upper Palaeolithic in the Mediterranean basin. PMID:25141047

  2. Status and distribution of breeding secretive marshbirds in the Delta of Arkansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Budd, Michael J.; Krementz, David G.

    2011-01-01

    We surveyed the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley of Arkansas ("the Delta") during the breeding seasons of 2005 and 2006 using the national marshbird monitoring protocol for secretive marshbirds. We detected and documented breeding by Podilymbus podiceps (Pied-billed Grebe), Ixobrychus exilis (Least Bittern), Rallus elegans (King Rail), and Gallinula chloropus (Common Moorhen). We detected but did not document breeding by Botaurus lentiginosus (American Bittern), Porphyrula martinica (Purple Gallinule), and Fulica americana (American Coot), all of which have been documented to breed in the Delta. Our estimated occupancy rates for breeding marshbirds in the study area ranged from a low of 6% for the King Rail in 2006 to a high of 27% for the Least Bittern in 2005. The range of these occupancy rates are low and reflect the rarity of secretive marshbirds in the Delta. Secretive marshbird occupancy rates were higher in the southern third of the Delta, probably because wetlands were more abundant or of higher quality there.

  3. Family dynamics through time: brood reduction followed by parental compensation with aggression and favouritism.

    PubMed

    Shizuka, Daizaburo; Lyon, Bruce E

    2013-03-01

    Parental food allocation in birds has long been a focal point for life history and parent-offspring conflict theories. In asynchronously hatching species, parents are thought to either adjust brood size through death of marginal offspring (brood reduction), or feed the disadvantaged chicks to reduce the competitive hierarchy (parental compensation). Here, we show that parent American coots (Fulica americana) practice both strategies by switching from brood reduction to compensation across time. Late-hatching chicks suffer higher mortality only for the first few days after hatching. Later, parents begin to exhibit parental aggression towards older chicks and each parent favours a single chick, both of which are typically the youngest of the surviving offspring. The late-hatched survivors can equal or exceed their older siblings in size prior to independence. A mixed allocation strategy allows parents to compensate for the costs of competitive hierarchies while gaining the benefits of hatching asynchrony. PMID:23205861

  4. A phylogenetic analysis of the Gruiformes (Aves) based on morphological characters, with an emphasis on the rails (Rallidae)

    PubMed Central

    C.Livezey, B.

    1998-01-01

    The order Gruiformes, for which even familial composition remains controversial, is perhaps the least well understood avian order from a phylogenetic perspective. The history of the systematics of the order is presented, and the ecological and biogeographic characteristics of its members are summarized. Using cladistic techniques, phylogenetic relationships among fossil and modern genera of the Gruiformes were estimated based on 381 primarily osteological characters; relationships among modern species of Grues (Psophiidae, Aramidae, Gruidae, Heliornithidae and Rallidae) were assessed based on these characters augmented by 189 characters of the definitive integument. A strict consensus tree for 20,000 shortest trees compiled for the matrix of gruiform genera (length = 967, CI = 0.517) revealed a number of nodes common to the solution set, many of which were robust to bootstrapping and had substantial support (Bremer) indices. Robust nodes included those supporting: a sister relationship between the Pedionomidae and Turnicidae; monophyly of the Gruiformes exclusive of the Pedionomidae and Turnicidae; a sister relationship between the Cariamidae and Phorusrhacoidea; a sister relationship between a clade comprising Eurypyga and Messelornis and one comprising Rhynochetos and Aptornis; monophyly of the Grues (Psophiidae, Aramidae, Gruidae, Heliornithidae and Rallidae); monophyly of a clade (Gruoidea) comprising (in order of increasingly close relationship) Psophia, Aramus, Balearica and other Gruidae, with monophyly of each member in this series confirmed; a sister relationship between the Heliornithidae and Rallidae; and monophyly of the Rallidae exclusive of Himantornis. Autapomorphic divergence was comparatively high for Pedionomus, Eurypyga, Psophia, Himantornis and Fulica; extreme autapomorphy, much of which is unique for the order, characterized the extinct, flightless Aptornis. In the species-level analysis of modern Grues, special efforts were made to limit the

  5. [Characterization of Campylobacter spp. from wild birds].

    PubMed

    Glünder, G

    1989-02-01

    Bacteria of the genus Campylobacter were isolated from 28 Rooks (Corvus frugilegus), 1 Red Kite (Milvus milvus), 1 Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), 1 Coot (Fulica atra), 1 Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) and 1 Northern Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). Altogether, C. jejuni biovar 1, was isolated 19x, C. jejuni biovar 2 8x and C. coli 5x. Among C. jejuni biovar 1 and 2 there were 5 isolates tolerating a content of 1.5% NaCl in the medium. H2S proof of 3 C. jejuni biovar 2 and 1 C. coli isolates resulted positive or negative dependent on incubation time of the used bacterial inoculum. Concerning Rooks the findings indicate that nestlings are more often infected with campylobacters than older birds. Only 1 campylobacter isolate could be recovered from altogether 54 birds of prey although 16 Buzzards (Buteo buteo) were investigated as nestlings. PMID:2930449

  6. A silicified bird from Quaternary hot spring deposits

    PubMed Central

    Channing, Alan; Schweitzer, Mary Higby; Horner, John R; McEneaney, Terry

    2005-01-01

    The first avian fossil recovered from high-temperature hot spring deposits is a three-dimensional external body mould of an American coot (Fulica americana) from Holocene sinters of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Silica encrustation of the carcass, feathers and colonizing microbial communities occurred within days of death and before substantial soft tissue degradation, allowing preservation of gross body morphology, which is usually lost under other fossilization regimes. We hypothesize that the increased rate and extent of opal-A deposition, facilitated by either passive or active microbial mediation following carcass colonization, is required for exceptional preservation of relatively large, fleshy carcasses or soft-bodied organisms by mineral precipitate mould formation. We suggest physico-chemical parameters conducive to similar preservation in other vertebrate specimens, plus distinctive sinter macrofabric markers of hot spring subenvironments where these parameters are met. PMID:16024344

  7. Avian influenza in wild waterfowl and shorebirds in the Donana National Park: Serological survey using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

    PubMed

    Astorga, R J; Leon, L; Cubero, M J; Arenas, A; Maldonado, A; Tarradas, M C; Perea, A

    1994-06-01

    The indirect ELISA was used to detect antibodies to influenzavirus A in the sera of wildfowl from the Donana National Park. Of the 712 birds examined, 44 (6.2%) were seropositive. Positive birds belonged to 10 of the 13 species studied. Infection rates varied widely: spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia, 32.2%), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos, 9.9%), gadwall (Anas strepera, 8.6%), red-crested pochard (Netta rufina, 8.1%), pochard (Aythya ferina, 6.4%), shoveler (Anas clypeata, 5%), great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus, 4.3%), avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta, 3.1%), grey heron (Ardea cinerea, 3.1%) and coot (Fulica atra, 0.8%). Although infection rates were not high, the wide range of avian species susceptible to influenzavirus A suggests circulation of the virus amongst wildfowl at Donana. PMID:18671098

  8. The pattern of parasitic infection in human gut at the Specialist Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Obiamiwe, B A

    1977-03-01

    In a survey of 6213 persons conducted between January 1973 to December 1974, at the Specialist Hospital, Benin City, the most common helminths were Necator americanus (16.8%), Ascaris lumbricoides (19l5%) and Trichuris trichiur (5-9%). Dicrocoelium hospes (0-06%) was also recorded and this may become an important liver parasite of man in Nigeria. Its snail vectors are believed to be species of Limicolaria and Achatina which are widely dispersed in Nigeria. Entamoeba coli and E. histolytica showed peaks during the "fly seasons", indicating that the housefly, as well as water, may be an important source of contamination. Trichomonas hominis showed peaks in the rainy seasons, and this suggests that in Benin City transmission is chiefly via contaminated domestic water-supply. The incidence of A. lumbricoides and N. americanus was high throughout the rainy and dry seasons, indicating poor disposal of human excreta and a continuous pattern of infection. The type of food and method of cooking prevented or reduced the incidence of Taenia solium, T. saginata, Diphyllobothrium latum and Fasciola gigantica. PMID:849017

  9. [Serological monitoring of arbovirus infections in the estuary of the Kuban River (the 2006-2007 data)].

    PubMed

    L'vov, D K; Shchelkanov, M Iu; Kolobukhina, L V; L'vov, D N; Galkina, I V; Aristova, V A; Morozova, T N; Proshina, E S; Kulikov, A G; Kogdenko, N V; Andronova, O V; Pronin, N I; Shevkoplias, V N; Fontanetskiĭ, A S; Vlasov, N A; Nepoklonov, E A

    2008-01-01

    Solid-phase enzyme immunoassay, neutralization test, and the hemagglutination-inhibition test were used to study the sera from human beings (152 samples), agricultural animals (n = 77), hares (n = 3), and wild birds (n = 69), collected in 2006-2007 in the Kuban River estuary (Temryuk District, Krasnodar Territory). There were specific antibodies against viruses of West Nile (WH), tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) (Flaviviridae, Flavivirus), Sindbis (Togaviridae, Alphavirus), the antigenic complex of California, Batai (Bunyaviridae, Orthobunyavirus), Dhori (Orthomyxoviridae, Thogotovirus). The findings suggest the presence of arboviruses from 6 transmitting mosquitoes and ticks in the study area and human infection by the viruses of the antigenic complex of California (20-47%), Batai (3-15%), West Nile (3-12%), Dhori (2%). The index agricultural animals (horses, cattle) were observed to have specific antibodies to the viruses of WN (8-15%), TBE (0-2%), Sindbis (2-9%), the antigenic complex of California (27-54%). Out of the representatives of the wild fauna, virus-neutralizing antibodies to Sindbis virus were found in European hares (Lepus europaeus), California complex virus in gulls (Larus argentatus) and terns (Sterna hirundo), WN and Sindbis viruses in herons (Ardea purpurea), and WN and California complex viruses in bald-coots (Fulica atra). PMID:18756814

  10. Chronology of migration by American coots in Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eddleman, William R.; Knopf, Fritz L.; Patterson, Craig T.

    1985-01-01

    American coots (Fulica americana) were studied on large reservoirs in north-central Oklahoma in 1979-1982 to determine chronologies of migrations by age- and sex class. Coots began migrating into Oklahoma in mid-September, numbers peaked in early to mid-October, and few birds were seen after 1 November. Some late migrants appeared in mid-December. In spring, coots began migrating in late February, numbers peaked in mid-April, and the last birds were seen in mid-May. Generally, adult and juvenile males and juvenile female coots migrated simultaneously in autumn, but adult females completed migration by 1 November. A few juveniles and adult males migrated in December. Adult coots preceded yearlings in spring. Despite annual and between-lake differences in chronology of autumn migration, most coots migrated before waterfowl hunting season in Oklahoma. Coot hunting seasons in mid-latitude states should commence before the general waterfowl season where management goals are to increase hunter interest and the harvest of birds.

  11. Distribution and habitat associations of breeding secretive marsh birds in Louisiana's Mississippi alluvial valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valente, J.J.; King, S.L.; Wilson, R.R.

    2011-01-01

    Populations of many North American secretive marsh birds (SMBs) have declined in recent decades, partially as a function of wetland loss. Protecting and restoring appropriate habitat for these species is contingent upon understanding the habitat features they utilize. We investigated breeding distributions of SMBs in northeast Louisiana at 118 wetlands in 2007 and 2008 and modeled species occupancy (??) as a function of habitat variables measured at local (???100 m) and landscape (???1 km) scales. Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), Least Bitterns (Ixobrychus exilis), and Purple Gallinules (Porphyrula martinica) were the most commonly detected species, whereas breeding King Rails (Rallus elegans) and American Coots (Fulica americana) were rare. Local habitat features consistently played a greater role in predicting ?? than landscape features for the three most common species. The proportion of local wetland area dominated by robust emergent vegetation (i.e., Typha spp. and Zizaniopsis miliacea) positively influenced ?? for all species, while other wetland vegetation types tended to have a minimal or negative effect. Our results suggest the habitat characteristics preferred by breeding SMBs differ from those used by migrating shorebirds and wintering waterfowl and management and restoration objectives for those species may be inadequate for enhancing SMB habitat. ?? 2011 US Government.

  12. Maximizing detection probability of Wetland-dependent birds during point-count surveys in northwestern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nadeau, C.P.; Conway, C.J.; Smith, B.S.; Lewis, T.E.

    2008-01-01

    We conducted 262 call-broadcast point-count surveys (1-6 replicate surveys on each of 62 points) using standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocols between 31 May and 7 July 2006 on St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, an island off the northwest coast of Florida. We conducted double-blind multiple-observer surveys, paired morning and evening surveys, and paired morning and night surveys to examine the influence of call-broadcast and time of day on detection probability. Observer detection probability for all species pooled was 75% and was similar between passive (69%) and call-broadcast (65%) periods. Detection probability was higher on morning than evening (t = 3.0, P = 0.030) or night (t = 3.4, P = 0.042) surveys when we pooled all species. Detection probability was higher (but not significant for all species) on morning compared to evening or night surveys for all five focal species detected on surveys: Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris), Purple Gallinule (Porphyrula martinica), Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), and American Coot (Fulica americana). We detected more Least Bitterns (t = 2.4, P = 0.064) and Common Moorhens (t = 2.8, P = 0.026) on morning than evening surveys, and more Clapper Rails (t = 5.1, P = 0.014) on morning than night surveys.

  13. Establishing a food-chain link between aquatic plant material and avian vacuolar myelinopathy in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).

    PubMed

    Birrenkott, Anna H; Wilde, Susan B; Hains, John J; Fischer, John R; Murphy, Thomas M; Hope, Charlotte P; Parnell, Pamela G; Bowerman, William W

    2004-07-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease primarily affecting bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana). The disease was first characterized in bald eagles in Arkansas in 1994 and then in American coots in 1996. To date, AVM has been confirmed in six additional avian species. Attempts to identify the etiology of AVM have been unsuccessful to date. The objective of this study was to evaluate dermal and oral routes of exposure of birds to hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) and associated materials to evaluate their ability to induce AVM. Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were used in all trials; bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) also were used in one fresh hydrilla material exposure trial. Five trials were conducted, including two fresh hydrilla material exposure trials, two cyanobacteria exposure trials, and a frozen hydrilla material exposure trial. The cyanobacteria exposure trials and frozen hydrilla material trial involved gavaging mallards with either Pseudanabaena catenata (live culture), Hapalosiphon fontinalis, or frozen hydrilla material with both cyanobacteria species present. With the exception of one fresh hydrilla exposure trial, results were negative or inconclusive. In the 2002 hydrilla material exposure trial, six of nine treated ducks had histologic lesions of AVM. This established the first cause-effect link between aquatic vegetation and AVM and provided evidence supporting an aquatic source for the causal agent. PMID:15465716

  14. Epizootiologic studies of avian vacuolar myelinopathy in waterbirds.

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Thomas, Nancy J; Augspurger, Tom; Miller, Kimberli

    2002-10-01

    Epizootic avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) was first recognized as a neurologic disease in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana) in Arkansas, USA in 1994 and 1996, respectively, but attempts to identify the etiology of the disease have been unsuccessful to date. Between 1998 and 2001, wing clipped sentinel birds (wild American coots and game farm mallards [Anas platyrhynchos]) were released at Lake Surf, North Carolina, a lake with recurrent outbreaks of AVM, in order to gain a better understanding of the epizootiology of the disease. As early as 5-7 days post-release, sentinel coots and mallards showed neurologic signs of disease and were confirmed with AVM upon histologic examination of their brains. Serial releases of sentinel mallards during the summer, fall, and winter of 2000-01 demonstrated that exposure to the causative agent at a threshold sufficient to manifest disease was seasonal and occurred over about a 2 mo period, during November and December. Our findings that disease onset can be very rapid (5-7 days) and that exposure to the causative agent of AVM is site-specific, seasonal (late fall to early winter), and occurs over a relatively short duration (several months) supports the hypothesis that the disease is caused by a chemical substance, most likely of natural origin. PMID:12528432

  15. Effects on wildlife of ethyl and methyl parathion applied to California rice fields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Hill, E.F.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1985-01-01

    Selected rice fields on the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex were aerially sprayed one time during May or June 1982 with either ethyl (0.11 kg Al/ha) or methyl (0.84 kg AI/ha) parathion for control of tadpole shrimp, Triops longicaudatus. No sick or dead vertebrate wildlife were found or adjacent to the treated rice fields after spraying. Specimens of the following birds and mammals were assayed for brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity to determine exposure to either form of parathion; house mouse, Mus musculus; black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus; mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus; American coot, Fulica americana; and red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus. Both mice and pheasants from methyl parathion-treated fields had overall mean ChE activities that were significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited compared with controls, and 7, 40, 54 and 57% of individual blackbirds, pheasant, mice, and coots, respectively, had inhibited brain ChE activities (i.e., less than -2 SD of control mean). Although no overall species effect was detected for ethyl parathoid treatment, pheasants (43%), coots (33%), and mice (37%) had significantly inhibited brain ChE activities. Neither of the parathion treatment appeared acutely hazardous to wildlife in or adjacent to rice fields, but sufficient information on potential hazards was obtained to warrant caution in use of these chemicals, especially methyl parathion, in rice fields.

  16. Effects of wildlife of ethyl and methyl parathion applied to California USA rice fields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Hill, E.F.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1985-01-01

    Selected rice fields on the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex were aerially sprayed one time during May or June 1982 with either ethyl (0.11 kg Al/ha) or methyl (0.84 kg AI/ha) parathion for control of tadpole shrimp, Triops longicaudatus. No sick or dead vertebrate wildlife were found or adjacent to the treated rice fields after spraying. Specimens of the following birds and mammals were assayed for brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity to determine exposure to either form of parathion; house mouse, Mus musculus; black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus; mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus; American coot, Fulica americana; and red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus. Both mice and pheasants from methyl parathion-treated fields had overall mean ChE activities that were significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited compared with controls, and 7, 40, 54 and 57% of individual blackbirds, pheasant, mice, and coots, respectively, had inhibited brain ChE activities (i.e., less than -2 SD of control mean). Although no overall species effect was detected for ethyl parathoid treatment, pheasants (43%), coots (33%), and mice (37%) had significantly inhibited brain ChE activities. Neither of the parathion treatment appeared acutely hazardous to wildlife in or adjacent to rice fields, but sufficient information on potential hazards was obtained to warrant caution in use of these chemicals, especially methyl parathion, in rice fields.

  17. Environmental and biological monitoring of persistent organic pollutants in waterbirds by non-invasive versus invasive sampling.

    PubMed

    Kocagöz, Rasih; Onmuş, Ortaç; Onat, İlgen; Çağdaş, Beste; Sıkı, Mehmet; Orhan, Hilmi

    2014-10-15

    Three main groups of persistent organic pollutants (POPs); namely organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) were quantified in water and sediment samples, as well as in various invasive and non-invasive samples from waterbirds in the Büyük Menderes River (BMR). Liver and muscle tissues, blood, and preen gland oil samples of yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) and Euroasian coot (Fulica atra) were collected both from the origin (Işıklı Lake) and the estuary (Söke) of the river, blood and preen gland oil samples of grey heron (Ardea cinerea) and pelican (Pelecanus crispus) were collected from the estuary only. In addition, non-hatched eggs from several above species and Mediterranean gull (Larus melanocephalus), in either station were collected. In all samples, POP contamination was measured and the potential usefulness of those invasive and non-invasive sampling for biomonitoring was evaluated. Activities of antioxidant enzymes were measured as potential indicators of POP exposure and of changes in the cellular defence. Venous blood proved to be a promising biomonitor for the concentrations in liver and muscle, especially for PCBs. Activities of antioxidant enzymes were correlated with the liver concentrations of several OCP congeners. The measured egg DDE concentrations were below the established threshold concentrations for the risk of hatch and reproductive success. PMID:24503014

  18. Contaminant biomonitoring at the Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge in 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Palawski, D.U.; Jones, W.E.; DuBois, K.; Malloy, J.C.

    1991-01-01

    Trace element concentrations in sediment samples from Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge were not elevated relative to the western U.S. geometric mean concentrations. Boron concentrations in aquatic plants approached the concentration of boron in Mallard (Anas platyrhyncos) diets that reduced hatching success. Among the three invertebrate taxa sampled, only midge larvae (Chironomidae) bioaccumulated selenium. Selenium concentrations in Eared Grebe livers exceeded the levels found in the livers of Mallards that experienced reproductive problems. Four hundred thirty-eight water bird nests were located during nest searches, and 536 eggs were examined from 179 of those nests. A minimum of 8.4% of the eggs laid contained dead embryos, and 0.1% contained abnormal embryos. Rates of embryo death and abnormality were similar to rates of presumably unpolluted natural populations. Mean selenium concentrations in Eared Grebe, Northern Pintail (Anas acuta), Mallard, and American Coot (Fulica americana) eggs exceeded the 3 micrograms/g dry weight concentration typical of natural background levels. However, only one of three deformed bird embryos had a selenium concentration greater than 3 micrograms/g dry weight. Organochlorine residues in bird eggs did not exceed concentrations believed to be harmless.

  19. Monitoring Hawaiian waterbirds: evaluation of sampling methods to produce reliable estimates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Camp, Richard J.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Paxton, Eben H.; Leopold, Christina

    2014-01-01

    We conducted field trials to assess several different methods of estimating the abundance of four endangered Hawaiian waterbirds: the Hawaiian duck (Anas wyvilliana), Hawaiian coot (Fulica alai), Hawaiian common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus sandvicensis) and Hawaiian stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni). At two sites on Oʽahu, James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge and Hamakua Marsh, we conducted field trials where both solitary and paired observers counted birds and recorded the distance to observed birds. We then compared the results of estimates using the existing simple count, distance estimates from both point- and line-transect surveys, paired observer count estimates, bounded count, and Overton estimators. Comparing covariate recorded values among simultaneous observations revealed inconsistency between observers. We showed that the variation among simple counts means the current direct count survey, even if interpreted as a proportional index of abundance, incorporates many sources of uncertainty that are not taken into account. Analysis revealed violation of model assumptions that allowed us to discount distance-based estimates as a viable estimation technique. Among the remaining methods, point counts by paired observers produced the most precise estimates while meeting model assumptions. We present an example sampling protocol using paired observer counts. Finally, we suggest further research that will improve abundance estimates of Hawaiian waterbirds.

  20. Selenium and boron in aquatic birds from central California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paveglio, F.L.; Bunck, C.M.; Heinz, G.H.

    1992-01-01

    Subsurface agricultural drainwater used for marsh management has resulted in trace element contamination of aquatic bird food chains in central California. Consequently, we collected breeding and wintering aquatic birds from the Grassland Water District (GWD) of California during 1985-88 to measure selenium (Se) and boron (B) contamination resulting from use of such drainage water for wetland management. During the breeding and wintering periods, livers of birds from the North and South areas of the Grasslands contained concentrations of Se and B that have been associated with reproductive impairment. Birds from the South Grasslands, which had received more undiluted drainage water, were more contaminated than those from the North Grasslands. Birds had higher (P < 0.001) levels of Se and B at the end of the 1985-86 wintering period than at the beginning, indicating that the Grasslands was the major source of contamination. Concentrations of Se decreased from 1985 through 1988, after freshwater was substituted for irrigation drainage water during autumn 1985. B concentrations in wintering birds, except for American coots (Fulica americana), declined to background levels, while concentrations in breeding birds remained slightly elevated. However, after 3 years of freshwater management of the Grasslands, liver Se levels in some breeding and wintering birds still were above concentrations associated with impaired reproduction in laboratory and field studies. In areas with high potential for leaching of Se and B from agricultural land, irrigation drainage water should not be used for wetland management.

  1. Experimental vacuolar myelinopathy in red-tailed hawks.

    PubMed

    Fischer, John R; Lewis-Weis, Lynn A; Tate, Cynthia M

    2003-04-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) was recognized in 1994 as a cause of wild bird mortality when 29 bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) succumbed to the disease at DeGray Lake, Arkansas (USA). The cause of AVM and its source remain undetermined despite extensive diagnostic and research investigations. Two years later, when AVM killed 26 eagles in the same area in Arkansas, it became apparent that American coots (Fulica americana) had identical neurologic signs and lesions, and it was hypothesized that eagles acquired AVM via ingestion of affected coots. In order to test this hypothesis, we fed coot tissues (brain, liver, kidney, muscle, fat, and intestinal tract) to rehabilitated, non-releasable red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis). Five hawks received tissues from coots with AVM lesions, and one hawk received tissues from coots without brain lesions that had been collected at a site where AVM never has been documented. All hawks received 12-70 g/day (mean = 38 g) of coot tissues for 28 days. All six hawks remained clinically normal during the study. The birds were euthanatized on day 29 and microscopic lesions of AVM were found in all hawks that received tissues from affected coots, but not in the hawk that received tissues from unaffected coots. This marks the first time that AVM has been produced in birds under laboratory conditions and proves that birds of prey can acquire AVM via ingestion of tissues from affected coots. PMID:12910768

  2. Failure to transmit avian vacuolar myelinopathy to mallard ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen, R.S.; Nutter, F.B.; Augspurger, T.; Rocke, T.E.; Thomas, N.J.; Stoskopf, M.K.

    2003-01-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease that has been diagnosed in free-ranging birds in the southeastern United States. Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leuocephalus), American coots (Fulica americana), and mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) have been affected. Previous investigations have not determined the etiology of this disease. In November and December 2002, we attempted to induce AVM in game-farmed mallards through four, 7-day exposure trials. Mallards were housed in six groups of eight, with two of these groups serving as controls. One group was housed with AVM-affected coots; one group was tube fed daily with water from the lake where affected coots were captured; one group was tube fed daily with aquatic vegetation (Hydrilla verticillata) from the same lake; and another group was tube fed daily with sediment from the lake. No ducks exhibited clinical neurologic abnormalities consistent with AVM and no evidence of AVM was present at histopathologic examination of brain tissue. Although limitations in sample size, quantity of individual doses, frequency of dose administration, duration of exposure, and timing of these trials restrict the interpretation of the findings, AVM was not readily transmitted by direct contact, water, hydrilla, or sediment in this investigation.

  3. Avian vacuolar myelinopathy outbreaks at a southeastern reservoir.

    PubMed

    Fischer, John R; Lewis-Weis, Lynn A; Tate, Cynthia M; Gaydos, Joseph K; Gerhold, Richard W; Poppenga, Robert H

    2006-07-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease of unknown etiology that affects bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), American coots (Fulica americana), and several species of waterfowl. An unidentified neurotoxin is suspected as the cause of AVM, which has been documented at several reservoirs in the southeastern United States. We conducted diagnostic and epidemiologic studies annually during October-March from 1998-2004 at Clarks Hill/Strom Thurmond Lake on the Georgia/South Carolina border to better understand the disease. Avian vacuolar myelinopathy was confirmed or suspected as the cause of morbidity and mortality of 28 bald eagles, 16 Canada geese (Branta canadensis), six American coots, two great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus), and one killdeer (Charadrius vociferus). Active surveillance during the outbreaks yielded annual average prevalence of vacuolar lesions in 17-94% of coots, but not in 10 beavers (Castor canadensis), four raccoons (Procyon lotor), and one gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) collected for the study. Brain lesions were not apparent in 30 Canada geese collected and examined in June 2002. The outbreaks at this location from 1998-2004 represent the most significant AVM-related bald eagle mortality since the Arkansas epornitics of 1994-95 and 1996-97, as well as the first confirmation of the disease in members of Strigiformes and Charadriiformes. PMID:17092880

  4. Investigation of the link between avian vacuolar myelinopathy and a novel species of cyanobacteria through laboratory feeding trials.

    PubMed

    Wiley, Faith E; Wilde, Susan B; Birrenkott, Anna H; Williams, Sarah K; Murphy, Thomas M; Hope, Charlotte P; Bowerman, William W; Fischer, John R

    2007-07-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease affecting Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), American Coots (Fulica americana), and other birds in the southeastern United States. The cause of the disease has not yet been determined, although it is generally thought to be a natural toxin. Previous studies have linked AVM to aquatic vegetation, and the current working hypothesis is that a species of cyanobacteria growing epiphytically on that vegetation is producing a toxin that causes AVM. Surveys of epiphytic communities have identified a novel species of cyanobacteria in the order Stigonematales as the most likely suspect. The purpose of this study was to further examine the relationship between the suspect Stigonematales species and induction of AVM, by using animal feeding trials. Adult Mallards and domestic chickens were fed aquatic vegetation from two study sites containing the suspect cyanobacterial epiphyte, as well as a control site that did not contain the Stigonematales species. Two trials were conducted. The first trial used vegetation collected during mid-October 2003, and the second trial used vegetation collected during November and December 2003. Neither treatment nor control birds in the first trial developed AVM lesions. Ten of 12 treatment Mallards in the second trial were diagnosed with AVM, and control birds were not affected. This study provides further evidence that the novel Stigonematales species may be involved with AVM induction, or at the least it is a good predictor of AVM toxin presence in a system. The results also demonstrate the seasonal nature of AVM events. PMID:17699072

  5. An extract of Hydrilla verticillata and associated epiphytes induces avian vacuolar myelinopathy in laboratory mallards.

    PubMed

    Wiley, Faith E; Twiner, Michael J; Leighfield, Tod A; Wilde, Susan B; Van Dolah, Frances M; Fischer, John R; Bowerman, William W

    2009-08-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurological disease affecting bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), American coots (Fulica americana), waterfowl, and other birds in the southeastern United States. The cause of the disease is unknown, but is thought to be a naturally produced toxin. AVM is associated with aquatic macrophytes, most frequently hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), and researchers have linked the disease to an epiphytic cyanobacterial species associated with the macrophytes. The goal of this study was to develop an extraction protocol for separating the putative toxin from a hydrilla-cyanobacterial matrix. Hydrilla samples were collected from an AVM-affected reservoir (J. Strom Thurmond Lake, SC) and confirmed to contain the etiologic agent by mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) bioassay. These samples were then extracted using a solvent series of increasing polarity: hexanes, acetone, and methanol. Control hydrilla samples from a reference reservoir with no history of AVM (Lake Marion, SC) were extracted in parallel. Resulting extracts were administered to mallards by oral gavage. Our findings indicate that the methanol extracts of hydrilla collected from the AVM-affected site induced the disease in laboratory mallards. This study provides the first data documenting for an "extractable" AVM-inducing agent. PMID:18825730

  6. Waterfowl in relation to land use and water levels on the Spring Run Area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, G.L.; Parsons, D.R.; Weller, M.W.

    1970-01-01

    Low water levels during critical phases of the breeding cycle appear to have caused population declines of waterfowl and other marsh birds on the Spring Run Game Management Area. Pair-counts indicated a decline from 70 pairs of waterfowl in 1965 to 2 pairs in 1968. Nest success of upland nesting blue-winged teal (Anas discors) averaged 33% and mallards (Anas platyrhyncos) averaged 23%. Blue-winged teal selected nest sites closer to water than did mallards (314 feet versus 424 feet). Teal nested in ungrazed bluegrass (Poa pratensis) in preference to alfalfa (Medicago sativa) hayland. Bromegrass (Bromus inermis) was readily used by teal and mallards when it became available for nesting. Nest success of species nesting overwater was considerably higher: Redheads (Aythya americana) were 55% successful and 93% of 75 coot (Fulica americana) nests hatched. A study of dummy-nests showed nest success significantly higher on ungrazed than on grazed bluegrass. Grazing did not significantly lower total mouse populations but did change species composition because deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) increased as other species declined with grazing.

  7. Epizootiologic studies of avian vacuolar myelinopathy in waterbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Thomas, N.J.; Augspurger, T.; Miller, K.

    2002-01-01

    Epizootic avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) was first recognized as a neurologic disease in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana) in Arkansas, USA in 1994 and 1996, respectively, but attempts to identify the etiology of the disease have been unsuccessful to date. Between 1998 and 2001, wing clipped sentinel birds (wild American coots and game farm mallards [Anas platyrhynchos]) were released at Lake Surf, North Carolina, a lake with recurrent outbreaks of AVM, in order to gain a better understanding of the epizootiology of the disease. As early as 5-7 days post-release, sentinel coots and mallards showed neurologic signs of disease and were confirmed with AVM upon histologic examination of their brains. Serial releases of sentinel mallards during the summer, fall, and winter of 2000-01 demonstrated that exposure to the causative agent at a threshold sufficient to manifest disease was seasonal and occurred over about a 2 mo period, during November and December. Our findings that disease onset can be very rapid (5-7 days) and that exposure to the causative agent of AVM is site-specific, seasonal (late fall to early winter), and occurs over a relatively short duration (several months) supports the hypothesis that the disease is caused by a chemical substance, most likely of natural origin.

  8. Characterization of Durham virus, a novel rhabdovirus that encodes both a C and SH protein

    PubMed Central

    Allison, A. B.; Palacios, G.; Rosa, A. Travassos da; Popov, V. L.; Lu, L.; Xiao, S. Y.; DeToy, K.; Briese, T.; Lipkin, W. Ian; Keel, M. K.; Stallknecht, D. E.; Bishop, G. R.; Tesh, R. B.

    2010-01-01

    The family Rhabdoviridae is a diverse group of non-segmented, negative-sense RNA viruses that are distributed worldwide and infect a wide range of hosts including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. Of the 114 currently recognized vertebrate rhabdoviruses, relatively few have been well characterized at both the antigenic and genetic level; hence, the phylogenetic relationships between many of the vertebrate rhabdoviruses remain unknown. The present report describes a novel rhabdovirus isolated from the brain of a moribund American coot (Fulica americana) that exhibited neurological signs when found in Durham County, North Carolina, in 2005. Antigenic characterization of the virus revealed that it was serologically unrelated to 68 other known vertebrate rhabdoviruses. Genomic sequencing of the virus indicated that it shared the highest identity to Tupaia rhabdovirus (TUPV), and as only previously observed in TUPV, the genome encoded a putative C protein in an overlapping open reading frame (ORF) of the phosphoprotein gene and a small hydrophobic protein located in a novel ORF between the matrix and glycoprotein genes. Phylogenetic analysis of partial amino acid sequences of the nucleoprotein and polymerase proteins indicated that, in addition to TUPV, the virus was most closely related to avian and small mammal rhabdoviruses from Africa and North America. In this report, we present the morphological, pathological, antigenic, and genetic characterization of the new virus, tentatively named Durham virus (DURV), and discuss its potential evolutionary relationship to other vertebrate rhabdoviruses. PMID:20863863

  9. Potential effects of climate change on the distribution of waterbirds in the Prairie Pothole Region, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steen, Valerie; Powell, Abby N.

    2012-01-01

    Wetland-dependent birds are considered to be at particularly high risk for negative climate change effects. Current and future distributions of American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), American Coot (Fulica americana), Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) and Sora (Porzana carolina), five waterbird species common in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR), were predicted using species distribution models (SDMs) in combination with climate data that projected a drier future for the PPR. Regional-scale SDMs were created for the U.S. PPR using breeding bird survey occurrence records for 1971-2000 and wetland and climate parameters. For each waterbird species, current distribution and four potential future distributions were predicted: all combinations of two Global Circulation Models and two emissions scenarios. Averaged for all five species, the ensemble range reduction was 64%. However, projected range losses for individual species varied widely with Sora and Black Tern projected to lose close to 100% and American Bittern 29% of their current range. Future distributions were also projected to a hypothetical landscape where wetlands were numerous and constant to highlight areas suitable as conservation reserves under a drier future climate. The ensemble model indicated that northeastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota would be the best areas for conservation reserves within the U.S. PPR under the modeled conditions.

  10. Nest survival of American Coots relative to grazing, burning, and water depths [Survie au nid chez la Foulque d’Amérique en fonction du pâturage, du brûlage et de la profondeur d’eau

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, Jane E.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2011-01-01

    Water and emergent vegetation are key features influencing nest site selection and success for many marsh-nesting waterbirds. Wetland management practices such as grazing, burning, and water-level manipulations directly affect these features and can influence nest survival. We used model selection and before-after-control-impact approaches to evaluate the effects of water depth and four common land-management practices or treatments, i.e., summer grazing, fall grazing, fall burning, and idle (no active treatment) on nest survival of American coots (Fulica americana) nesting at Grays Lake, a large montane wetland in southeast Idaho. The best model included the variables year × treatment, and quadratic functions of date, water depth, and nest age; height of vegetation at the nest did not improve the best model. However, results from the before-after-control-impact analysis indicate that management practices affected nest success via vegetation and involved interactions of hydrology, residual vegetation, and habitat composition. Nest success in idled fields changed little between pre- and post-treatment periods, whereas nest success declined in fields that were grazed or burned, with the most dramatic declines the year following treatments. The importance of water depth may be amplified in this wetland system because of rapid water-level withdrawal during the nesting season. Water and land-use values for area ranchers, management for nesting waterbirds, and long-term wetland function are important considerations in management of water levels and vegetation.

  11. Nest survival of American Coots relative to grazing, burning, and water depths

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, Jane E.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2011-01-01

    Water and emergent vegetation are key features influencing nest site selection and success for many marsh-nesting waterbirds. Wetland management practices such as grazing, burning, and water-level manipulations directly affect these features and can influence nest survival. We used model selection and before-after-control-impact approaches to evaluate the effects of water depth and four common land-management practices or treatments, i.e., summer grazing, fall grazing, fall burning, and idle (no active treatment) on nest survival of American coots (Fulica americana) nesting at Grays Lake, a large montane wetland in southeast Idaho. The best model included the variables year × treatment, and quadratic functions of date, water depth, and nest age; height of vegetation at the nest did not improve the best model. However, results from the before-after-control-impact analysis indicate that management practices affected nest success via vegetation and involved interactions of hydrology, residual vegetation, and habitat composition. Nest success in idled fields changed little between pre- and post-treatment periods, whereas nest success declined in fields that were grazed or burned, with the most dramatic declines the year following treatments. The importance of water depth may be amplified in this wetland system because of rapid water-level withdrawal during the nesting season. Water and land-use values for area ranchers, management for nesting waterbirds, and long-term wetland function are important considerations in management of water levels and vegetation.

  12. Food supply and seasonal variation in breeding success: an experiment in the European coot

    PubMed Central

    Brinkhof, M. W. G.; Cave, A. J.

    1997-01-01

    We investigated experimentally the seasonal role of food supply in brood survival of the European coot Fulica atra. For two breeding seasons, individual pairs were offered supplemental food the first ten days after their young hatched. Under natural conditions this period was largely responsible for the seasonal variation in brood survival. Our experiment tested three hypotheses: (1) food supply is not involved in breeding success at any date (other factors hypothesis), (2) food supply limits success independently of date (elevation hypothesis), and (3) food supply affects success seasonally and is responsible for the natural seasonal trend in success (date hypothesis). Experimental pairs with supplemental food raised heavier, larger and more chicks than control pairs. Consistent with the date hypothesis, food supplementation abolished seasonal variation in chick survival. Chick growth under supplemental food was in agreement with the elevation hypothesis. This discrepancy was probably due to the limited supply of additional food. We conclude that seasonal variation in offspring production was in essence the result of seasonal variation in food availability.

  13. Effect of high aluminum consumption on mechanics and composition of furculae of free-ranging coots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hui, C.A.; Ellers, O.

    1999-01-01

    High levels of ingested Al can affect mechanical properties of bones. Because of the spring action of the furcula during the wingbeat, small changes in the mechanical properties of this bone may have measurable impacts on long-distance flight. We examined the furculae and ingesta of free- ranging American coots (Fulica americana) in San Francisco Bay (California, USA), where they consume a diet high in Al. We measured the spring stiffness and phase angle (??) of the furculae and the concentrations of Al, Ca, F. Mg, and P in both the furculae and ingesta. The ingesta had mean Al concentrations (2,384 ??g/g, dry weight) and Al:P molar ratios (6.4:1) predicted to affect bone integrity but the bone concentrations of Al were near the normal range and the furcula stiffness did not change with Al concentration. The tan ?? of the furculae changed with Al concentration but the relationship was weak. The chemical speciation of the ingested Al may have affected its physiologic role and the high mean levels of ingested calcium (71,283 ??g/g, dry weight) very likely neutralized the activity of the Al. Controlled feeding studies have shown that F strengthens avian bones. The bones in our study had molar concentrations of F more than two orders of magnitude greater than Al (170:1) but F appears to have insignificant influence on bone mechanics. The coots in San Francisco Bay apparently are not suffering furcula impairment despite a diet high in Al.

  14. Concentration of lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic in leg skeletal muscles of three species of wild birds.

    PubMed

    Gasparik, Jozef; Vladarova, Denisa; Capcarova, Marcela; Smehyl, Peter; Slamecka, Jaroslav; Garaj, Peter; Stawarz, Robert; Massanyi, Peter

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to monitor accumulation of lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic in leg skeletal muscle of some wild birds from selected areas of Slovakia and the correlations among the heavy metals. A total of 160 wild birds representing 3 species-Eurasian coot (Fulica atra) (n = 24), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) (n = 68) and pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) (n = 68) were involved for analyses. Concentrations of heavy metals from samples were measured using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). Metal concentrations are expressed as mg/kg wet weight. The order of lead and arsenic concentrations in muscles of wild birds were as follows: mallard > pheasant > Eurasian coot; in the case of arsenic the differences were significant (P < 0.05). Muscle of Eurasian coot accumulated the highest concentration of cadmium and mercury followed by pheasant and the lowest in mallard, but differences were not significant (P > 0.05). Moderately negative correlations were noted in pheasant between cadmium and mercury (r = -0.39), and between mercury and arsenic (r = -0.45). Moderately negative correlation between cadmium and arsenic (r = -0.31) was found for Eurasian coot. PMID:20397088

  15. Interspecific relationships between American coots and waterfowl during fall migration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eddleman, William R.; Patterson, Craig T.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1985-01-01

    Interactions between American Coots (Fulica americana) and water-fowl during the breeding season are well-documented (Ryder 1959, Nudds 1981). Ducks and coots use similar nesting, feeding, brooding, and loafing sites during the breeding season (Munro 1939, Sooter 1945, Ryder 1959). Coots create potential nest sites, repulse predators, provide predation buffers for ducks (Sooter 1945; Ryder 1958, 1959), and may also destroy eggs and young of other marsh-nesting birds (Munro 1937, Burger 1973, McNicholl 1975). Coots, ducks, and swans often feed cooperatively (Ryder 1959, Anderson 1974, Ryan 1981); and American Wigeon (Anas americana) and Gadwell () may rob feeding coots (Knapton and Knudsen 1978, Ryan 1981). Interspecies aggression between coots and waterfowl usually occurs when ducks approach coot nests or broods (Ryan and Dinsmore 1979). Despite these interactions, the numbers of duck broods produced in areas in Utah with nesting coots and in areas where coots have been removed were similar (Ryder 1958, 1961). Densities of coots and ducks, and brood counts of coots and ducks for a 26-year period in Saskatchewan also indicated no significant relationship between numbers of coots and waterfowl (Nudds 1981). Coots and waterfowl from large areas of breeding habitat concentrate on smaller areas during the nonbreeding season (Weller 1975:102). These species may also change diets and habitats during migration and while wintering (Weller 1975). This study documents associations between waterfowl and coots during fall migration and examines feeding and behavioral interactions between coots and waterfowl in mixed flocks. Specifically, we (1) describe temporal and spatial overlap among migrations of coots and waterfowl, (2) present behavioral interactions among species, and (3) document food habits of birds feeding sympatrically during fall migration in Oklahoma.

  16. Secretive marsh aird species co-eccurrences and habitat associations across the midwest, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bolenbaugh, Jason R.; Krementz, David G.; Lehnen, Sarah E.

    2011-01-01

    Because secretive marsh birds are difficult to detect, population status and habitat use for these birds are not well known. We conducted repeated surveys for secretive marsh birds across 264 sites in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region to estimate abundance, occupancy, and detection probabilities during the 2008 and 2009 breeding seasons. We identified species groups based on observed species co-occurrences. Two species, least bittern Ixobrychus exilis and American bittern Botaurus lentiginosus, co-occurred with other species less often than expected by chance, and two species groups, rails (Virginia rail Rallus limicola and sora Porzana carolina) and open-water birds (pied-billed grebe Podilymbus podiceps, common moorhen Gallinula chloropus, and American coot Fulica americana; coots were only surveyed in 2009), co-occurred more often than expected by chance. These groupings were consistent between years. We then estimated the relation of these species and groups to landscape and local site characteristics by using zero-inflated abundance models that accounted for incomplete detection. At the landscape level (5-km radius), the amount of emergent herbaceous wetland was positively associated with least bittern occupancy, whereas the amount of woody wetland was negatively associated with least bittern, rail, and open-water bird occupancy. At the local level, habitat variables that were associated with abundance were not consistent among groups or between years, with the exception that both least bitterns and open-water birds had a strong positive association between abundance and water-vegetation interspersion. Land managers interested in marsh bird management or conservation may want to consider focusing efforts on landscapes with high amounts of emergent herbaceous wetland and low amounts of woody wetland, and managing for high amounts of water-vegetation interspersion within the wetland.

  17. Experimental feeding of Hydrilla verticillata colonized by stigonematales cyanobacteria induces vacuolar myelinopathy in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta).

    PubMed

    Mercurio, Albert D; Hernandez, Sonia M; Maerz, John C; Yabsley, Michael J; Ellis, Angela E; Coleman, Amanda L; Shelnutt, Leslie M; Fischer, John R; Wilde, Susan B

    2014-01-01

    Vacuolar myelinopathy (VM) is a neurologic disease primarily found in birds that occurs when wildlife ingest submerged aquatic vegetation colonized by an uncharacterized toxin-producing cyanobacterium (hereafter "UCB" for "uncharacterized cyanobacterium"). Turtles are among the closest extant relatives of birds and many species directly and/or indirectly consume aquatic vegetation. However, it is unknown whether turtles can develop VM. We conducted a feeding trial to determine whether painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) would develop VM after feeding on Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), colonized by the UCB (Hydrilla is the most common "host" of UCB). We hypothesized turtles fed Hydrilla colonized by the UCB would exhibit neurologic impairment and vacuolation of nervous tissues, whereas turtles fed Hydrilla free of the UCB would not. The ability of Hydrilla colonized by the UCB to cause VM (hereafter, "toxicity") was verified by feeding it to domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) or necropsy of field collected American coots (Fulica americana) captured at the site of Hydrilla collections. We randomly assigned ten wild-caught turtles into toxic or non-toxic Hydrilla feeding groups and delivered the diets for up to 97 days. Between days 82 and 89, all turtles fed toxic Hydrilla displayed physical and/or neurologic impairment. Histologic examination of the brain and spinal cord revealed vacuolations in all treatment turtles. None of the control turtles exhibited neurologic impairment or had detectable brain or spinal cord vacuolations. This is the first evidence that freshwater turtles can become neurologically impaired and develop vacuolations after consuming toxic Hydrilla colonized with the UCB. The southeastern United States, where outbreaks of VM occur regularly and where vegetation colonized by the UCB is common, is also a global hotspot of freshwater turtle diversity. Our results suggest that further investigations into the effect of the putative UCB toxin

  18. Integrative taxonomy of European parasitic flatworms of the genus Metorchis Looss, 1899 (Trematoda: Opisthorchiidae).

    PubMed

    Sitko, Jiljí; Bizos, Jiří; Sherrard-Smith, Eleanor; Stanton, David W G; Komorová, Petronela; Heneberg, Petr

    2016-06-01

    Metorchis spp. are flukes (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) that infect vertebrates, including humans, dogs, cats, poultry and wild game, with cyprinid freshwater fish serving as typical second intermediate hosts. In their definitive hosts, the Metorchis spp. are difficult to identify to species. We provide and analyze sequences of two nuclear (18S rDNA and ITS2) and two mitochondrial (CO1 and ND1) DNA loci of four morphologically identified European species of the Metorchis, namely Metorchis albidus, Metorchis bilis, Metorchis crassiusculus and Metorchis xanthosomus, and of another opisthorchiid, Euamphimerus pancreaticus. DNA analysis suggests that the Metorchis specimens identified morphologically as M. albidus (from Lutra lutra), M. bilis (from Phalacrocorax carbo) and M. crassiusculus (from Aquila heliaca and Buteo rufinus) represent a single species. Thus, M. albidus (Braun, 1893) Loos, 1899 and M. crassiusculus (Rudolphi, 1809) Looss, 1899 are recognized as junior subjective synonyms of M. bilis (Braun, 1790) Odening, 1962. We also provide comparative measurements of the Central European Metorchis spp., and address their tissue specificity and prevalence based on the examination of extensive bird cohort from 1962 to 2015. M. bilis and M. xanthosomus can be morphologically diagnosed by measuring the extent of genitalia relative to body length and by the size ratio of their suckers. They also differ in their core definitive hosts, with ducks (Anas, Aythya) and coots (Fulica) hosting M. xanthosomus, and cormorants (Phalacrocorax), the birds of prey (Buteo, Aquila, etc.), piscivorous mammals (Lutra, Vulpes, Ursus, etc.) and humans hosting M. bilis. Previous reports on the Metorchis spp. contain numerous suspected misidentifications. PMID:26794684

  19. Comparative skeletal muscle fibre morphometry among wild birds with different locomotor behaviour

    PubMed Central

    TORRELLA, J. R.; FOUCES, V.; PALOMEQUE, J.; VISCOR, G.

    1998-01-01

    Six muscles of the mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos), the common coot (Fulica atra) and the yellow-legged gull (Larus cachinnans) were analysed morphometrically, with special emphasis on their functional implications and physiological needs. Oxidative fibres always had significantly smaller size than anaerobic fibres, although no differences in the number of capillaries per fibre were found. This resulted in greater capillary counts per unit of fibre area and perimeter in oxidative than anaerobic fibres, which indicates that the greater demand for oxygen supply may be achieved by decreasing the size of the muscle fibre rather than by increasing the number of associated capillaries. Fast oxidative fibres of the pectoralis and the triceps of the gull had greater sizes than the fast oxidative fibres of the mallard and the coot, which correlates with the difference in energetic demands between flapping and gliding flight. Greater fibre cross-sectional areas and perimeters seem suited to afford the long-lasting activity with low metabolic demands required during gliding. By contrast, mallards and coots attain a high oxidative metabolism, during sustained flapping flight, by reducing fibre size at the expense of a diminished ability for force generation. Between-species comparisons of the hindlimb muscles only yielded differences for the anaerobic fibres of the gastrocnemius, as an important adaptive response to force generation during burst locomotion. The need to manage sustained swimming abilities effectively may result in similar FOG fibre morphometry of the hindlimb muscles studied, indicating that a compromise between the oxygen flux to the muscle cell and the development of power is highly optimised in oxidative fibres of the bird species studied. PMID:9643422

  20. Red fox spatial characteristics in relation to waterfowl predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.

    1972-01-01

    Radio-equipped red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) on the Cedar Creek area in Minnesota were spatially distributed, with individual families occupying well defined, nonoverlapping, contiguous territories. Territory boundaries often conformed to natural physical boundaries and appeared to be maintained through some nonaggressive behavior mechanism. Individual foxes traveled extensively throughout the family territory each night. Fox territories appeared to range from approximately 1 to 3 square miles in size, dependent largely on population density. Red foxes used a sequence of dens to rear their pups, and the amount and location of food remains at individual dens changed as the pups matured. The denning season was divided into pre-emergence, confined-use, and dispersed-use periods of 4 to 5 weeks each. Remains of adult waterfowl were collected at rearing dens on six townships in three ecologically different regions of eastern North Dakota. Remains of 172 adult dabbling ducks and 16 adult American coots (Fulica americana) were found at 35 dens. No remains from diving ducks were found. The number of adult ducks per den averaged 1.6, 5.9, and 10.2 for paired townships in regions with relatively low, moderate and high duck populations, respectively. Eighty-four percent of the ducks were females. The species and sex composition of ducks found at dens during early and late sampling periods reflected the nesting chronology of prairie dabbling ducks. Occupied rearing dens were focal points of red fox travel, and the locations of dens may have had considerable influence on predation. Thirty-five of 38 dens found on the six township study areas were on pastured or idle lands. The distribution of rearing dens on the Sand Lake and Arrowwood national wildlife refuges suggested that, on these areas, fox dens were concentrated because of the topography and land-use practices.

  1. The bird species of Kumasir lake (Kahramanmaras-Turkey) and a view of environmental ethics on sustainable wetland management.

    PubMed

    Inac, S; Gorucu, O; Pinar, A H

    2008-05-01

    Kumasir lake is located next to towns of Donuklu and Fatih, nine km west of Kahramanmaras city center the region of east Mediterranean, Turkey This lake is of crucial importance from the point of native and immigrant birds. We located 17 birdspecies in this area during our observations carried out in the spring and autumn of 2005-2006. These were Ciconia ciconia L., Anas platyrhynchos L., Accipiter nisus L., Accipiter brevipes L., Fulica atra L., Columba palumbus L., Merops apiaster L., Upupa epops L., Alauda arvensis L., Motacilla flava L., Turdus merula L., Acrocephalus scirpaceus L., Regulus regulus L., Garrulus glandarius L., Corvus corax L., Fringilla coelebs L., Hirundo rustica L.. Among observed 17 species; 6 of them were immigrant and remaining 11 of them were native birds. Kumasir lake is surrounded by wetland of Amik and Gavur lake. Since it was greatly dried, it was transformed to farmland. Consequently the birds lost most of theirnests and settlements. However not taken in the care of environmental ethic values, the wastewaters of the villages drain to lake reservoir; herbicides and insecticides used for agriculture are polluting the water reeds have been burned, the lake's reeds are getting dry by the irrigation for the farmland. So, the wetland ecosystem is being affected negatively by these factors. On the other hand, the birds are exposed to illegal and unlawful hunting. For this reasons, this lake must be taken into a management regime of sustainable wetland (protection profiting balance) and used techniques of participation planning via the process of sustainable natural resources and planning. PMID:18972701

  2. Experimental Feeding of Hydrilla verticillata Colonized by Stigonematales Cyanobacteria Induces Vacuolar Myelinopathy in Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta)

    PubMed Central

    Mercurio, Albert D.; Hernandez, Sonia M.; Maerz, John C.; Yabsley, Michael J.; Ellis, Angela E.; Coleman, Amanda L.; Shelnutt, Leslie M.; Fischer, John R.; Wilde, Susan B.

    2014-01-01

    Vacuolar myelinopathy (VM) is a neurologic disease primarily found in birds that occurs when wildlife ingest submerged aquatic vegetation colonized by an uncharacterized toxin-producing cyanobacterium (hereafter “UCB” for “uncharacterized cyanobacterium”). Turtles are among the closest extant relatives of birds and many species directly and/or indirectly consume aquatic vegetation. However, it is unknown whether turtles can develop VM. We conducted a feeding trial to determine whether painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) would develop VM after feeding on Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), colonized by the UCB (Hydrilla is the most common “host” of UCB). We hypothesized turtles fed Hydrilla colonized by the UCB would exhibit neurologic impairment and vacuolation of nervous tissues, whereas turtles fed Hydrilla free of the UCB would not. The ability of Hydrilla colonized by the UCB to cause VM (hereafter, “toxicity”) was verified by feeding it to domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) or necropsy of field collected American coots (Fulica americana) captured at the site of Hydrilla collections. We randomly assigned ten wild-caught turtles into toxic or non-toxic Hydrilla feeding groups and delivered the diets for up to 97 days. Between days 82 and 89, all turtles fed toxic Hydrilla displayed physical and/or neurologic impairment. Histologic examination of the brain and spinal cord revealed vacuolations in all treatment turtles. None of the control turtles exhibited neurologic impairment or had detectable brain or spinal cord vacuolations. This is the first evidence that freshwater turtles can become neurologically impaired and develop vacuolations after consuming toxic Hydrilla colonized with the UCB. The southeastern United States, where outbreaks of VM occur regularly and where vegetation colonized by the UCB is common, is also a global hotspot of freshwater turtle diversity. Our results suggest that further investigations into the effect of the

  3. Bioaccumulation of selenium in birds at Kesterson Reservoir, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ohlendorf, H.M.; Hothem, R.L.; Bunck, C.M.; Marois, K.C.

    1990-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine selenium (Se) concentrations in tissues of birds collected during the 1983-1985 nesting seasons at Kesterson Reservoir (an area receiving high-Se irrigation drainage water), compare them with birds from reference sites within California's Central Valley, and relate them to food-chain Se concentrations at the study sites. Within years, Se in livers of adult birds collected early and late in the nesting season changed significantly at both Kesterson and the primary reference site (Volta Wildlife Area). These changes were related to the length of time birds had been present at the study sites and the associated accumulation (at Kesterson) or depuration (at Volta) of Se. All species showed significant location differences, which were greatest in species that occurred at Kesterson throughout the year or fed more consistently within the reservoir. There were few species differences in Se for birds at the reference sites (where food-chain Se levels were 'normal' [ 50 ?/g Se/g), species patterns varied by year, probably because of varying periods of residence and other factors. Se concentrations in kidneys and livers of American coots (Fulica americana) were significantly correlated (r = 0.9845); Se concentrations in breast muscles and livers of juvenile ducks (Anas spp.) also were correlated (r = 0.8280). Body weights of adult coots were negatively correlated with liver Se concentration. Late-season resident breeding birds or pre-fledging juvenile birds reared at a site usually provided the best indication of site-specific Se bioaccumulation.

  4. Avian vacuolar myelinopathy linked to exotic aquatic plants and a novel cyanobacterial species.

    PubMed

    Wilde, Susan B; Murphy, Thomas M; Hope, Charlotte P; Habrun, Sarah K; Kempton, Jason; Birrenkott, Anna; Wiley, Faith; Bowerman, William W; Lewitus, Alan J

    2005-06-01

    Invasions of exotic species have created environmental havoc through competition and displacement of native plants and animals. The introduction of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) into the United States in the 1960s has been detrimental to navigation, power generation, water intake, and water quality (McCann et al., 1996). Our field surveys and feeding studies have now implicated exotic hydrilla and associated epiphytic cyanobacterial species as a link to avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM), an emerging avian disease affecting herbivorous waterbirds and their avian predators. AVM, first reported in 1994, has caused the death of at least 100 bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and thousands of American coots (Fulica americana) at 11 sites from Texas to North Carolina (Thomas et al., 1998; Rocke et al., 2002). Our working hypothesis is that the agent of this disease is an uncharacterized neurotoxin produced by a novel cyanobacterial epiphyte of the order Stigonematales. This undescribed species covers up to 95% of the surface area of leaves in reservoirs where bird deaths have occurred from the disease. In addition, this species is rare or not found on hydrilla collected at sites where AVM disease has not been diagnosed. Laboratory feeding trials and a sentinel bird study using naturally occurring blooms of cyanobacteria on hydrilla leaves and farm-raised mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) induced the disease experimentally. Since 1994 AVM has been diagnosed in additional sites from Texas to North Carolina. Specific site characteristics that produce the disjunct distribution of AVM are unknown, but it is probable that the incidence of this disease will increase with the introduction of hydrilla and associated cyanobacterial species into additional ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. PMID:15892059

  5. Finding the Exotic Faucet Snail (Bithynia tentaculata): Investigation of Waterbird Die-Offs on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sauer, Jennifer S.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Nissen, James M.

    2007-01-01

    Beginning in 2002, there have been major waterbird die-offs every spring and fall in Lake Onalaska (Navigation Pool 7 of the Upper Mississippi River) located near La Crosse, Wisconsin. This area is part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (UMR Refuge) and lies within the Mississippi Flyway, through which an estimated 40 percent of the continent's waterfowl migrate. Through the 2006 spring migration, total mortality on the UMR Refuge was estimated at 22,000 to 26,000 birds, primarily American coots (Fulica americana) and lesser scaup (Aythya affinis). Two trematodes (Sphaeridiotrema globulus and Cyathocotyle bushiensis) that use the exotic faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) as an intermediate host were found to infect and kill the waterbirds. The faucet snail was introduced into the United States from Europe in the late 1800s. Because Lake Onalaska is a major spring and fall stop-over area for waterfowl in the Mississippi Flyway, concerns were raised that the snail and trematodes may be spreading to other waterfowl stop-over areas on the river. Exploratory sampling for faucet snails was conducted in 2005 and 2006 in navigation Pools 4-9 (excluding Pool 5a which is located between Pools 5 and 6), 11, and 13. Infected snails were found in all the sampled pools except Pool 6. To our knowledge, these are the first records of faucet snails and associated trematodes beyond those found in Pool 7, Lake Onalaska. Waterbird die-offs are becoming a UMR Refuge-wide problem. Information obtained through research and monitoring, including the identification of the origin of infections in snails and birds and the role various environmental factors have on this process, should help guide managers to develop effective mitigation and control measures.

  6. Snails and slugs damaging the cut foliage, Cordyline fruticosa and use of biorationals towards their management.

    PubMed

    Karthiga, S; Jegathambigai, V; Karunarathne, M D S D; Svinningen, A; Mikunthan, G

    2012-01-01

    Snails and slugs became a serious molluscan pests and damaging leaves of purple compacta, Cordyline fruticosa extensively grown for export at Green Farm Ltd, Sri Lanka. The export quality of leaves of C. fruticosa is lowered due to feeding of snails, Achantina fulica (Bowditch), Opeas pyrgula Schmacker and Boettgerx and Helix aspersa Muller and slugs incurring great loss to cut foliage industry. Paucity of information is available to understand snails and slugs damage and their host range that limits to develop suitable management practices. Therefore this study was aimed to determine damage, alternate hosts and to develop possible management practices. Snails and slugs damaged mainly fresh leaves of C. fruticosa. The severity of damage was 44.5% in infested field based on the visual rating method. Leaves of cassava, sting bean, okra, cucumber, passion fruit, papaya, Glyricidia and shoe flower were identified as alternate hosts and neem, Ixora and Dracaena spp were not served as alternate hosts. Among the plant materials tested for their repellence against snails and slugs revealed that neem seed powder was an irritant; neem leaves, mint leaves and Lantana leaves were acted as anti-feedant and Salt as chemical repellent. Among the barrier and bait experiments Bordeaux mixture exhibited a significant barrier effect against horizontal movement of snails. Baits made out of Metaldehyde bait, vegetables bait and jaggery had a strong effect in repelling the snails and slugs. Mulching with Madhuca longifolia punnac was the best to reduce the snails and slugs population compared to M. longifolia seed kernel powder. Oil from M. longifolia failed to reduce their population. Hence the results revealed that saponin containing M. longifolia punnac helped to eliminate snails and slugs when used as mulch. Metaldehyde, vegetable and jaggery baits are also useful to minimize their colonization further. Hence combination of these methods will help to prevent snails and slugs from

  7. ALTERNATE FOOD-CHAIN TRANSFER OF THE TOXIN LINKED TO AVIAN VACUOLAR MYELINOPATHY AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ENDANGERED FLORIDA SNAIL KITE (ROSTRHAMUS SOCIABILIS).

    PubMed

    Dodd, Shelley R; Haynie, Rebecca S; Williams, Susan M; Wilde, Susan B

    2016-04-28

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease causing recurrent mortality of Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) and American Coots ( Fulica americana ) at reservoirs and small impoundments in the southern US. Since 1994, AVM is considered the cause of death for over 170 Bald Eagles and thousands of American Coots and other species of wild birds. Previous studies link the disease to an uncharacterized toxin produced by a recently described cyanobacterium, Aetokthonos hydrillicola gen. et sp. nov. that grows epiphytically on submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). The toxin accumulates, likely in the gastrointestinal tract of waterbirds that consume SAV, and birds of prey are exposed when feeding on the moribund waterbirds. Aetokthonos hydrillicola has been identified in all reservoirs where AVM deaths have occurred and was identified growing abundantly on an exotic SAV hydrilla ( Hydrilla verticillata ) in Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho) in central Florida. Toho supports a breeding population of a federally endangered raptor, the Florida Snail Kite ( Rostrhamus sociabilis ) and a dense infestation of an exotic herbivorous aquatic snail, the island applesnail ( Pomacea maculata ), a primary source of food for resident Snail Kites. We investigated the potential for transmission in a new food chain and, in laboratory feeding trials, confirmed that the AVM toxin was present in the hydrilla/A. hydrillicola matrix collected from Toho. Additionally, laboratory birds that were fed apple snails feeding on hydrilla/A. hydrillicola material from a confirmed AVM site displayed clinical signs (3/5), and all five developed brain lesions unique to AVM. This documentation of AVM toxin in central Florida and the demonstration of AVM toxin transfer through invertebrates indicate a significant risk to the already diminished population of endangered Snail Kites. PMID:26981686

  8. Conservation of North American rallids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eddleman, William R.; Knopf, Fritz L.; Manley, Brooke; Reid, Frederic A.; Zembal, Richard

    1988-01-01

    The Rallidae are a diverse group in their habitat selection, yet most North American species occur in or near wetlands As a consequence, most species are subject to habitat enhancement or perturbation from waterfowl management programs. The overall effects of these management programs relative to rallid conservation have been assessed for few species, and there is a need for synthesis of such information. In the cases of some species or raves, population status is not known, and suggested directions for conservation and management are needed. Rare, endangered, or status undetermined species or races often occur in areas where related species are classified as game birds, and the effects of such hunting on rarer forms are not known. Their generally secretive nature, the endangered status of several races and populations, and continued loss of habitat and threats to present habitat, warrant an examination of the conservation status of the North American taxa in this group. In 1977, a committee of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies summarized available information on management and biology of American Coots (Fulica americana), rails, and gallinules in North America (Holliman 1977). That summary was intended to provide relatively complete information on conservation of these species, and also to provide guidance for research within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Accelerated Research Program for Webless Migratory Shore and Upland Game Birds (ARP). Subsequently, a number of rallid studies were funded under this program. The program was eliminated in 1982, following substantial research activities on North American rallids. Since the demise of the ARP, additional research on rallids in North America has focused on an area the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies report failed to cover in detail--that of endangered rallids in the U.S. and their possessions. Most of these studies have been of threatened and endangered

  9. Flightlessness and phylogeny amongst endemic rails (Aves:Rallidae) of the New Zealand region.

    PubMed

    Trewick, S A

    1997-04-29

    The phylogenetic relationships of a number of flightless and volant rails have been investigated using mtDNA sequence data. The third domain of the small ribosomal subunit (12S) has been sequenced for 22 taxa, and part of the 5' end of the cytochrome-b gene has been sequenced for 12 taxa. Additional sequences were obtained from outgroup taxa, two species of jacana, sarus crane, spur-winged plover and kagu. Extinct rails were investigated using DNA extracted from subfossil bones, and in cases where fresh material could not be obtained from other extant taxa, feathers and museum skins were used as sources of DNA. Phylogenetic trees produced from these data have topologies that are, in general, consistent with data from DNA-DNA hybridization studies and recent interpretations based on morphology. Gallinula chloropus moorhen) groups basally with Fulica (coots), Amaurornis (= Megacrex) ineptus falls within the Gallirallus/Rallus group, and Gallinula (= Porphyrula) martinica is basal to Porphyrio (swamphens) and should probably be placed in that genus. Subspecies of Porphyrio porphyrio are paraphyletic with respect to Porphyrio mantelli (takahe). The Northern Hemisphere Rallus aquaticus is basal to the south-western Pacific Rallus (or Gallirallus) group. The flightless Rallus philippensis dieffenbachii is close to Rallus modestus and distinct from the volant Rallus philippensis, and is evidently a separate species. Porzana (crakes) appears to be more closely associated with Porphyrio than Rallus. Deep relationships among the rails remain poorly resolved. Rhynochetus jubatus (kagu) is closer to the cranes than the rails in this analysis. Genetic distances between flightless rails and their volant counterparts varied considerably with observed 12S sequence distances, ranging from 0.3% (Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus and P. mantelli mantelli) to 7.6% (Rallus modestus and Rallus philippensis). This may be taken as an indication of the rapidity with which flightlessness can

  10. Flightlessness and phylogeny amongst endemic rails (Aves:Rallidae) of the New Zealand region.

    PubMed Central

    Trewick, S A

    1997-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of a number of flightless and volant rails have been investigated using mtDNA sequence data. The third domain of the small ribosomal subunit (12S) has been sequenced for 22 taxa, and part of the 5' end of the cytochrome-b gene has been sequenced for 12 taxa. Additional sequences were obtained from outgroup taxa, two species of jacana, sarus crane, spur-winged plover and kagu. Extinct rails were investigated using DNA extracted from subfossil bones, and in cases where fresh material could not be obtained from other extant taxa, feathers and museum skins were used as sources of DNA. Phylogenetic trees produced from these data have topologies that are, in general, consistent with data from DNA-DNA hybridization studies and recent interpretations based on morphology. Gallinula chloropus moorhen) groups basally with Fulica (coots), Amaurornis (= Megacrex) ineptus falls within the Gallirallus/Rallus group, and Gallinula (= Porphyrula) martinica is basal to Porphyrio (swamphens) and should probably be placed in that genus. Subspecies of Porphyrio porphyrio are paraphyletic with respect to Porphyrio mantelli (takahe). The Northern Hemisphere Rallus aquaticus is basal to the south-western Pacific Rallus (or Gallirallus) group. The flightless Rallus philippensis dieffenbachii is close to Rallus modestus and distinct from the volant Rallus philippensis, and is evidently a separate species. Porzana (crakes) appears to be more closely associated with Porphyrio than Rallus. Deep relationships among the rails remain poorly resolved. Rhynochetus jubatus (kagu) is closer to the cranes than the rails in this analysis. Genetic distances between flightless rails and their volant counterparts varied considerably with observed 12S sequence distances, ranging from 0.3% (Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus and P. mantelli mantelli) to 7.6% (Rallus modestus and Rallus philippensis). This may be taken as an indication of the rapidity with which flightlessness can

  11. Attempts to identify the source of avian vacuolar myelinopathy for waterbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Thomas, N.J.; Meteyer, C.U.; Quist, C.F.; Fischer, John R.; Augspurger, T.; Ward, S.E.

    2005-01-01

    Attempts were made to reproduce avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) in a number of test animals in order to determine the source of the causative agent for birds and to find a suitable animal model for future studies. Submerged vegetation, plankton, invertebrates, forage fish, and sediments were collected from three lakes with ongoing outbreaks of AVM and fed to American coots (Fulica americana), mallard ducks and ducklings (Anas platyrhynchos), quail (Coturnix japonica), and laboratory mice either via gavage or ad libitum. Tissues from AVM-affected coots with brain lesions were fed to ducklings, kestrels (Falco sparverius), and American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). Two mallards that ingested one sample of Hydrilla verticillata along with any biotic or abiotic material associated with its external surface developed brain lesions consistent with AVM, although neither of the ducks had clinical signs of disease. Ingestion of numerous other samples of Hydrilla from the AVM affected lakes and a lake with no prior history of AVM, other materials (sediments, algae, fish, invertebrates, and water from affected lakes), or tissues from AVM-affected birds did not produce either clinical signs or brain lesions in any of the other test animals in our studies. These results suggest that waterbirds are most likely exposed to the causative agent of AVM while feeding on aquatic vegetation, but we do not believe the vegetation itself is the agent. We hypothesize that the causative agent of AVM might either be accumulated by aquatic vegetation, such as Hydrilla, or associated with biotic or abiotic material on its external surfaces. In support of that hypothesis, two coots that ingested Hydrilla sampled from a lake with an ongoing AVM outbreak in wild birds developed neurologic signs within 9 days (ataxia, limb weakness, and incoordination), and one of two coots that ingested Hydrilla collected from the same site 13 days later became sick and died within 38 days. None of these three

  12. Determining age and sex of American coots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eddleman, William R.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1985-01-01

    Reliable techniques for age and sex determination of migrating and wintering American Coots (Fulica americana) have not been available. Breeding coots can be ages through age 3 by tarsal color (birds 4 years and older were placed in a 4+ age class) (Crawford 1978), and males and females have sex-specific behaviors and calls while on breeding territories (Gullion 1950, 1952). Externally, juvenile coots differ from adults in having gray (as opposed to white) bills and brown (as opposed to red) eyes to an age of 75 days (Gullion 1954-394). Bill color changes to white by about 120 days. No quantitative data have been available, however, on the proportion of juveniles retaining these traits throughout fall and early winter. Nonbreeding coots can be ages as juvenile or adult by internal examination of the thickness of the wall of the bursa of Fabricius, although bursal depth does not predictably decline with age (Fredrickson 1968). Attempts to sex coots by single external measurements of combinations of measurements have met with mixed success. Eight-five percent of 101 fall migrants in Wisconsin could be sexed by the length of the metatarsus-midtoe including claw by using 139.5 mm as a cutoff point (Burton 1959), whereas 88% of 67 coots in California were correctly sexed by the length of the metatarsus-midtoe without claw using 127.5 mm as the cutoff point (Gullion 1952). Two-hundred-thirty-two of 291 coots collected in Iowa, however, were in the zone of overlap between the sexes for this measurement (Fredrickson 1968). Previous studies attempting to develop aging and sexing techniques for American Coots have been limited to a few study sites or to 1 season or year, often failing to take geographical, annual, and seasonal morphological variation into account (e.g., Visser 1976, Fjeldsa 1977). We designed the present study to refine and quantify external and internal age and sex criteria for postbreeding coots, with the objective of defining techniques applicable for all

  13. Interactions of marine mammals and birds with offshore membrane enclosures for growing algae (OMEGA)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background OMEGA is an integrated aquatic system to produce biofuels, treat and recycle wastewater, capture CO2, and expand aquaculture production. This system includes floating photobioreactors (PBRs) that will cover hundreds of hectares in marine bays. To assess the interactions of marine mammals and birds with PBRs, 9 × 1.3 m flat panel and 9.5 × 0.2 m tubular PBRs were deployed in a harbor and monitored day and night from October 10, 2011 to Janurary 22, 2012 using infrared video. To observe interactions with pinnipeds, two trained sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and one trained harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) were observed and directed to interact with PBRs in tanks. To determine the forces required to puncture PBR plastic and the effects of weathering, Instron measurements were made with a sea otter (Enhydra lutris) tooth and bird beaks. Results A total of 1,445 interactions of marine mammals and birds with PBRs were observed in the 2,424 hours of video recorded. The 95 marine mammal interactions, 94 by sea otters and one by a sea lion had average durations of three minutes (max 44 min) and represented about 1% of total recording time. The 1,350 bird interactions, primarily coots (Fulica americana) and gulls (Larus occidentalis and L. californicus) had average durations of six minutes (max. 170) and represented 5% of recording time. Interactive behaviors were characterized as passive (feeding, walking, resting, grooming, and social activity) or proactive (biting, pecking, investigating, and unspecified manipulating). Mammal interactions were predominantly proactive, whereas birds were passive. All interactions occurred primarily during the day. Ninety-six percent of otter interactions occurred in winter, whereas 73% of bird interactions in fall, correlating to their abundance in the harbor. Trained pinnipeds followed most commands to bite, drag, and haul-out onto PBRs, made no overt undirected interactions with the PBRs, but showed avoidance

  14. Role of selenium toxicity and oxidative stress in aquatic birds.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, David J

    2002-04-01

    Adverse effects of selenium (Se) in wild aquatic birds have been documented as a consequence of pollution of the aquatic environment by subsurface agricultural drainwater and other sources. These effects include mortality, impaired reproduction with teratogenesis, reduced growth, histopathological lesions and alterations in hepatic glutathione metabolism. A review is provided, relating adverse biological effects of Se in aquatic birds to altered glutathione metabolism and oxidative stress. Laboratory studies, mainly with an organic form of Se, selenomethionine, have revealed oxidative stress in different stages of the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) life cycle. As dietary and tissue concentrations of Se increase, increases in plasma and hepatic GSH peroxidase activities occur, followed by dose-dependent increases in the ratio of hepatic oxidized to reduced glutathione (GSSG:GSH) and ultimately hepatic lipid peroxidation measured as an increase in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). One or more of these oxidative effects were associated with teratogenesis (4.6 ppm wet weight Se in eggs), reduced growth in ducklings (15 ppm Se in liver), diminished immune function (5 ppm Se in liver) and histopathological lesions (29 ppm Se in liver) in adults. Manifestations of Se-related effects on glutathione metabolism were also apparent in field studies in seven species of aquatic birds. Reduced growth and possibly immune function but increased liver:body weight and hepatic GSSG:GSH ratios were apparent in american avocet (Recurvirostra americana) hatchlings from eggs containing 9 ppm Se. In black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), which contained somewhat lower Se concentrations, a decrease in hepatic GSH was apparent with few other effects. In adult American coots (Fulica americana), signs of Se toxicosis included emaciation, abnormal feather loss and histopathological lesions. Mean liver concentrations of 28 ppm Se (ww) in the coots were associated with elevated

  15. Attempts to reproduce vacuolar myelinopathy in domestic swine and chickens.

    PubMed

    Lewis-Weis, Lynn A; Gerhold, Richard W; Fischer, John R

    2004-07-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) was first recognized as a cause of bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) mortality in 1994 in Arkansas (USA) and has since caused over 90 bald eagle and numerous American coot (Fulica americana) mortalities in five southeastern states. The cause of AVM remains undetermined but is suspected to be a biotoxin. Naturally occurring AVM has been limited to wild waterbirds, raptors, and one species of shorebird, and has been reproduced experimentally in red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis). In this study, chickens and swine were evaluated for susceptibility to vacuolar myelinopathy with the intent of developing animal models for research and to identify specific tissues in affected coots that contain the causative agent. Additionally, submerged, aquatic vegetation, primarily hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), and associated material collected from a reservoir during an AVM outbreak was fed to chickens in an effort to reproduce the disease. In two separate experiments, six 4-wk-old leghorn chickens and ten 5-wk-old leghorn chickens were fed coot tissues. In a third experiment, five 3-mo-old domestic swine and one red-tailed hawk, serving as a positive control, were fed coot tissues. In these experiments, treatment animals received tissues (brain, fat, intestinal tract, kidney, liver, and/or muscle) from coots with AVM lesions collected at a lake during an AVM outbreak. Negative control chickens and one pig received tissues from coots without AVM lesions that had been collected at a lake where AVM has never been documented. In a fourth experiment, eight 3-wk-old leghorn chickens were fed aquatic vegetation material. Four chickens received material from the same lake from which coots with AVM lesions were collected for the previous experiments, and four control chickens were fed material from the lake where AVM has never been documented. Blood was collected and physical and neurologic exams were conducted on animals before and once per week