Since 2001 several outbreaks of a new disease associated with Border disease virus (BDV) infection have caused important declines in Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica) populations in the Pyrenees. The goal of this study was to analyze the post-outbreak BDV epidemiology in the first two areas affected by disease with the aim to establish if the infection has become endemic. We also investigated if BDV infected wild and domestic ruminants sharing habitat with chamois. Unexpectedly, we found different epidemiological scenarios in each population. Since the disease outbreaks, some chamois populations recuperated quickly, while others did not recover as expected. In chamois from the first areas, prevalence was high (73.47%) and constant throughout the whole study period and did not differ between chamois born before and after the BDV outbreak; in all, BDV was detected by RT-PCR in six chamois. In the other areas, prevalence was lower (52.79%) and decreased during the study period; as well, prevalence was significantly lower in chamois born after the disease outbreak. No BDV were detected in this population. A comparative virus neutralisation test performed with four BDV strains and one Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) strain showed that all the chamois had BDV-specific antibodies. Pestivirus antibodies were detected in all the rest of analyzed species, with low prevalence values in wild ruminants and moderate values in domestic ruminants. No viruses were detected in these species. These results confirm the hypothesis that outbreaks of BDV infection only affect the Pyrenean chamois, although other wild ruminants can occasionally be infected. In conclusion, two different scenarios have appeared since the first border disease outbreaks in Pyrenean chamois: on the one hand frequent BDV circulation with possible negative impact on population dynamics in some areas and on the other, lack of virus circulation and quick recovery of the chamois population. © 2012 Fernández-Sirera et al.
|Publication status||Published - 10 Dec 2012|