Disease Ecology

Because CDV appears to cause disease in many carnivores, the domestic dog may act as a reservoir host for many wildlife species. Thus, the disease ecology of CDV may have serious conservation implications if it infects threatened or endangered carnivore populations.  In 2004, a female Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) died due to infection with CDV in the Russian Far East.  Domestic dogs are widely seropositive to CDV in the area and transmission to the tiger was likely from contact with a dog.  Epidemiological models of the impact of CDV on Panthera tigris altaica show anywhere from no effect to large declines in the remaining population of only 500 individuals, depending on rates of tiger-tiger contact and dog-tiger contact (1)

Amur Tiger
1.                                           dog 2.

The Serengeti game reserve in Tanzania, Africa is one of the largest wildlife areas left in the world and is known in part for its well-documented and studied lion prides. Here, thousands of antelope, wildebeests, and other herbivores carry on a daily life and death struggle with the hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, and lions that inhabit the reserve.  As there are many carnivores in the park, there are many potential mechanisms by which the virus could have spread to lions.  It is proposed that hyenas were the most likely vectors of the virus because they travel great distances and intermingle with both lions and domestic dogs at separate kill and scavenge sites within and without the park. Nomadic lions (not attached to any pride) could also have contributed to CDV dissemination. The high densities of these susceptible carnivores at kill sites could have provided an ideal environment for CDV amplification and transmission.  Further research into the prevalence of different carnivore populations would yield valuable likely modes of transmission among carnivores(2).

wildebeest 3.                                                   open wide 4.