Submitted to: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/19/2008
Publication Date: 10/30/2008
Citation: Nelder, M.P., Reeves, W.K., Adler, P.H., Wozniak, A., Wills, W. 2008. Ectoparasites of free-roaming and captive animals in South Carolina zoos and an assessment of their threat to animals welfare and public health. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 9(5):469-477.
Interpretive Summary: Both captive and free ranging feral animals in zoos are infested with ectoparsites such as ticks, fleas, lice, and biting flies. We examined zoo animals from South Carolina for ectoparasites and identified 55 species from 2 zoos. Vector-borne pathogens such as Equine Granulocytic Anaplasmosis and some Bartonella and Rickettsia were detected in ticks, lice, and fleas from the zoos.
Technical Abstract: Ectoparasites were collected from free-roaming and captive animals in zoos to document the species present and to determine if they were associated with vertebrate pathogens. We examined 133 animals or their associated nesting and bedding materials for ectoparasites. Fifty-five species of ectoparasites were collected from both zoos; 29 from the Greenville Zoo and 26 from the Riverbanks Zoo. Anaplasma phagocytophilum was detected in the tick Ixodes dentatus Marx from an eastern cottontail rabbit in the Riverbanks Zoo. Bartonella clarridgeiae was detected in cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera), from a Virginia opossum at the Greenville Zoo. Bartonella sp. Oh6 was detected in squirrel fleas, Orchopeas howardi (Baker), from an eastern grey squirrel from the Bartonella sp. T7498 was detected in sucking lice Neohaematopinus scuiri Jancke (Phthiraptera) from a squirrel in the Greenville Zoo. Rickettsia sp. Rf2125 was detected in multiple pools of C. felis from a zookeeper and a grizzly bear in the Greenville Zoo.