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Polar bear encephalitis: establishment of a comprehensive next-generation pathogen analysis pipeline for captive and free-living wildlife

Item Type:Article
Title:Polar bear encephalitis: establishment of a comprehensive next-generation pathogen analysis pipeline for captive and free-living wildlife
Creators Name:Szentiks, C.A. and Tsangaras, K. and Abendroth, B. and Scheuch, M. and Stenglein, M.D. and Wohlsein, P. and Heeger, F. and Hoeveler, R. and Chen, W. and Sun, W. and Damiani, A. and Nikolin, V. and Gruber, A.D. and Grobbel, M. and Kalthoff, D. and Hoeper, D. and Czirjak, G.A. and DeRisi, J. and Mazzoni, C.J. and Schuele, A. and Aue, A. and East, M.L. and Hofer, H. and Beer, M. and Osterrieder, N. and Greenwood, A.D.
Abstract:This report describes three possibly related incidences of encephalitis, two of them lethal, in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Standard diagnostic methods failed to identify pathogens in any of these cases. A comprehensive, three-stage diagnostic 'pipeline' employing both standard serological methods and new DNA microarray and next generation sequencing-based diagnostics was developed, in part as a consequence of this initial failure. This pipeline approach illustrates the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of these tools in determining pathogen caused deaths in non-model organisms such as wildlife species and why the use of a limited number of diagnostic tools may fail to uncover important wildlife pathogens.
Keywords:Diagnostic Tests, Encephalitis, Wildlife Diseases, Animals, Polar Bear
Source:Journal of Comparative Pathology
ISSN:0021-9975
Publisher:Elsevier / Saunders (U.K.)
Volume:150
Number:4
Page Range:474-488
Date:May 2014
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpa.2013.12.005
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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