Outbreaks of Disease Possibly Due to a Natural Avian Herpesvirus Infection in a Colony of Young Magnificent Frigatebirds (Fregata magnificens) in French Guiana

Type Article
Date 2009-07
Language English
Author(s) De Thoisy Benoit1, 2, Lavergne Anne1, Semelin Julien3, Pouliquen Jean-Francois1, Blanchard FabianORCID4, Hansen Eric5, Lacoste Vincent1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Inst Pasteur, Lab Interact Virus Hotes, Cayenne 97300, French Guiana.
2 : Assoc Kwata Study & Conservat Guianan Wildlife, Cayenne 97300, French Guiana.
3 : Reserve Nat Grand Connetable, Cayenne 97300, French Guiana.
4 : IFREMER, Lab Ressources Halieutiques, Cayenne 97300, France.
5 : Off Natl Chasse & Faune Sauvage, Kourou 97300, French Guiana.
Source Journal of Wildlife Diseases (0090-3558) (Wildlife Disease Association), 2009-07 , Vol. 45 , N. 3 , P. 802-807
WOS© Times Cited 13
Keyword(s) Frigatebird, Fregata magnificens, Chick mortality, Alphaherpesvirus
Abstract The Ile du Grand Connetable nature reserve is a rocky island off the Northern Atlantic coast of South America that hosts a unique population of Magnificent Frigatebirds (Fregata, magnificens, Pelecaniformes). A high chick mortality, associated with nodular proliferative lesions, involving featherless areas, such as legs, neck, eyelids, and beak, was recorded during a consecutive 2 yr and affected almost half of the generation. Investigations were therefore, conducted to determine the cause of these epidemics. Although histopathologic investigations suggested that malnutrition, because of fewer resources in the Frigates' fishing area, could be the cause of the epidemic, it novel alphaherpesvirus, tentatively called Fregata magnificens herpesvirus, was detected in cutaneous crusts on the diseased birds. Although in this study, we do not prove the causal link of this new virus to the symptoms observed, it can nevertheless be suggested that in debilitated hosts, it productive herpesvirus infection might accelerate, and/or be accelerated by, population declines. These results emphasize the need to take into consideration the possible role of herpesviruses in weakened populations of wild birds in conservation management plans.
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De Thoisy Benoit, Lavergne Anne, Semelin Julien, Pouliquen Jean-Francois, Blanchard Fabian, Hansen Eric, Lacoste Vincent (2009). Outbreaks of Disease Possibly Due to a Natural Avian Herpesvirus Infection in a Colony of Young Magnificent Frigatebirds (Fregata magnificens) in French Guiana. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 45(3), 802-807. Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00000/6811/