Table of contents:
Microbiology: the study of life of organisms which are too small to be seen with the naked eye
Conservation: protective management of habitats, biotopes, and ecotopes
Medicine: nonsurgical health improving or preservation
Definition: "Conservation Medicine" is a currently emerging, interdisciplinary field that studies the relationship between human and animal health, and the environmental conditions. It is also known as ecological medicine, environmental medicine, or medical geology. It may also be defined as that branch of science which deals with the study of comparative human and animal health and the environmental conditions, shifting from natural to artificial ones.
Basics: The Microbiological Conservation Medicine is concerned with the adaptation by evolution of health associated microorganisms and their effects on humans.
Aims: Microbiological Conservation Medicine addresses health problems caused by microorganisms derived from environmental changes in terms of integration approaches. These approaches include methodically:
(1) identifying critical factors in the form of infectious microorganisms (ss);
(2) monitoring the infectious status of man and animals;
(3) on demand a crisis intervention, e.g. by vaccination and hygienic measurements;
(4) developing and applying newest health technologies;
(5) welfare concerns of an animal keeping society;
(6) recognition and description of the evolutionary effective selection mechanisms, and
(7) intra- and extramural training and public relation.
The ultimate goal of Microbiological Conservation Medicine is a risk analysis that allows us to predict a future emergence or an increase in pathogenicity of known or nowadays unknown pathogens, as long as these pathogens are associated with animal keeping and changes are related to environmental changes.
History: The term Conservation Medicine was first used in the mid-1990s, and it represents a significant paradigm shift in both medicine and environmentalism. The last three decades have seen an alarming number of high-profile outbreaks of new viruses and other pathogens, many of them emerging from animals once living in the wilderness due to a closer, culture conditioned contact between man and beast.
Social impact: By looking at the environment and health as a continuum, conservation medicine has the potential to effect rapid change in public opinion on complex societal issues, by making the distant and ill-defined, local and pressing. Seemingly common sense scenarios lie at the heart of conservation medicine. When tied to actual cases like global warming or waldsterben, this holistic outlook seems likely to resonate more powerfully with the public than the more abstract explanations of environmental and health issues that are currently common.
Paradigmatic representation of the contact zones of the Microbiological Conservation Medicine exemplifying the aquaterraristic of amphibian, according to Hassl A., 2007:
Contact zones relevant to hygiene:
1 mutual contact zone, pool of microorganisms
2 biofilms, and
3 subsequent zoonosis area
Within this special case there are no known zoonosis or anthroponosis!
The MCM deals with the infectious contact zones in the operating and in the effects of the following four entities: Humans, animals held in captivity or otherwise associated to man, the food, as far as it functions as vector, and the ecotope.
If one defines the entities more exactly, then it follows that:
Humans in the sense of the definition are usually civic inhabitants of municipalities in industrial nations;
Animals are those heterotrophic macro organisms, usually from the class of the vertebrates, which live in association with man, frequently they act as food, leisure objects or spare partners;
Food is any substance, which is metabolized by an organism for the purpose of the power production and cell construction, among it there are drinking and soaking water, organic food and fodder. In our context the food serves mainly as a carrier of microorganisms, in cases of living fodder it is part of the microorganism pool.
The ecotope is the spatial distribution of the inanimate components of an ecological system, which is outlined by an infectious defined biocoenosis.
As a multidiscipline approach the MCM contains the following subdisciplines within the contact zone:
Animal - humans - microbe: zoonosis and anthroponosis
Food - humans - microbe: Food-transmitted infections
Fodder - animal - microbe: Fodder-transmitted infections
Environment - humans - microbe: infectious geonosis and sapronosis
Environment - animal - microbe: Hygiene in animal husbandry and veterinary microbiology.
Hassl codice sexto operis animalum causa
Microbiological Conservation Medicine & Biology and Exotic Pets.
The keeping and the breeding of exotic pets in privacy is a hobby with increasing popularity in industrialised countries. The growing demand for animals usually imported from the tropics, the growing demand for unprofessionally bred feeder organisms, and the increasing number of cases of faulty caring behaviour lead to the creation of new infectiological niches in the interface between exotic pet - nurse - feed - vivarium. These niches are filled preferably by ubiquiteous, facultative pathogenic, stress- and age-deduced opportunists with a broad host spectrum.
|On one hand these extraordinary germ faunas, relating to their compositions, may generate broad relevance in medicine, may lead to bizarre clinical pictures specific cases, and may contribute to a reduction of the mean span of life of exotic pets kept in human care. On the other hand the quantitative composition of the fauna may also be a direct measure of the degree of stress the pets are suffering in captivity. Thus, a professional designation of the germ fauna of an exotic pet may contribute to an optimisation of the captivity conditions.|
Murphy codicillo primo animalum causa
Study on the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum and molecular evidence of Encephalitozoon cuniculi and Encephalitozoon (Septata) intestinalis infections in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in rural Ireland.
Thoracic fluid (pleural fluid and clotted blood) from 206 foxes were examined for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and 220 thoracic fluid samples were tested for Neospora caninum antibodies using indirect immunofluorescent antibody tests (IFAT). A total of 115 (56%) and six (3%) foxes had antibodies to T. gondii and N. caninum, respectively. The brains from 148 foxes were examined for histological lesions and pathological changes suggestive of parasitic encephalitis were observed in 33 (22%). Two thirds of these foxes had antibodies to T. gondii and one
|fox had antibodies to both T. gondii and N. caninum. PCR assays carried out on DANN extracted from the 33 brains with histological lesions were negative for N. caninum but one of the brains was positive for T. gondii. Microsporidian DNA was also amplified from the brains of two of these foxes. Sequencing these amplicons revealed 100% homology with Encephalitozoon (Septata) intestinalis in one fox and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in the second fox. This is the first report of Encephalitozoon infections in wildlife in Ireland.|
Klein codicillo primo animalum causa
Evaluation of rapid assays for the detection of bovine coronavirus, rotavirus A and Cryptosporidium parvum in faecal samples of calves.
Rapid immunochromatographic assays for detecting infections with bovine coronavirus (BCV), rotavirus A and Cryptosporidium parvum in calf faeces were evaluated using as gold standards a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (BCV and rotavirus) and a sedimentation-flotation technique (C.
|parvum). Rapid tests for the detection of BCV and rotavirus showed a high specificity (96.4% and 95.3%, respectively), but a relatively low sensitivity (60.0% and 71.9%, respectively). Sensitivity and specificity for detection of C. parvum were high (100% and 94.6%, respectively).|
Führer codicillo primo animalum causa
Detection of Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Encephalitozoon cuniculi in the brains of common voles (Microtus arvalis) and water voles (Arvicola terrestris) by gene amplification techniques in Western Austria (Vorarlberg).
Knowledge about the protozoan parasite fauna in voles (Arvicolinae) in Austria is rather limited, although some of these pathogens play an important role in human medicine and cause zoonoses (e.g., Toxoplasma gondii and Encephalitozoon cuniculi). Others are of relevance in veterinary medicine and have a negative economic impact (e.g., Neospora caninum). Two hundred sixty-eight common voles (Microtus arvalis) and 86 water voles (Arvicola terrestris) from the most western Austrian province, Vorarlberg, were analyzed with PCR techniques for infections with T. gondii, N. caninum, and E. cuniculi. Brain tissues of two common voles (0.7%) and of
|four water voles (4.7%) tested positive for T. gondii. Furthermore, analysis of four common voles (1.5%) and two water voles (2.3%) generated positive findings for N. caninum, and brain tissues of 16 common voles (6%) and six water voles (7%) tested positive for E. cuniculi. Accordingly, this study not only demonstrates the autochthonous existence of the zoonotic parasites T. gondii and E. cuniculi in voles in Vorarl-berg, it also provides the first evidence of an occurrence of N. caninum in animals of the subfamily Arvicolinae, and it is an additional contribution to investigations of the sylvatic cycle of N. caninum.|
Hassl codice sexto operis animalum causa
A Mycobacterial Infection in a Reptilian Pet and The Pet Keeper - A Cause of Zoonosis?
Human infections with mycobacteria others than tuberculosis (MOTT) are usually not considered as being a zoonosis. Though, we report herewith a microbiologically proven case of an infection with MOTT in a HIV-negative young male suffering from a swelling of an inguinal lymph node. In search of the infection source only his exotic pets, two Burmesian Pythons (Python molurus), were detected of being infected with a
|mycobacterium, Mycobacteria fortuitum, in clinically conspicuous dermal lesions. Animal abuse together with mismanaged keeping methods were the most probable infection route.|
As in 14% of all aquatic terraria Mycobacterium fortuitum could be detected, this mycobacterium seems to be associated with the house keeping of exotic pets.
An infection with so called Free living ameba of the genera Acanthamoeba and Naegleria is a very interesting mode of amebiasis, worked out by us several times scientifically.
Walochnik codicillo primo animalum causa
Isolation and identification by partial sequencing of the 18S ribosomal gene of free-living amoebae from necrotic tissue of Basiliscus plumifrons (Sauria: Iguanidae).
A 3-year-old Basiliscus plumifrons developed a necrotic lesion on the tail resulting from nodules of unknown etiology. Investigation of necrotic tissue re- vealed several gram-negative bacteria as well as three different species of free-living amoebae. The amoebae were identifed by morphological characters as belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba, Echinamoeba, and Naegleria,
|respectively. Partial sequencing of the 18S ribosomal gene was performed for reliable systematic determination. Two of the isolates showed thermotol- erance. No isolate was growable in conventional liquid media, but the Acanthamoeba strain readily grew on a human cell line (HEp2). It remains unclear whether the amoebae fed on the coexisting bacteria or on host tissue.|
Hassl libello quinto membranarum bacteriorum causa are arthropode borne viruses. During my thesis writing I have investigated the possibility of introduction of tick-transmitted ARBO-virus to Austria by migrating birds.
Hassl codice sexto epitomarum vira causa
Investigations about the possibility of introduction of tick-borne Arbovirusus by birds to Central Europe.
In connection with the vast number of migrating birds the question arises, whether these birds may introduce arboviruses to Central Europe. In order to elucidate this question extensive field investigations with birds and mammals were carried out near Illmitz in the Neusiedlersee area in Eastern Austria in the years 1979 and 1980. 1632 blood samples were tested virologically, almost 6000 sera were tested for antibodies against Tick-borne Encephalitis virus, Bhanja virus, Uukuniemi virus, Congo-Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever virus and Bahig/Matruh
|viruses. No virus could be isolated. Antibodies could be detected against TBE, Uukunieml, Bhanja. The detection of antibodies against Bahig/Matruh viruses in young birds and in a weasel was surprising and represents the first report on a possible occurrence of these viruses in Central Europe.|
Due to the ecological conditions, the establishment of a non-endemic tick-borne virus introduced by a viremic bird or by infected ticks parasitizing on birds is extremely difficult and could not be proven.
Salmonella are Gram-negative bacteria thou and thus they are no parasites sensu stricto. Nevertheless they are very common inhabitants of reptile intestinum and they have been found to cause infectious diseases in some cases. As we have addressed the issue of the significance of infections with salmonella in exotic pets in detail here some abstracts of our papers.
Hassl libello quinto membranarum bacteriorum causa
Hygienic evaluation of terraria inhabitated by amphibians and reptiles: cryptosporidia, free-living amebas, salmonella.
Amphibians and reptiles are popular pet animals in about 90.000 Austrian households despite their frequently debated capacity to transmit diseases associated with animal keeping. We studied the epidemiological significance of the triangle animal keeper, exotic pet animal, and feed mice by investigating the frequency of three intestinal infestations, caused by cryptosporidia, opportunistic free-living amebas and salmonella, in amphibians and reptiles living in a public vivarium. In addition to recording the first known occurrence of Naegleria australiensis in Austria, and of this species and of Acanthamoeba polyphaga in the feces of reptiles worldwide,
|we also detected a strong association between Salmonella subspecies I and captive reptiles and between S. subspecies III and free-living lizards. Thus, animal keeper, the exotic animals kept, and the feed mice may constitute an epidemiological pool for the interchange of these infectious agents. This new epidemiological situation may cause an increase of some opportunistic and exotic diseases such as reptile-borne salmonellosis. Despite the perceived benefits of keeping exotic animals in a household, the general public and especially those who have an immunodeficiency must be made aware of the danger of infectious diseases possibly being spread by their pets.|
Hassl libello quinto membranarum bacteriorum causa
Salmonella infestations in amphibians and reptiles.
This retrospective study was dedicated to the questions whether captive and freeliving amphibians and reptiles may act as host and distributor of Salmonella. From 426 faecal samples of 35 amphlbian individuals and 153 reptiles 69 Salmonella strains were isolated and, in most cases, biochemically typed to obtain an antigen formula. While freeliving reptiles almost exclusively harbour Salmonella arizonae (type III), in captive animals an irregular pattern of temporary Salmonellae typ I-excretion was observed.
|Infestations with potentially pathogenic Salmonella species (type I) are extremely rare under free living reptiles. An excretion of this Salmonella type is a consequence of the close contact of amphibians and reptiles with humans. The risk of a Salmonellae infection of exotic pet keepers by its domestic animals can be substantially reduced by a hygienically perfect animal husbandry and a feeding with Salmonellae-free stuff.|
Hassl libello quinto membranarum bacteriorum causa
Pattern of Salmonella excretion in amphibians and reptiles in a vivarium.
During a period of about three years the faeces of five species of amphibians (35 individuals) and of 23 species of reptiles (103 individuals) living in one vivarium with terrariums imitating different types of ecosystems were examined for salmonellae. From 54 out of 376 faecal samples Salmonella spp. was isolated (= 14%). Twenty-one different Salmonella strains were found. Salmonellae could be isolated about twice as often from animals kept under arid or mesic conditions than from animals living in humid or aquatic environments although this was not statistically significant. Statistically significant for the rate of Salmonella excretion was the animals' diet and the class the
|animals are belonging to. Animals feeding on mice (p = 0.04) and reptiles in general (p = 0.04) were more commonly excreting Salmonella. Duration of stay was also a significant factor (p = 0.0005), whereby the relative risk for Salmonella excretion increased with the factor 2.91 per year during the investigation period. Salmonella strains were not necessarily transferred among animals living in the same terrarium or among the inhabitants of different terrariums. The pattern of Salmonella excretion was generally fragmentary. The outsides as well as the insides of the walls of the terrariums were also tested for salmonellae several times, but salmonellae have never been isolated.|
Hassl codice sexto epitomarum
A comparative study of four methods for IgG-preparation.
Four methods for isolation of IgG antibodies from rabbit serum were compared particularly with respect to their suitability for routine IgG preparation. The regain of IgG antibodies and the quantity of contamination of each method were determined and compared with the expenditure of work. Whereas precipitation methods (precipitation with ammonium sulfate or caprylic
|acid) are easily practicable, lower quantities of contamination and a low loss of antibodies could be achieved by affinity chromatography methods (affinity chromatography with DEAE Affi-Gel Blue or Protein A-Sepharose CL-4 B). For routine IgG-isolation in most cases the method of choice seems to be Protein A-affinity chromatography as it combines easy handling with good yield.|