Temporal variation in physiological biomarkers in black flying-foxes (Pteropus alecto), Australia

McMichael, Lee and Edson, Daniel and Mayer, David and McLaughlin, Amanda and Goldspink, Lauren and Vidgen, Miranda E. and Kopp, Steven and Meers, Joanne and Field, Hume (2016) Temporal variation in physiological biomarkers in black flying-foxes (Pteropus alecto), Australia. EcoHealth, 13 (1). pp. 49-59. ISSN 1612-9202

Abstract

Bats of the genus Pteropus (Pteropodidae) are recognised as the natural host of multiple emerging pathogenic viruses of animal and human health significance, including henipaviruses, lyssaviruses and ebolaviruses. Some studies have suggested that physiological and ecological factors may be associated with Hendra virus infection in flying-foxes in Australia; however, it is essential to understand the normal range and seasonal variability of physiological biomarkers before seeking physiological associations with infection status. We aimed to measure a suite of physiological biomarkers in P. alecto over time to identify any seasonal fluctuations and to examine possible associations with life-cycle and environmental stressors. We sampled 839 adult P. alecto in the Australian state of Queensland over a 12-month period. The adjusted population means of every assessed hematologic and biochemical parameter were within the reported reference range on every sampling occasion. However, within this range, we identified significant temporal variation in these parameters, in urinary parameters and body condition, which primarily reflected the normal annual life cycle. We found no evident effect of remarkable physiological demands or nutritional stress, and no indication of clinical disease driving any parameter values outside the normal species reference range. Our findings identify underlying temporal physiological changes at the population level that inform epidemiological studies and assessment of putative physiological risk factors driving Hendra virus infection in P. alecto. More broadly, the findings add to the knowledge of Pteropus populations in terms of their relative resistance and resilience to emerging infectious disease.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 03:37
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2017 03:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: black flying fox, Pteropus alecto, biomarker, haematology, biochemistry, urinalysis
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070706 Veterinary Medicine
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070703 Veterinary Diagnosis and Diagnostics
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070712 Veterinary Virology
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s10393-016-1113-0
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30741

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