NBII banner

 Wildlife Disease: Hot Topics

 Avian Influenza

Avian influenza is usually an inapparent or nonclinical viral infection of wild birds that is caused by a group of viruses known as type A influenzas. These viruses are maintained in wild birds by fecal-oral routes of transmission. This virus changes rapidly in nature by mixing of its genetic components to form slightly different virus subtypes. Avian influenza is caused by this collection of slightly different viruses rather than by a single virus type. The virus subtypes are identified and classified on the basis of two broad types of antigens, hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N); 16 H and 9 N antigens have been identified among all of the known type A influenzas. Avian influenza viruses have been found in many bird species, but are most often found in migratory waterfowl, especially the mallard duck.

For more, visit our Avian Influenza overview.

 Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease(CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy that has been identified in the free-ranging and captive mule deer, white tailed deer and elk population. The disease attacks the brains of infected deer and elk, causing the animals to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose bodily functions and die. This disease poses serious problems for wildlife managers, and the implications for free-ranging deer and elk are significant.

For more, visit our Chronic Wasting Disease overview.

 West Nile Virus

West Nile virus(WNV) is a newly emergent virus of the family Flaviviridae, found in both tropical and temperate regions. It mainly infects birds, but is also the cause of a number of conditions in humans, horses, and some other mammals. It is transmitted by bites of infected mosquitoes. This disease has recently become a concern for researchers because of its increased virulence and emergence in new geological locations, such as North America.

For more, visit our West Nile Virus overview.

 Whirling Disease

Whirling disease affects fish in the trout and salmon family. By damaging cartilage, whirling disease can kill young fish directly, or cause infected fish to swim in an uncontrolled whirling motion. This can make it impossible for them to escape predators or to effectively seek food. Whirling disease is caused by a microscopic parasite called Myxobolus cerebralis. The parasite was introduced to the United States from Europe in the 1950s and the parasite has been found in wild fish and fish hatcheries in 25 states.

For more, visit the NBII Mountain Prairie Information Node and the Whirling Disease Initiative.

 H1N1 Flu Information

Although there is currently no known wildlife connection to the H1N1 flu, the links in the informational green box on the left will provide you with the latest reports and news about H1N1 flu.

Current Biological Issues
Biodiversity | Bird Conservation | Coral Reefs | Frogweb: Amphibian Declines & Malformations
Invasive Species | Pollinator Declines | West Nile Virus | Wildlife Disease

This site was developed and is maintained by NBII as a collaborative effort with the
U. S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center and the
University of Wisconsin-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

go to USGS website
University of Wisconsin-Madison's Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies


FirstGov science.gov
| NBII Disclaimer and Privacy Statement | Accessibility | FOIA |