Poster presentation 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Reverse zoonses and threats to wildlife health (#628)

Michelle Power 1
  1. Macquarie University, North Ryde, ACT, Australia

Spillover of zoonotic pathogens from wildlife to humans has been identified as a threat to global health. In contrast, the reverse process, zooanthroponosis, whereby pathogens move from humans into wildlife remains largely unexplored. Recent evidence has also indicated the significance of co-infection to emerging disease. We have been investigating the co-occurrence of human-associated enteric pathogens including Cryptosporidum, Giardia and pathogenic E. coli in Australian wildlife, with goal of unravelling impacts of co-infection and reverse zoonses to wildlife health. Multiloccus PCR analysis of target pathogens isolated from faecal samples of key species such an flying foxes (Pteropus sp), Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilis harrisii) and Australian fur seals (Neophoca cinerea) revealed strains of Cryptosporidium, Giardia and antimictobial resistant E. coli  frequently associated with humans in each wildlife host. Our data indicates reverse transmission of these pathogens to wildlife undergoing rehabilitation and being bred in captivity. As our studies progress the impact of these human-associated pathogens on the health of these wildlife hosts will be defined. Our results indicate that carers and conservation staff should be aware of potential for transfer of enteric pathogens to and from wildlife in captive settings and the threats this may pose to conservation.