Vertebrate Pest Conference Proceedings collection


Date of this Version

March 1964


The specific diseases of man known to be derived from wildlife in California are: rabies, Western encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, relapsing fever, 0. fever, plague, tularemia, murine typhus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, psittacosis, leptospirosis, salmonellosis and toxoplasmosis. A variety of bacterial infections may be contracted from wild animals, notably those caused by Pasteurella pseudotuberculosis, Pasteurella multocida, Bacillus anthracis, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, Clostridium tetani and Listerella monocyto-genes. Certain of the fungus diseases such as coccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis are derived from exposure to wildlife habitats. California virus has been isolated from arthropods and Rio Bravo virus from bats collected in California. It has been shown by serological tests that these viruses may produce infection in man. In the course of field studies of arthropods, small mammals and birds in California and Oregon, several viruses have been isolated which may prove to be of importance as disease agents, that is, Modoc virus, Turlock virus, Kern Canyon virus, Hart Park virus and two yet unnamed viruses isolated from Microtus montanus meadow mice. The investigation of sources of diseases in wildlife must be concerned with wildlife populations and the factors which control the flora and fauna. In searching for natural foci of disease agents in wildlife, it is logical to study habitat types which have a large and relatively stable wildlife population. In such foci one does not expect to observe disease in the reservoir wildlife hosts, but if the viruses, rickettsia, bacteria or fungi set up chains of infection in aberrant hosts, this may result in epidemics of disease, sometimes having a high mortality.