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1.
J Anim Ecol ; 90(1): 153-167, 2021 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33428240

RESUMO

Animal groups are heterogeneous assemblages of individuals with differing fitness interests, which may lead to internal conflict over investment in group territorial defence. Differences between individuals may lead to different behavioural responses to intergroup conflict, particularly between the sexes. These potential impacts have been little studied. We used social network analysis to investigate the impact of simulated intergroup conflicts on social relationships in groups of wild banded mongooses Mungos mungo, in which intergroup fights are more costly for males than females. We predicted that social cohesion (specifically male-to-male and female-to-male grooming) would increase after conflict, and aggression would decrease, to minimize conflict between the sexes. Simulated intergroup conflicts were performed by exposing banded mongoose groups to scents, 'war cry' playbacks, and live intruders from a rival group. All grooming and aggression interactions between individuals were recorded, and grooming and aggression social networks were created for the 2 days preceding a simulated intergroup conflict (pre-conflict network) and the 2 days after (post-conflict network). We found no evidence of an increase in social cohesion after simulated conflicts, measured as grooming eigenvector centrality. Male-to-male, male-to-female and female-to-male grooming strength decreased after simulated intrusions compared to female-to-female grooming strength. However, male-female aggression decreased in intrusion trials compared to other interaction types, consistent with the hypothesis that intergroup encounters reduce the level of intragroup conflict between males and females. Males were more affected socially by intergroup encounters than females, which may be because they are investing in defence rather than internal relationships. Focusing on individual relationship changes, using social network analysis, can reveal changes in the directionality of behaviour in response to intergroup encounters, and highlight how individual responses to conflict may scale up to affect social networks and, potentially, group performance. This study highlights the importance of studying both group-level behaviours and individual relationships to more fully understand responses to intergroup encounters.


Assuntos
Agressão , Herpestidae , Animais , Comportamento Cooperativo , Feminino , Asseio Animal , Masculino , Comportamento Social , Territorialidade
2.
Proc Biol Sci ; 287(1935): 20192514, 2020 09 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32962548

RESUMO

Communication plays a vital role in the social lives of many species and varies greatly in complexity. One possible way to increase communicative complexity is by combining signals into longer sequences, which has been proposed as a mechanism allowing species with a limited repertoire to increase their communicative output. In mammals, most studies on combinatoriality have focused on vocal communication in non-human primates. Here, we investigated a potential combination of alarm calls in the dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula), a non-primate mammal. Acoustic analyses and playback experiments with a wild population suggest: (i) that dwarf mongooses produce a complex call type (T3) which, at least at the surface level, seems to comprise units that are not functionally different to two meaningful alarm calls (aerial and terrestrial); and (ii) that this T3 call functions as a general alarm, produced in response to a wide range of threats. Using a novel approach, we further explored multiple interpretations of the T3 call based on the information content of the apparent comprising calls and how they are combined. We also considered an alternative, non-combinatorial interpretation that frames T3 as the origin, rather than the product, of the individual alarm calls. This study complements previous knowledge of vocal combinatoriality in non-primate mammals and introduces an approach that could facilitate comparisons between different animal and human communication systems.


Assuntos
Herpestidae , Vocalização Animal , Animais , Comportamento Social
3.
PLoS Biol ; 18(8): e3000764, 2020 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32780733

RESUMO

Tissue vibrations in the larynx produce most sounds that comprise vocal communication in mammals. Larynx morphology is thus predicted to be a key target for selection, particularly in species with highly developed vocal communication systems. Here, we present a novel database of digitally modeled scanned larynges from 55 different mammalian species, representing a wide range of body sizes in the primate and carnivoran orders. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we demonstrate that the primate larynx has evolved more rapidly than the carnivoran larynx, resulting in a pattern of larger size and increased deviation from expected allometry with body size. These results imply fundamental differences between primates and carnivorans in the balance of selective forces that constrain larynx size and highlight an evolutionary flexibility in primates that may help explain why we have developed complex and diverse uses of the vocal organ for communication.


Assuntos
Canidae/fisiologia , Felidae/fisiologia , Herpestidae/fisiologia , Laringe/fisiologia , Primatas/fisiologia , Vocalização Animal/fisiologia , Animais , Evolução Biológica , Tamanho Corporal , Canidae/anatomia & histologia , Canidae/classificação , Felidae/anatomia & histologia , Felidae/classificação , Feminino , Herpestidae/anatomia & histologia , Herpestidae/classificação , Laringe/anatomia & histologia , Masculino , Mamíferos , Tamanho do Órgão , Filogenia , Primatas/anatomia & histologia , Primatas/classificação , Caracteres Sexuais , Fatores Sexuais , Som
4.
PLoS One ; 15(8): e0238313, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32853231

RESUMO

The efficiency of communication between animals is determined by the perception range of signals. With changes in the environment, signal transmission between a sender and a receiver can be influenced both directly, where the signal's propagation quality itself is affected, and indirectly where the senders or receivers' behaviour is impaired, impacting for example the distance between them. Here we investigated how meerkats (Suricata suricatta) in the Kalahari Desert adjust to these challenges in the context of maintaining group cohesion through contact calls. We found that meerkats changed their calling rate when signal transmission was affected indirectly due to increased dispersion of group members as during a drought, but not under typical wet conditions, when signal transmission was directly affected due to higher vegetation density. Instead under these wetter conditions, meerkats remained within proximity to each other. Overall, both direct and indirect environmental effects on signal perception resulted in an increased probability of groups splitting. In conclusion, we provide evidence that social animals can flexibly adjust their vocal coordination behaviour to cope with direct and indirect effects of the environment on signal perception, but these adjustments have limitations.


Assuntos
Comportamento Animal/fisiologia , Herpestidae/fisiologia , Vocalização Animal/fisiologia , Animais , Botsuana , Clima , Meio Ambiente , Comportamento Social
5.
Chemosphere ; 259: 127485, 2020 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32650164

RESUMO

Sub-lethal toxic impacts of chromium on hematological, biochemical and histological parameters were analyzed in the female small Indian mongoose (Urva auropuctatus) residing contaminated environment of tannery industry. Chromium bioaccumulation in the blood, liver and kidney tissue of the exposed mongooses was found elevated compared to the control mongooses' tissues. Total body weight (75.7%), liver weight (83.6%) as well as HSI (68.1%), RSI (86.2%) and the platelets counts (59.7%) were found significantly elevated, with significantly reduced RBCs (59.6%), and WBCs (64%). LFT and RFT were also found abnormal, moreover, the histopathological injuries had been distinct inside the kidney (>75%) and hepatic (>75%) tissues of exposed animals. Shrinkage and vacuolization (>75%) inside the hepatocyte expanded sinusoidal spaces and nuclear pyknosis (>75%) was evident within the hepatic tissue. Hypertrophy of epithelial cells of renal tubules and inter-renal cells of the head kidney with a reduction in tubular lumens (>75%) and vacuolization of tubules were witnessed within the kidney section. Atrophy inside the kidney inter-renal cells, glomeruli compression within the Bowman's capsules (>75%) following the necrosis in hematopoietic tissues were found in exposed animals. The present findings indicate that chronic exposure to chromium induces severe anemia, decreased serum protein concentration, hepatic and renal tissue histopathology, impairing the vital capabilities of liver, metabolic regulation, excretion, and stress homeostasis maintenance of which within the long-run may posture a severe risk to animal well-being then distress their inhabitants.


Assuntos
Cromo/toxicidade , Poluentes Ambientais/toxicidade , Herpestidae/fisiologia , Animais , Cromo/metabolismo , Poluentes Ambientais/metabolismo , Poluição Ambiental , Feminino , Herpestidae/metabolismo , Rim/metabolismo , Fígado/metabolismo , Masculino
6.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32365625

RESUMO

The Egyptian mongoose is a carnivore mammal species that in the last decades experienced a tremendous expansion in Iberia, particularly in Portugal, mainly due to its remarkable ecological plasticity in response to land-use changes. However, this species may have a disruptive role on native communities in areas where it has recently arrived due to predation and the potential introduction of novel pathogens. We report reference information on the cultivable gut microbial landscape of widely distributed Egyptian mongoose populations (Herpestes ichneumon, n = 53) and related antimicrobial tolerance across environmental gradients. The panel of isolated species is consistent with the typical protein-based diet of a carnivore: Firmicutes predominate (89% of individuals), while Clostridiales, Enterobacteriales, and Lactobacillales are the major classes. Forty-one individuals (77.4%) harbour Clostridium spp. A spatial influence on mongooses' microbiota is confirmed by nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis, with a significant contribution of municipality to their microbiota composition. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of mongoose commensal bacteria to 28 compounds evidences xenobiotic tolerance of Escherichia coli (E. coli), enterococci, Salmonella Spartel and Mbandaka serotypes and Pseudomonas bacteria, among others. The common isolation of antimicrobial tolerant microbiota from the mongoose's gut suggests this species is exposed to anthropogenic influence and is affected by forestry and agricultural-related practices, reflecting its easy adaptation to ecological gradients across agroecosystems. We thus propose regular microbial and phenotypic resistance profiling of widely distributed mongooses as a sentinel tool for xenobiotics' lifecycle and ecosystem health in Portugal.


Assuntos
Microbioma Gastrointestinal , Herpestidae/microbiologia , Animais , Resistência a Medicamentos , Ecossistema , Espécies Introduzidas , Testes de Sensibilidade Microbiana , Portugal
7.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 7461, 2020 05 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32366920

RESUMO

Invasive alien species represent one of the major factors of global loss of biodiversity and disruption of natural ecosystems. The small Indian mongoose, Urva auropunctata, is considered one of the wild carnivore species with the greatest negative impact on global biodiversity. Understanding of the factors underpinning the species' distribution and potential dispersion in a context of climate change thus appears crucial in the conservation of native ecosystems. Here we modelled the current and future climatically favourable areas for the small Indian mongoose using Ecological Niche Modelling based on data sets filtrated in environmental spaces. Projections from these models show extensive current favourable geographical areas, covering continental and insular regions within tropical and sub-tropical latitudes. Moreover, predictions for 2050 reveal that climate change is likely to expand current favourable areas north of the current favourable spaces, particularly in Eastern Europe. This climate-induced expansion is particularly worrisome given that the species is already spreading in the Balkan region. Our projections suggest that it is very likely that the small Indian mongoose will have an increasing influence on ecosystems and biodiversity in Europe by 2050.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Mudança Climática , Herpestidae/fisiologia , Modelos Biológicos , Animais , Europa Oriental , Espécies Introduzidas
8.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 14(3): e0007888, 2020 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32182238

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Campylobacter is a common, but neglected foodborne-zoonotic pathogen, identified as a growing cause of foodborne disease worldwide. Wildlife and domestic animals are considered important reservoirs, but little is known about pathogen infection dynamics in free-ranging mammalian wildlife particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In countries like Botswana, there is significant overlap between humans and wildlife, with the human population having one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world, increasing vulnerability to infection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated Campylobacter occurrence in archived human fecal samples (children and adults, n = 122, 2011), feces from free-ranging banded mongooses (Mungos mungo, n = 201), surface water (n = 70), and river sediment samples (n = 81) collected in 2017 from the Chobe District, northern Botswana. Campylobacter spp. was widespread in humans (23.0%, 95% CI 13.9-35.4%), with infections dominantly associated with C. jejuni (82.1%, n = 28, 95% CI 55.1-94.5%). A small number of patients presented with asymptomatic infections (n = 6). While Campylobacter spp. was rare or absent in environmental samples, over half of sampled mongooses tested positive (56%, 95% CI 45.6-65.4%). Across the urban-wilderness continuum, we found significant differences in Campylobacter spp. detection associated with the type of den used by study mongooses. Mongooses utilizing man-made structures as den sites had significantly higher levels of C. jejuni infection (p = 0.019) than mongooses using natural dens. Conversely, mongooses using natural dens had overall higher levels of detection of Campylobacter at the genus level (p = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that landscape features may have important influences on Campylobacter species exposure and transmission dynamics in wildlife. In particular, data suggest that human-modified landscapes may increase C. jejuni infection, a primarily human pathogen, in banded mongooses. Pathogen circulation and transmission in urbanizing wildlife reservoirs may increase human vulnerability to infection, findings that may have critical implications for both public and animal health in regions where people live in close proximity to wildlife.


Assuntos
Infecções por Campylobacter/epidemiologia , Infecções por Campylobacter/veterinária , Campylobacter jejuni/isolamento & purificação , Herpestidae/microbiologia , Adolescente , Adulto , Animais , Botsuana/epidemiologia , Infecções por Campylobacter/transmissão , Criança , Pré-Escolar , Transmissão de Doença Infecciosa , Fezes/microbiologia , Feminino , Humanos , Lactente , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Saúde Única , Rios/microbiologia , Adulto Jovem
9.
BMC Ecol ; 20(1): 12, 2020 02 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32070331

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Glucocorticoids mediate responses to perceived stressors, thereby restoring homeostasis. However, prolonged glucocorticoid elevation may cause homeostatic overload. Using extensive field investigations of banded mongoose (Mungos mungo) groups in northern Botswana, we assessed the influence of reproduction, predation risk, and food limitation on apparent homeostatic overload (n=13 groups, 1542 samples from 268 animals). We experimentally manipulated reproduction and regulated food supply in captive mongooses, and compared their glucocorticoid responses to those obtained from free-living groups. RESULTS: At the population level, variation in glucocorticoid levels in free-living mongooses was explained by food limitation: fecal organic matter, recent rainfall, and access to concentrated anthropogenic food resources. Soil macrofauna density and reproductive events explained less and predation risk very little variation in glucocorticoid levels. Reproduction and its associated challenges alone (under regulated feeding conditions) increased glucocorticoid levels 19-fold in a captive group. Among free-living groups, glucocorticoid elevation was seasonal (occurring in late dry season or early wet season when natural food resources were less available), but the timing of peak glucocorticoid production was moderated by access to anthropogenic resources (groups with fewer anthropogenic food sources had peaks earlier in dry seasons). Peak months represented 12- and 16-fold increases in glucocorticoids relative to nadir months with some animals exhibiting 100-fold increases. Relative to the captive group nadir, some free-living groups exhibited 60-fold increases in peak glucocorticoid levels with some animals exhibiting up to 800-fold increases. Most of these animals exhibited 1- to 10-fold increases relative to the captive animal peak. CONCLUSIONS: Banded mongooses exhibit seasonal chronic glucocorticoid elevation, associated primarily with food limitation and secondarily with reproduction. Magnitude and duration of this elevation suggests that this may be maladaptive for some animals, with possible fitness consequences. In late dry season, this population may face a convergence of stressors (food limitation, agonistic encounters at concentrated food resources, evictions, estrus, mate competition, parturition, and predation pressure on pups), which may induce homeostatic overload.


Assuntos
Herpestidae , Animais , Fezes , Feminino , Glucocorticoides , Reprodução , Estações do Ano
10.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 860, 2020 01 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31964932

RESUMO

Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the etiological agent of Johne's disease or paratuberculosis, a chronic infection affecting domestic ruminants worldwide. Despite sporadic reports of MAP occurrence in non-ruminants, information on the risk factors predisposing for infection is still scarce and evidence of transmission paths linking the livestock-wildlife-environment interfaces also remains lacking. In this study, we predicted that environmental, host-related, land use and human driven disturbance factors would modulate carnivore exposure to MAP. To test these hypotheses, we performed a retrospective survey, based on microbiological and molecular methods, in mainland Portugal including five sympatric species from the Herpestidae, Canidae, Viverridae, and Mustelidae families (n = 202) and examined 16 variables as putative predictors of MAP occurrence. Molecular evidence of MAP using IS900 as proxy was demonstrated in 7.43% (95%CI: 4.55-11.9) of surveyed carnivores, the highest proportions being registered for red fox (Vulpes vulpes) (10%; 95%CI: 4.0-23) and Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) (6.0%; 95%CI: 3.2-11). We demonstrate that important species of the Mediterranean carnivore guild, such as stone marten (Martes foina) and common genet (Genetta genetta), may also be exposed to MAP, being this the first time that occurrence in genet is reported. The high proportion of DNA-positive specimens, concurrent with the apparent lack of gastro-enteric lesions and molecular confirmation of IS900 in feces, argue for the presence of subclinical carriers that occasionally shed bacteria, potentially aiding as source of infection to susceptible species and possibly contributing for environmental contamination. Achievement of MAP isolation would prove beyond any doubt that MAP is present in this wildlife population. Ecological modelling results suggested that the probability of MAP infection using IS900 as proxy in mongoose is positively associated with higher altitude and temperature stability, as well as with lower annual rainfall. Density of livestock farms was found not to be a significant predictor, which may indicate that the livestock-wildlife interface is probably not important as an infection route for mongoose.


Assuntos
Animais Selvagens/microbiologia , Herpestidae/microbiologia , Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis/isolamento & purificação , Paratuberculose/microbiologia , Paratuberculose/transmissão , Reação em Cadeia da Polimerase/métodos , Altitude , Animais , DNA Bacteriano/análise , Gado/microbiologia , Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis/genética , Chuva , Estudos Retrospectivos , Temperatura
11.
J Anim Ecol ; 89(4): 1080-1093, 2020 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31943191

RESUMO

Researchers studying mammals have frequently interpreted earlier or faster rates of ageing in males as resulting from polygyny and the associated higher costs of reproductive competition. Yet, few studies conducted on wild populations have compared sex-specific senescence trajectories outside of polygynous species, making it difficult to make generalized inferences on the role of reproductive competition in driving senescence, particularly when other differences between males and females might also contribute to sex-specific changes in performance across lifespan. Here, we examine age-related variation in body mass, reproductive output and survival in dominant male and female meerkats, Suricata suricatta. Meerkats are socially monogamous cooperative breeders where a single dominant pair virtually monopolizes reproduction in each group and subordinate group members help to rear offspring produced by breeders. In contrast to many polygynous societies, we find that neither the onset nor the rate of senescence in body mass or reproductive output shows clear differences between males and females. Both sexes also display similar patterns of age-related survival across lifespan, but unlike most wild vertebrates, survival senescence (increases in annual mortality with rising age) was absent in dominants of both sexes, and as a result, the fitness costs of senescence were entirely attributable to declines in reproductive output from mid- to late-life. We suggest that the potential for intrasexual competition to increase rates of senescence in females-who are hormonally masculinized and frequently aggressive-is offset by their ability to maintain longer tenures of dominance than males, and that these processes when combined lead to similar patterns of senescence in both sexes. Our results stress the need to consider the form and intensity of sexual competition as well as other sex-specific features of life history when investigating the operation of senescence in wild populations.


Assuntos
Herpestidae , Envelhecimento , Animais , Cruzamento , Feminino , Longevidade , Masculino , Reprodução , Comportamento Sexual Animal
12.
J Anim Ecol ; 89(3): 772-783, 2020 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31691963

RESUMO

Territoriality and stable home ranges are a common space-use pattern among animals. These ranges provide its inhabitants with important resources and thus favourable territories are associated with an increased fitness. While the role of territory quality and changes of territory ownership have often been investigated, the changes of territorial boundaries have been less studied. Here, we investigated space-use changes in a social mammal species, applying a novel analytical approach, calculating long-term dissimilarity in space use using distancematrices based on periodic utilization distributions. This approach makes it possible to identify different space-use patterns, which cannot be distinguished by only considering changes between consecutive time periods. We analysed meerkat (Suricata suricatta) movements of a total of 24 different groups over a 16-year period, resulting in 134 group years. We then correlated the identified home-range changes to life-history events and possible environmental drivers. Groups had stable territories for several years before they abandoned their home range mostly to move quickly to new areas where they again remained for several years. Of 26 identified sudden shifts, 22 occurred in the summer months and often involved distances larger than the original home-range size. Home-range movements that were close together in time were often also spatially clustered and moved in a similar direction. These shifts were often preceded by more frequent interactions between groups, but did not seem to be a product of direct displacements by other groups. The normalized difference vegetation index as a measure of food production and social factors such as dominance changes did not correlate to changes. Against our expectation space-use changes were not accumulations of small changes, but more often involved long-distance moves into unknown ranges. This means that the groups enter areas where they cannot profit from local knowledge. The methods used identify episodes of long stability alternated by sudden changes in meerkats and in general provides insight into long-term space use. Our methods can be used to analyse long-term space use, either within or across species.


Assuntos
Herpestidae , Comportamento de Retorno ao Território Vital , Animais , Movimento , Estações do Ano , Territorialidade
13.
J Vet Med Sci ; 82(2): 229-231, 2020 Feb 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31875600

RESUMO

Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasm gondii was studied using the latex agglutination (LA) method, followed by sucrose density gradient centrifugation (SDGC) method on the small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), which inhabits Amami-Oshima Island. Of the 362 samples, 38 (10.5%) revealed positive. Single or double peaks in the 7-8 and/or 12-14 fraction to LA titer by SDGC indicated the early stage of T. gondii infection. It is suggested that domestic/feral cats play an important role for spreading this zoonotic pathogen to the mongoose as well as other species that are endemic to this island. Future studies are warranted to prevent the transmission of T. gondii among cats and wild animals in order to maintain the ecosystem health.


Assuntos
Herpestidae/parasitologia , Toxoplasma/imunologia , Toxoplasmose Animal/epidemiologia , Animais , Anticorpos Antiprotozoários/sangue , Centrifugação com Gradiente de Concentração/veterinária , Feminino , Japão/epidemiologia , Testes de Fixação do Látex/veterinária , Masculino , Prevalência , Estudos Soroepidemiológicos , Toxoplasma/isolamento & purificação
14.
Biol Lett ; 15(12): 20190529, 2019 12 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31795853

RESUMO

When breeding females compete for limited resources, the intensity of this reproductive conflict can determine whether the fitness benefits of current reproductive effort exceed the potential costs to survival and future fertility. In group-living species, reproductive competition can occur through post-natal competition among the offspring of co-breeding females. Spontaneous abortion could be a response to such competition, allowing females to curtail reproductive expenditure on offspring that are unlikely to survive and to conserve resources for future breeding opportunities. We tested this hypothesis using long-term data on banded mongooses, Mungos mungo, in which multiple females within a group give birth synchronously to a communal litter that is cared for by other group members. As predicted, abortions were more likely during dry periods when food is scarce, and in breeding attempts with more intense reproductive competition. Within breeding events, younger, lighter females carrying smaller fetuses were more likely to abort, particularly those that were also of lower rank. Our results suggest that abortion may be a means by which disadvantaged females conserve resources for future breeding attempts in more benign conditions, and highlight that female reproductive competition may be resolved long before the production of offspring.


Assuntos
Aborto Espontâneo , Herpestidae , Animais , Cruzamento , Feminino , Fertilidade , Humanos , Gravidez , Reprodução
15.
Proc Biol Sci ; 286(1917): 20191993, 2019 12 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31847765

RESUMO

Violent conflicts between groups have been observed among many species of group living mammals and can have important fitness consequences, with individuals being injured or killed and with losing groups surrendering territory. Here, we explore between-group conflict among meerkats (Suricata suricatta), a highly social and cooperatively breeding mongoose. We show that interactions between meerkat groups are frequently aggressive and sometimes escalate to fighting and lethal violence and that these interactions have consequences for group territories, with losing groups moving to sleeping burrows closer to the centre of their territories following an intergroup interaction and with winning groups moving further away. We find that larger groups and groups with pups are significantly more likely to win contests, but that the location of the contest, adult sex ratio, and mean within-group genetic relatedness do not predict contest outcome. Our results suggest that intergroup competition may be a major selective force among meerkats, reinforcing the success of large groups and increasing the vulnerability of small groups to extinction. The presence of both within-group cooperation and between-group hostility in meerkats make them a valuable point of comparison in attempts to understand the ecological and evolutionary roots of human warfare.


Assuntos
Agressão , Comportamento Animal , Herpestidae , Animais , Feminino , Masculino
16.
BMC Vet Res ; 15(1): 458, 2019 Dec 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31856823

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Melioidosis is a tropical infectious disease which is being increasingly recognised throughout the globe. Infection occurs in humans and animals, typically through direct exposure to soil or water containing the environmental bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei. Case clusters of melioidosis have been described in humans following severe weather events and in exotic animals imported into melioidosis endemic zones. Direct transmission of B. pseudomallei between animals and/or humans has been documented but is considered extremely rare. Between March 2015 and October 2016 eight fatal cases of melioidosis were reported in slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta) on display at a Wildlife Park in Northern Australia. To further investigate the melioidosis case cluster we sampled the meerkat enclosure and adjacent park areas and performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on all culture-positive B. pseudomallei environmental and clinical isolates. RESULTS: WGS confirmed that the fatalities were caused by two different B. pseudomallei sequence types (STs) but that seven of the meerkat isolates were highly similar on the whole-genome level. Used concurrently with detailed pathology data, our results demonstrate that the seven cases originated from a single original source, but routes of infection varied amongst meerkats belonging to the clonal outbreak cluster. Moreover, in some instances direct transmission may have transpired through wounds inflicted while fighting. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, this study supports the use of high-resolution WGS to enhance epidemiological investigations into transmission modalities and pathogenesis of melioidosis, especially in the instance of a possible clonal outbreak scenario in exotic zoological collections. Such findings from an animal outbreak have important One Health implications.


Assuntos
Burkholderia pseudomallei/genética , Herpestidae/microbiologia , Melioidose/veterinária , Animais , Animais de Zoológico , Austrália , Surtos de Doenças/veterinária , Microbiologia Ambiental , Feminino , Masculino , Melioidose/mortalidade , Melioidose/patologia , Melioidose/transmissão , Sequenciamento Completo do Genoma
17.
Vet Pathol ; 56(5): 794-798, 2019 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31170895

RESUMO

We identified multiple extraintestinal cystacanths during routine postmortem examination of 3 small Indian mongooses and 2 African green monkeys from the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. In mongooses, cystacanths were encysted or free in the subcutaneous tissue, skeletal muscle, or peritoneal or pericardial cavities, whereas in the monkeys, they were in the cavity and parietal layer of the, tunica vaginalis, skeletal muscle, and peritoneal cavity. Morphological, histological, and molecular characterization identified these cystacanths as Oncicola venezuelensis (Acanthocephala: Oligacanthorhynchidae). There was minimal to mild lymphoplasmacytic inflammation associated with the parasite in the mongooses and moderate inflammation, mineralization, hemorrhage, and fibrosis in the connective tissue between the testis and epididymis in 1 monkey. We identified a mature male O. venezuelensis attached in the aboral jejunum of a feral cat, confirming it as the definitive host. Termites serve as intermediate hosts and lizards as paratenic hosts. This report emphasizes the role of the small Indian mongoose and African green monkey as paratenic hosts for O. venezuelensis.


Assuntos
Acantocéfalos/isolamento & purificação , Chlorocebus aethiops , Helmintíase Animal/parasitologia , Herpestidae , Doenças dos Macacos/parasitologia , Animais , Helmintíase Animal/patologia , Doenças dos Macacos/epidemiologia , São Cristóvão e Névis/epidemiologia
18.
J Vis Exp ; (147)2019 05 31.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31205294

RESUMO

The small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) is a reservoir of rabies virus (RABV) in Puerto Rico and comprises over 70% of animal rabies cases reported annually. The control of RABV circulation in wildlife reservoirs is typically accomplished by a strategy of oral rabies vaccination (ORV). Currently no wildlife ORV program exists in Puerto Rico. Research into oral rabies vaccines and various bait types for mongooses has been conducted with promising results. Monitoring the success of ORV relies on estimating bait uptake by target species, which typically involves evaluating a change in RABV neutralizing antibodies (RVNA) post vaccination. This strategy may be difficult to interpret in areas with an active wildlife ORV program or in areas where RABV is enzootic and background levels of RVNA are present in reservoir species. In such situations, a biomarker incorporated with the vaccine or the bait matrix may be useful. We offered 16 captive mongooses placebo ORV baits containing ethyl-iophenoxic acid (et-IPA) in concentrations of 0.4% and 1% inside the bait and 0.14% in the external bait matrix. We also offered 12 captive mongooses ORV baits containing methyl-iophenoxic acid (me-IPA) in concentrations of 0.035%, 0.07% and 0.14% in the external bait matrix. We collected a serum sample prior to bait offering and then weekly for up to eight weeks post offering. We extracted Iophenoxic acids from sera into acetonitrile and quantified using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. We analyzed sera for et-IPA or me-IPA by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. We found adequate marking ability for at least eight and four weeks for et- and me-IPA, respectively. Both IPA derivatives could be suitable for field evaluation of ORV bait uptake in mongooses. Due to the longevity of the marker in mongoose sera, care must be taken to not confound results by using the same IPA derivative during consecutive evaluations.


Assuntos
Herpestidae/sangue , Ácido Iopanoico/análise , Vacinas Antirrábicas/administração & dosagem , Vacinas Antirrábicas/imunologia , Raiva/imunologia , Vacinação , Administração Oral , Animais , Biomarcadores/sangue , Calibragem , Controle de Qualidade , Vírus da Raiva/imunologia , Padrões de Referência
19.
Proc Biol Sci ; 286(1896): 20190033, 2019 02 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30963932

RESUMO

Dispersal is a key process influencing the dynamics of socially and spatially structured populations. Dispersal success is determined by the state of individuals at emigration and the costs incurred after emigration. However, quantification of such costs is often difficult, due to logistical constraints of following wide-ranging individuals. We investigated the effects of dispersal on individual body mass and stress hormone levels in a cooperative breeder, the meerkat ( Suricata suricatta). We measured body mass and faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) concentrations from 95 dispersing females in 65 coalitions through the entire dispersal process. Females that successfully settled lost body mass, while females that did not settle but returned to their natal group after a short period of time did not. Furthermore, dispersing females had higher fGCM levels than resident females, and this was especially pronounced during the later stages of dispersal. By adding information on the transient stage of dispersal and by comparing dispersers that successfully settled to dispersers that returned to their natal group, we expand on previous studies focusing on the earlier stages of dispersal. We propose that body mass and stress hormone levels are good indicators to investigate dispersal costs, as these traits often play an important role in mediating the effects of the environment on other life-history events and individual fitness.


Assuntos
Distribuição Animal/fisiologia , Peso Corporal , Herpestidae/fisiologia , Estresse Fisiológico , Migração Animal/fisiologia , Animais , Fezes/química , Feminino , Glucocorticoides/metabolismo , Comportamento Social , África do Sul
20.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 374(1770): 20180117, 2019 04 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30966876

RESUMO

The phenotype of parents can have long-lasting effects on the development of offspring as well as on their behaviour, physiology and morphology as adults. In some cases, these changes may increase offspring fitness but, in others, they can elevate parental fitness at a cost to the fitness of their offspring. We show that in Kalahari meerkats ( Suricata suricatta), the circulating glucocorticoid (GC) hormones of pregnant females affect the growth and cooperative behaviour of their offspring. We performed a 3-year experiment in wild meerkats to test the hypothesis that GC-mediated maternal effects reduce the potential for offspring to reproduce directly and therefore cause them to exhibit more cooperative behaviour. Daughters (but not sons) born to mothers treated with cortisol during pregnancy grew more slowly early in life and exhibited significantly more of two types of cooperative behaviour (pup rearing and feeding) once they were adults compared to offspring from control mothers. They also had lower measures of GCs as they aged, which could explain the observed increases in cooperative behaviour. Because early life growth is a crucial determinant of fitness in female meerkats, our results indicate that GC-mediated maternal effects may reduce the fitness of offspring, but may elevate parental fitness as a consequence of increasing the cooperative behaviour of their daughters. This article is part of the theme issue 'Developing differences: early-life effects and evolutionary medicine'.


Assuntos
Comportamento Cooperativo , Glucocorticoides/metabolismo , Comportamento de Ajuda , Herpestidae/fisiologia , Animais , Variação Biológica Individual , Herpestidae/genética , Herança Materna , África do Sul
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