ABSTRACT

Serum samples of 11 Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) from Chitwan National Park in Nepal, collected between 2011–2017, were evaluated for the presence of antibodies to eight diseases commonly investigated in large felids. This initial serologic survey was done to establish baseline information to understand the exposure of Nepal's free-ranging tiger population to these diseases. Tiger serum samples collected opportunistically during encounters such as translocation, human conflict, and injury were placed in cold storage for later use. Frozen serum samples were assessed for feline coronavirus (FCoV), feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, feline herpesvirus (FHV), canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus-2 (CPV-2), leptospirosis (seven serovars), and toxoplasmosis. Six tigers were found to be positive for leptospirosis, eight for CPV-2, five for FHV, one for FCoV, and 10 for toxoplasmosis. Tigers, like other wild felids, have been exposed to these common pathogens, but further research is needed to determine the significance of these pathogens to the Nepali population.

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