The Wolf Intelligencer


Biology, Physiology, and Pathology

Range area and the fast–slow continuum of life history traits predict pathogen richness in wild mammals J Choo, LTP Nghiem, A Benítez-López, LR Carrasco – Scientific Reports, 2023 Nov


Surveillance of pathogen richness in wildlife is needed to identify host species with a high risk of zoonotic disease spillover. While several predictors of pathogen richness in wildlife hosts have been proposed, their relative importance has not been formally examined. This hampers our ability to identify potential disease reservoirs, particularly in remote areas with limited surveillance efforts. Here we analyzed 14 proposed predictors of pathogen richness using ensemble modeling and a dataset of 1040 host species to identify the most important predictors of pathogen richness in wild mammal species. After controlling for research effort, larger species geographic range area was identified to be associated with higher pathogen richness. We found evidence of duality in the relationship between the fast–slow continuum of life-history traits and pathogen richness, where pathogen richness increases near the extremities. Taxonomic orders Carnivora, Proboscidea, Artiodactyla, and Perissodactyla were predicted to host high pathogen richness. The top three species with the highest pathogen richness predicted by our ensemble model were Canis lupus, Sus scrofa, and Alces alces. Our results can help support evidence-informed pathogen surveillance and disease reservoir management to prevent the emergence of future zoonotic diseases.

SPECIES COMPOSITION OF WOLF (CANIS LUPUS) HELMINTH FAUNA IN KAZAKHSTAN. Uakhit R, Smagulova A, Lider L, Leont’ev S, Berber A, Kiyan V. Eurasian Journal of Applied Biotechnology. 2022 Jun


The article presents data on the study of the species composition of wolf helminth fauna in the period from 2019 to 2021. A total of 39 wolves (Canis lupus) were examined, and their parasite fauna was assessed. The study identified the following types of helminths Echinococcus granulosus, Taenia krabbei, Dypilidium spp., Mesocestoides spp., Toxascaris leonina, Trichinella nativa, Dirofilaria repens. The extensiveness of the invasion wolves by helminths was relatively high in the western part region (96.5%), and towards the north-central part region, this indicator significantly decreased (65.2%). The average number of helminths was high, with some infected animals carrying several types of parasites. Thus, the intensity of invasion by helminths in wolves was 7.6 specimens per infected individual host. The research aimed to study the endoparasitic fauna of wild wolves using complex classical parasitological and molecular genetic methods. Samples of helminths were differentiated by amplification and sequencing using the marker gene cytochrome oxidase COX1 (GenBank accession number: MT877205, MZ505444, MZ669895, MZ724175). There is a need to assess the distribution of helminths in intermediate and final hosts populations and provide appropriate health education to avoid maintaining parasite life cycles and infestations, which will become a public health problem in the future

Exploring durophagy among modern gray wolves from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with dental microwear texture analysis. Burtt AA, DeSantis LR. Journal of Zoology. 2022 May


Gray wolf (Canis lupus) dietary behavior can be highly variable; prey species for wolves span a range of ungulates to the consumption of smaller animals. While prey species for wolves are well documented, carcass utilization within and between wolf populations is less understood. This paper examines a modern population of wolves from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) with dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA) to gauge utilization of bone resources, or durophagy, across biological, physical, social, geographical, and temporal variables. Results indicate gradation in durophagous behavior among GYE wolves does not correlate with sex, intra-population body size (as inferred from skeletal and soft tissue measurements), pack association, or age class. Together, findings suggest that feeding ecologies for wolves are not specific to these factors. We also found that antemortem tooth breakage rates are not positively correlated with dental microwear textures that infer durophagy. We further compare dental microwear measures with previously published data from Alaskan wolves, who were collected decades before the GYE wolf sample. Results imply elevated carcass exploitation in the contemporary GYE wolf population sample. If minimal inter-population differences are assumed, data presented here show dietary behaviors of North American gray wolves have changed over the past fifty years, indicating a possible long-term trend that may be linked to decreased winter severity and climate change.

Wolf (Canis lupus) as canine adenovirus type 1 (CAdV‐1) sentinel for the endangered cantabrian brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos). Oleaga A, Balseiro A, Espí A, Royo LJ. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 2022 Mar


Canine adenovirus type 1 (CAdV-1) causes infectious canine hepatitis (ICH) and has recently been described as a cause of death among endangered populations of European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) in the Cantabrian mountain range in Asturias, Spain. Sympatric wild and domestic carnivores can act as reservoirs of the virus and likely spread it into the environment and subsequently transmit it to brown bears. The present work investigates the prevalence and geo-temporal distribution of CAdV-1 among free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus) in Asturias from 2009 to 2018, during which three fatal cases of ICH were reported among brown bears in the region. A total of 149 wolves were analysed in this study, of which 21 (14%) were found to have CAdV-1 DNA based on real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of spleen samples. Prevalence of the virus was similar between males and females. All but one of the 20 CAdV-1-positive animals of estimable age were younger than 2 years, and only one of the 46 adult animals (>2 years) tested positive. Prevalence was highest in the western area of Asturias and during 2010 and 2011. Our results confirm that CAdV-1 is circulating in Asturian free-ranging wolves, supporting their possible role as virus reservoirs and sentinels in the region of this emerging disease in brown bears.

Re-Emergence and Spread of Haemorrhagic Septicaemia in Germany: The Wolf as a Vector?. Kutzer P, Szentiks CA, Bock S, Fritsch G, Magyar T, Schulze C, Semmler T, Ewers C. Microorganisms. 2021 Sep


Since 2010, outbreaks of haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) caused by Pasteurella (P.) multocida capsular type B (PmB) emerged in Germany. In 2017, we noticed a close spatiotemporal relationship between HS outbreak sites and wolf (Canis lupus) territories. Thus, the main objectives of our study were to investigate the molecular epidemiology of German PmB-HS-isolates and to assess the role of wolves as putative vectors of this pathogen. We collected 83 PmB isolates from HS outbreaks that occurred between 2010 and 2019 and sampled 150 wolves, which were found dead in the years 2017 to 2019, revealing another three PmB isolates. A maximum-likelihood-based phylogeny of the core genomes of 65 PmB-HS-isolates and the three PmB-wolf-isolates showed high relatedness. Furthermore, all belonged to capsular:LPS:MLST genotype B:L2:ST122RIRDC and showed highly similar virulence gene profiles, but clustered separately from 35 global ST122RIRDC strains. Our data revealed that German HS outbreaks were caused by a distinct genomic lineage of PmB-ST122 strains, hinting towards an independent, ongoing epidemiologic event. We demonstrated for the first time, that carnivores, i.e., wolves, might harbour PmB as a part of their oropharyngeal microbiota. Furthermore, the results of our study imply that wolves can carry the pathogen over long distances, indicating a major role of that animal species in the ongoing epidemiological event of HS in Germany.

Tapeworm Species in Genetically Characterised Grey Wolves Recolonising Central Europe. Juránková J, Hulva P, Bolfíková BČ, Hrazdilová K, Frgelecová L, Daněk O, Modrý D. Identification of Acta Parasitologica. 2021 Feb

Environmental Exposure of Wild Carnivores to Zoonotic Pathogens: Leptospira Infection in the First Free Living Wolf (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758) Found Dead in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. Bregoli M, Pesaro S, Ustulin M, Vio D, Beraldo P, Galeotti M, Cocchi M, Lucchese L, Bertasio C, Boniotti MB, Lapini L. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021 Jan

Dirofilaria immitis in wolves recolonizing northern Italy: are wolves competent hosts?. PMoroni B, Rossi L, Meneguz PG, Orusa R, Zoppi S, Robetto S, Marucco F, Tizzani P.arasites & Vectors. 2020 Dec

Correlates of parasites and pseudoparasites in wolves (Canis lupus) across continents: A comparison among Yellowstone (USA), Abruzzo (IT) and Mercantour (FR) national parks. Molnar B, Ciucci P, Mastrantonio G, Betschart B. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife. 2019 Dec

Dual infection with an emergent strain of canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus in an Arctic wolf under managed care, Justin M. Stilwell, Eman Anis, Rebecca P. Wilkes, Daniel R. Rissi1, Journal of Veterinary…2019 May

Dental and temporomandibular joint pathology of the grey wolf (Canis lupus). Döring S, Arzi B, Winer JN, Kass PH, Verstraete FJ. Journal of comparative pathology. 2018 Apr

Confirmation of Echinococcus canadensis G8 and G10 in Idaho Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) and Cervids; JR Cerda, LR Ballweber – Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 2018 Apr

Potential role of wolf (Canis lupus) as passive carrier of European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV); M Irene, S Vittorio, R Serena, SB Sanchez, E Carella… – Research in Veterinary …,2018 Apr

Recolonizing gray wolves increase parasite infection risk in their prey. Lesniak I, Heckmann I, Franz M, Greenwood AD, Heitlinger E, Hofer H, Krone O. Ecology and evolution. 2018 Feb

Tricho-taxonomy of hair of grey wolf Canis lupus (Linnaeus, 1758) [Canidae: Carnivora: Mammalia].;K Manokaran, V Duraikannu – Journal of Experimental Zoology, India, 2018

Surrogate hosts: Hunting dogs and recolonizing grey wolves share their endoparasites; I Lesniak, M Franz, I Heckmann, AD Greenwood… – International Journal for …, 2017 Dec

Neospora DP Moore, MC Venturini – Parasitic Protozoa of Farm Animals and Pets, 2017 Nov

Analysis and comparison of the wolf microbiome under different environmental factors using three different data of Next Generation Sequencing; X Wu, H Zhang, J Chen, S Shang, J Yan, Y Chen… – Scientific Reports, 2017 Sep

Patterns of integration in the canine skull: an inside view into the relationship of the skull modules of domestic dogs and wolves; S Curth, MS Fischer, K Kupczik – Zoology, 18 August 2017

Characterization and minimization of the stress response to trapping in free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus): insights from physiology and behavior; Nuno Santos ORCID Icon, Helena Rio-Maior, Mónia Nakamura, Sara Roque, Ricardo Brandão & Francisco Álvares; The International Journal on the Biology of Stress; 2017 Aug

Mycobacterium caprae transmission to free-living grey wolves (Canis lupus) in the Bieszczady Mountains in Southern Poland. Orłowska B, Augustynowicz-Kopeć E, Krajewska M, Zabost A, Welz M, Kaczor S, Anusz K. European Journal of Wildlife Research. 2017 Feb

E Sapundzhiev, P Zahariev, S Stoyanov – APPLICABILITY OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION 2017

Patterns of exposure of Iberian wolves (Canis lupus) to canine viruses in human-dominated landscapes. Millán J, López-Bao JV, García EJ, Oleaga Á, Llaneza L, Palacios V, De La Torre A, Rodríguez A, Dubovi EJ, Esperón F. Ecohealth. 2016 Mar

Energetic costs of mange in wolves estimated from infrared thermography. Cross, P.C., E.S. Almberg, C.G. Haase, P.J. Hudson, S.K. Ma­loney, M.C. Metz, A.J. Munn, P. Nugent, O. Putzeys, D.R. Stahler, A.C. Stewart, and D.W. Smith. 2016

Echinococcus species from red foxes, corsac foxes, and wolves in Mongolia. Ito A, Chuluunbaatar G, Yanagida T, Davaasuren A, Sumiya B, Asakawa M, Ki T, Nakaya K, Davaajav A, Dorjsuren T, Nakao M. Parasitology. 2013 Nov

Sarcoptic mange found in wolves in the Rocky Mountains in western United States. Jimenez MD, Bangs EE, Sime C, Asher VJ.  Journal of wildlife diseases. 2010 Oct

Physical Characteristics, Hematology, and Serum Chemistry of Freeranging Gray Wolves, Canis lupus, in Southcentral Alaska. Butler MJ, Ballard WB, Whitlaw HA. The Canadian Field-Naturalist. 2006

Color patterns among wolves in western North America. Gipson PS, Bangs EE, Bailey TN, Boyd DK, Cluff HD, Smith DW, Jiminez MD. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 2002 Sep

Traumatic, degenerative, and developmental lesions in wolves and coyotes from Saskatchewan. Wobeser G. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 1992 Apr