Is canine distemper virus (CDV) a lurking threat to large carnivores? A case study from Ranthambhore landscape in Rajasthan, India

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Nadisha Sidhu
Jimmy Borah
Sunny Shah
Nidhi Rajput
Kajal Kumar Jadav


Canine distemper virus (CDV) was reported in wild tigers from Russia and recently from India.  Very few studies, however, have been carried out to gain an insight into the prevalence of the disease in India, particularly in the wild.  CDV is the etiological agent of one of the most infectious diseases of domestic dogs.  With the aim of exploring the threat CDV poses for tigers, a preliminary assessment was carried out to determine its prevalence from villages near Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan, India.  Free-roaming dog populations within a 4-km-radius of the park’s periphery were tested for antibodies against CDV.  The seroprevalence of CDV antibodies in the sampled dogs was 86% (95% CI 78–91 %), indicating the probability of the dogs acting as a reservoir and having been exposed to CDV in the past.  The seroprevalence of CAV antibodies was 44.23% (95% CI 35–54 %) and CPV antibodies was 95.19% (95% CI 91–99 %).  This could threaten the tiger populations in the park, considering the close proximity of dogs to tigers.  It is, therefore, crucial to assess disease threats at the domestic-wildlife interface and to establish management strategies for more effective conservation practices in the landscape.  

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