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What causes bat rabies?

EBLV-1 and-2


Is bat rabies fatal? Which animals does it affect?

Fatal virus disease which can affect all mammals. Unlike the 'classical' rabies viruses, spill-over to other species is very rare but can happen.


How common is bat rabies in the UK?

Low prevalence in certain species of bats in the UK. To date, eight infections with EBLV2 confirmed in bats since 1986.


How does bat rabies transmit?

contact with an infected bat - bites, scratches, saliva, contact with mucous membranes


Can humans die from bat rabies?

Small number of confirmed cases from bat bites. Since 1977, there have been 4 human deaths in Europe and in all instances the human had not received rabies vaccination, pre or post exposure


Define PEP

Post-exposure prophylaxis


Is the 'classical' rabies vaccine protective for bat rabies?

Yes, should be effective (i.e. is cross-reactive)


What should you do for a pet exposed to rabies?

Strict 6 month quarantine and vaccination. PEP in humans is accepted, has not been extensively researched for animals and as such, there is no recommended, agreed protocol available.


What type of parasite is toxoplasma gondii?

a coccidian parasite


Describe the Toxoplasma gondii lifecycle.

two hosts = definitive and intermediate. Wild and domestic felids, including the domestic cat, are definitive hosts. Cats become infected by eating meat or prey species containing T. gondii cycts. A few days after the cat has become infected, oocytes will be shed in the faeces for a short period (typically < 2 weeks). Oocytes become infectious after 1-5 days and can survive in the soil or water for prolonged periods. Other animals, including humans, are intermediate hosts which can become infected but do not shed oocytes. Folllowing infection, tissue cysts form in various tissues of the body. These are infectious to cats, people and other IHs if eaten.


What type of infection does T. gondii cause in cats?

usually subclinical but clinical disease can occur. Symptoms include fever, anorexia, weight loss, pneumonia and neurological signs. Disease is more likely to occur in young kittens and cats with immunosuppressive disease.


How is feline toxoplasmosis usually diagnosed?

based on history, clinical signs, and the results of supportive serological tests. most cats recover with treatment.


How is human toxoplasmosis infection like?

usually subclinical (if immunocompetent) bt can be severe in high risk individuals. Disease can manifest as abortion, still birth, birth defects, ocular disease, flu-like symptoms and encephalitis. If a pregnant woman is infected with T> gondii during her pregnancy there is a risk the infection will spread to the unborn foetus. Prior infections carry no such risk. The vast majority of women infected during pregnancy will have no disease symptoms themselves.


How many people in the UK have been infected with T. gondii?

About 40% UK population. Most clinical cases are in individuals with acute systemic disease or HIV.


How can T.gondii infection be prevented? 9

Good general hygiene:
limit exposure (esp if pregnant)
washing hands thoroughly
ensuring surfaces and utensils for raw meat preparation are thoroughly washed.
ensure meat is well cooked (internal temp >60 degrees)
wash all fruit and veg
wear gloves when gardening
avoid unpasteurised milk


Are eggs from infected hens and milk from infected cows able to contain salmonella?

Yes - infection may also follow direct contact with infected animals, fomites or the environment


How many serovars of salmonella are known?

over 2500 serovars (strains) are known


What is most human salmonella disease caused by?

S.enteritidis (originates from infected poultry and eggs)
S.tymphimurium (occurs in a variety of species including cattle). Approximately 1500-2000 cases of this reported to Public Health England annually.


Describe salmonella infection in humans.

Usually short-lived in humans, may be subclinical. Moderate, severe or fatal disease may occur. Symptoms include pyrexia, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Children, pregnant women and the elderly most at risk.


Describe salmonella infections in cattle

mostly subclinical, severe disease can occur. Clinical signs = pyrexia, lethargy, dehydration, ptyalism and diarrhoea.


Is Salmonella a reportable disease?

No routine monitoring in GB. All lab isolates from food producing animals must be notified.


What to do in the case of a Salmonella infection on a farm

high standards of personal hygiene
food should be handled hygienically, especially if from infected farm.
Anyone working with livestock with V,D or flu-like symptoms should consult GP


Are animals with acute salmonellosis allowed to enter the food chain?

No. Farmer must also follow specific procedures and notify the slaughterhouse in advance if the animal is to be culled.


Effects of salmonella food poisoning

significant economic effects (medical costs, loss of working time and costs of control)
undermine consumer confidence


When was there a fatal case of bat rabies in Scotland?



What are the 2 types of EBLV?

1 (more common) and 2


What happens if you are bitten by a rabid bat and you have had prior vaccination?

appropriate post-exposure treatment


What should you do if bitten by a bat?

immediately wash wound (soap and water)
medical advice:
if already vaccinated - may receive boosters
if not vaccinated - may immediately start a course of booster vaccinations. If you are at a high risk of developing infections you may be given rabies immunoglobulin injections for additional protection.
If possible, keep the bat which has scratched you


If a bat is suspected to be or infected with EBLV what must happen?

it must by law be reported to the Animal Health Divisional Office duty vet


As bats are protected species, can you remove them from the living space of a house or care for a sick or injured bat?

Yes - but use bit proof gloves and avoid contact with its saliva.

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