[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Volume 25, Number 6—June 2019 / Research
Mass Die-Off of Saiga Antelopes, Kazakhstan, 2015
Sasan Fereidouni, Graham L. Freimanis, Mukhit Orynbayev, Paolo Ribeca, John Flannery, Donald P. King, Steffen Zuther, Martin Beer, Dirk Höper, Aidyn Kydyrmanov, Kobey Karamendin, and Richard Kock
Author affiliations: University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria (S. Fereidouni); The Pirbright Institute, Pirbright, UK (G. Freimanis, P. Ribeca, J. Flannery, D.P. King); Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems, Otar, Kazakhstan (M. Orynbayev); Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan, Astana, Kazakhstan (S. Zuther); Frankfurt Zoological Society, Frankfurt, Germany (S. Zuther); Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany (M. Beer, D. Höper); Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Almaty, Kazakhstan (A. Kydrymanov, K. Karamendin); Royal Veterinary College, London, UK (R. Kock)
In 2015, a mass die-off of ≈200,000 saiga antelope in central Kazakhstan was caused by hemorrhagic septicemia attributable to the bacterium Pasteurella multocida serotype B. Previous analyses have indicated that environmental triggers associated with weather conditions, specifically air moisture and temperature in the region of the saiga antelope calving during the 10-day period running up to the event, were critical to the proliferation of latent bacteria and were comparable to conditions accompanying historically similar die-offs in the same areas. We investigated whether additional viral or bacterial pathogens could be detected in samples from affected animals using 3 different high-throughput sequencing approaches. We did not identify pathogens associated with commensal bacterial opportunisms in blood, kidney, or lung samples and thus concluded that P. multocida serotype B was the primary cause of the disease.
Keywords: Hemorrhagic septicemia; Pasteurella multocida; Wildlife; Kazakhstan.