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Several Gir lions samples test positive for CDV indicating active disease transmission: ICMR-NIV

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

ICMR-NIV asked the government Tuesday to shift healthy lions from Gujarat's after, it said, fresh samples of the wild cats tested positive for a virus, which had wiped out 30 per cent of population in East Africa, indicating "transmission".

Since September 12, as many as 23 lions have died in the sanctuary, at least 11 of them due to the CDV and Protozoa infections, according to forest officials.

"Specimens were again tested for the Canine Distemper (CDV) by using molecular methods i.e. RT-PCR. One or more samples from 21 out of 27 Gir lions have tested positive for CDV.

"This indicates transmission among the Gir lions," the (ICMR) - (NIV) said in a statement.

The ICMR, New Delhi, is the apex body in for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research.

ICMR-NIV had received a total of 80 samples of nasal, ocular and rectal swabs from 27 Gir lions which were sick and under treatment and observation at Sakkarbaug Zoo, Junagadh,

The samples were referred to ICMR-NIV, Pune by the on October 6.

"Since the CDV is transmitted by airborne route as well as infected body secretions, healthy lions from may be shifted to an alternate suitable location," it said.

It also said the lions should be immediately vaccinated with the available vaccine for the CDV.

"At present, most of the available vaccines are made up of the CDV American genotypes 1 and 2 and these vaccines have been used in a number of countries and have been found to be effective," it said.

The CDV causes a in dogs and also affects wild carnivores such as wolves, foxes, raccoons, red pandas, ferrets, hyenas, tigers, and lions.

The prevalence of this and its diversity in wildlife of is not studied and only a few reports are available regarding the detection of the CDV in captive wild carnivores which included tigers and red panda.

In the past, the CDV wiped out 30 per cent of the total population of lions in areas in East Africa, ICMR had earlier said.

ICMR-NIV had also earlier said it had found the CDV responsible for the death of five Asiatic lions in the and as such for the first time a complete genome of the CDV was recovered by the NIV.

The Forest Department Sunday started of lions in the to protect them from a deadly blamed for the death of some of the big cats in their last abode.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 20:30 IST
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