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Outbreaks of sarcoptic mange in free-ranging koala populations in Victoria and South Australia: a case series


KN Speight, a* PL Whiteley, b L Woolford, a PJ Duignan, c B Bacci, d S Lathe, e W Boardman, a TF Scheelings, f O Funnell, a G Underwood g and MA Stevenson b

 

*Corresponding author.
aSchool of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Roseworthy Campus, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy, South Australia, 5371, Australia;
bFaculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria, Australia
cFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; The Marine Mammal Center, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, CA, USA
dSchool of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
eAdelaide Koala and Wildlife Hospital, Plympton, South Australia, Australia
fSchool of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
gDepartment of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

 

ABSTRACT
Objective   To describe outbreaks of sarcoptic mange caused by Sarcoptes scabiei in free-ranging koalas in Victoria (December 2008 to November 2015) and South Australia (October 2011 to September 2014).
Methods   Koalas affected by mange-like lesions were reported by wildlife carers, veterinary practitioners or State Government personnel to the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at
The University of Melbourne and the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at The University of Adelaide. Skin scrapings were taken from live and dead koalas and S. scabiei mites were identified. Tissues from necropsied koalas were examined histologically.
Results   Outbreaks of sarcoptic mange were found to occur in koalas from both Victoria (n = 29) and South Australia (n = 29) for the first time. The gross pathological and histopathological changes are described.
Conclusion   We present the first reported cases of sarcoptic mange outbreaks in free-ranging koalas.

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  • 2013
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  • Genetics
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