Browsing by Subject "Reindeer"

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  • Oksanen, Antti; Lavikainen, Antti (2015)
    The Echinococcus granulosus complex (EG) is the causative agent of cystic echinococcosis (CE). Northern cervid Echinococcus was previously suggested to be the ancestor of the entire EG. During the last century, it was regarded to have three (or four) different, but often overlapping, transmission cycles in the circumpolar North: the original wolf wild cervid (reindeer or elk)-cycle; the semi-synanthropic cycle involving sled and hunting dogs and wild cervids; and the synanthropic cycle involving herding dogs and semi-domesticated reindeer. Human infections mainly derived from the latter two cycles. In Fennoscandia, the synanthropic cycle has been eliminated during the last 50 years due to changes in reindeer husbandry methods; machinery making herding dogs largely redundant. Typical to human CE in the North has been the relatively benign nature of the disease compared with CE caused by E. granulosus sensu stricto. The metacestodes in humans and in the natural cervid hosts predominantly appear in the lungs. The causative agents have been identified as EG mitochondrial genotypes G8 and G10, now together with G6 (camel), G7 (pig) and G9 genotypes constituting the Echinococcus canadensis species. Based on recent findings in reindeer in Yakutia, G6 might also be recognised among cervid genotypes. The geographical distribution of both G8 and G10 is circumpolar, with G10 currently apparently more prevalent both in the Palearctic and Nearctic. Because of the disappearance of the working dog, E. canadensis in Fennoscandia is again highly dependent on the wolf, as it was before domestication of the dog. Pet and sled dogs, if their number further increases, may to a minor part participate in the life cycle. Human CE in the North was mostly diagnosed by mass chest tuberculosis radiography campaigns, which have been discontinued. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Jokelainen, Pikka; Moroni, Barbara; Hoberg, Eric; Oksanen, Antti; Laaksonen, Sauli (2019)
    Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) host numerous parasites. Although there is a general knowledge about parasite diversity in reindeer, detailed baseline information about parasitic infections is limited. Detailed knowledge of parasite prevalence and diversity provide a pathway for more targeted parasite control, an increasing need expected in the future. The main aim of our cross-sectional study was to estimate the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in semidomesticated reindeer calves. The 480 reindeer calves included in our study were aged 6–7 months, originated from 9 reindeer herding cooperatives in Finland and 1 in Norway, and were slaughtered during September–November 2015 in 10 reindeer slaughterhouses. All the reindeer calves passed meat inspection, and the detected parasitic infections were subclinical. As the reindeer included in this study were young animals intended for slaughter, they had never been administrated any antiparasitic treatment. Assessments of gastrointestinal parasitism among these reindeer calves were based on fecal examination and morphological identification of coccidian oocysts or helminth eggs. Individual fecal samples collected from the rectum of each of the reindeer were examined using a modified McMaster method. Most (78.3%) of the reindeer calves had eggs or oocysts of at least one parasite species in their feces, and more than half (53.5%) had a mixed infection. Strongylid eggs were detected in 75.6%, Eimeria sp. oocysts in 50.6%, Moniezia sp. eggs in 28.1%, Nematodirus sp. eggs in 22.1%, Capillaria sp. eggs in 9.4%, and Trichuris sp. eggs in 0.6% of the samples. The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites was similar or higher relative to previous estimates from the region; the proportion of reindeer calves shedding strongylid eggs and the proportion of reindeer calves shedding Moniezia sp. eggs had increased. Prevalence varied by geographical region, which may reflect different herding practices or environmental parameters. Higher reindeer density was a risk factor for testing positive for Eimeria sp. oocysts, and the odds of testing positive for Nematodirus sp. eggs were higher if a peroral route was used for antiparasitic treatment in the reindeer herding cooperative. The mean proportion of reindeer estimated to receive antiparasitic treatment in Finland was 86% in 2004–2005 and 91% in 2014–2015. During the historical time frames of current management practices, this routine annual antiparasitic treatment of breeding reindeer has not decreased the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in reindeer calves, which can be seen as sentinels or indicators of the infection pressure.
  • Jokelainen, Pikka; Moroni, Barbara; Hoberg, Eric; Oksanen, Antti; Laaksonen, Sauli (2019)
    Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) are known to host a wide variety of parasites, including those in the gastrointestinal system. Here, we review the current knowledge of the main gastrointestinal parasites of reindeer focusing on northern Fennoscandia, which comprises parts of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia. We explore both the historical baseline data for diversity and distribution and recent advancements in our understanding of parasite faunas in reindeer across this region. It is evident that the balance between reindeer and their gastrointestinal parasites, along with the potential for emergent disease in the changing world warrants careful monitoring and further studies.
  • Romano, Javier Sanchez; Mork, Torill; Laaksonen, Sauli; Agren, Erik; Nymo, Ingebjorg H.; Sunde, Marianne; Tryland, Morten (2018)
    Background: Infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC) is one of the most common ocular diseases in ruminants worldwide. In addition to keratitis and conjunctivitis, animals with IKC can develop uveitis, corneal ulcer, and in severe cases, blindness. The bacteria Moraxella spp. has been described as the primary causative agent of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) in cattle (Bos taurus), while Chlamydia spp. and Mycoplasma conjunctivae are considered the main causative agents of IKC in sheep (Ovis aries). Previous studies indicated cervid herpesvirus 2 (CvHV2) as the primary causative agent of IKC in semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus). The aim of the study was to investigate the presence and prevalence of potential pathogens for IKC in reindeer, and compare the ocular microbiota of animals with IKC, with apparently healthy animals. Results: Semi-domesticated reindeer (n = 341), with (n = 108) or without (n = 113) ocular clinical signs, or with no information on clinical status (n = 120), were sampled in Norway, Sweden and Finland in 2010-2014. Seroprevalence was 37.4% for alphaherpesvirus (95/254), 3.8% for gammaherpesvirus (8/211) and 7.1% for pestivirus (15/211) (ELISA). PCR analyses of conjunctival swab samples revealed a prevalence of 28.5% for CvHV2 (57/200), 11.9% for Chlamydiaceae (16/135) and 1.0% for M. conjunctivae (2/197). Bacteriological cultivation of 202 conjunctival swab samples revealed bacterial growth from 75.2% of the samples, with Moraxella spp. being isolated from 21.6% (11/51) of the animals with and 5.6% (5/84) without ocular clinical signs. A significant association (p <0.001) existed between the presence of clinical signs of IKC and CvHV2 DNA in the affected eyes, an association that was not present for other microorganisms. Conclusions: These results support the hypothesis that CvHV2 is the primary agent of IKC in semi-domesticated reindeer in Fennoscandia, with Moraxella bovoculi being a secondary candidate, since it was isolated in two different outbreaks of IKC. Further studies should be carried out to better understand the infection biology and the pathogenesis of IKC in reindeer.
  • Shakya, Ruchika; Tryland, Morten; Vikse, Rose; Romano, Javier Sanchez; Asbakk, Kjetil; Nymo, Ingebjorg H.; Mehl, Reidar; Evander, Magnus; Ahlm, Clas; Vapalahti, Olli; Lwande, Olivia Wesula; Putkuri, Niina; Johansen, Wenche; Soleng, Arnulf; Edgar, Kristin S.; Andreassen, Ashild K. (2022)
    Background Mosquito-borne viruses pose a serious threat to humans worldwide. There has been an upsurge in the number of mosquito-borne viruses in Europe, mostly belonging to the families Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus (Sindbis, Chikungunya), Flaviviridae (West Nile, Usutu, Dengue), and Peribunyaviridae, genus Orthobunyavirus, California serogroup (Inkoo, Batai, Tahyna). The principal focus of this study was Inkoo (INKV) and Sindbis (SINV) virus circulating in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and some parts of Russia. These viruses are associated with morbidity in humans. However, there is a knowledge gap regarding reservoirs and transmission. Therefore, we aimed to determine the prevalence of INKV and SINV in blood sucking insects and seroprevalence for INKV in semi-domesticated Eurasian tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) in Norway. Materials and methods In total, 213 pools containing about 25 blood sucking insects (BSI) each and 480 reindeer sera were collected in eight Norwegian reindeer summer pasture districts during 2013-2015. The pools were analysed by RT-PCR to detect INKV and by RT-real-time PCR for SINV. Reindeer sera were analysed for INKV-specific IgG by an Indirect Immunofluorescence Assay (n = 480, IIFA) and a Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (n = 60, PRNT). Results Aedes spp. were the most dominant species among the collected BSI. Two of the pools were positive for INKV-RNA by RT-PCR and were confirmed by pyrosequencing. The overall estimated pool prevalence (EPP) of INKV in Norway was 0.04%. None of the analysed pools were positive for SINV. Overall IgG seroprevalence in reindeer was 62% positive for INKV by IIFA. Of the 60 reindeer sera- analysed by PRNT for INKV, 80% were confirmed positive, and there was no cross-reactivity with the closely related Tahyna virus (TAHV) and Snowshoe hare virus (SSHV). Conclusion The occurrence and prevalence of INKV in BSI and the high seroprevalence against the virus among semi-domesticated reindeer in Norway indicate that further studies are required for monitoring this virus. SINV was not detected in the BSI in this study, however, human cases of SINV infection are yearly reported from other regions such as Rjukan in south-central Norway. It is therefore essential to monitor both viruses in the human population. Our findings are important to raise awareness regarding the geographical distribution of these mosquito-borne viruses in Northern Europe.
  • Laaksonen, Sauli; Jokelainen, Pikka; Pusenius, Jyrki; Oksanen, Antti (2017)
    Background: Slaughter reindeer are exposed to stress caused by gathering, handling, loading and unloading, and by conditions in vehicles during transport. These stress factors can lead to compromised welfare and trauma such as bruises or fractures, aspiration of rumen content, and abnormal odour in carcasses, and causing condemnations in meat inspection and lower meat quality. We investigated the statistical association of slaughter transport distance with these indices using meat inspection data from years 2004-2016, including inspection of 669,738 reindeer originating from Finnish reindeer herding areas. Results: Increased stress and decreased welfare of reindeer, as indicated by higher incidence of carcass condemnation due to bruises or fractures, aspiration of rumen content, or abnormal odour, were positively associated with systems involving shorter transport distances to abattoirs. Significant differences in incidence of condemnations were also detected between abattoirs and reindeer herding cooperatives. Conclusions: This study indicates that in particular the short-distance transports of reindeer merit more attention. While the results suggest that factors associated with long distance transport, such as driver education, truck design, veterinary supervision, and specialist equipment, may be favourable to reducing pre-slaughter stress in reindeer when compared with short distance transport systems, which occur in a variety of vehicle types and may be done by untrained handlers. Further work is required to elucidate the causal factors to the current results.
  • Laaksonen, Sauli; Jokelainen, Pikka; Pusenius, Jyrki; Oksanen, Antti (BioMed Central, 2017)
    Abstract Background Slaughter reindeer are exposed to stress caused by gathering, handling, loading and unloading, and by conditions in vehicles during transport. These stress factors can lead to compromised welfare and trauma such as bruises or fractures, aspiration of rumen content, and abnormal odour in carcasses, and causing condemnations in meat inspection and lower meat quality. We investigated the statistical association of slaughter transport distance with these indices using meat inspection data from years 2004–2016, including inspection of 669,738 reindeer originating from Finnish reindeer herding areas. Results Increased stress and decreased welfare of reindeer, as indicated by higher incidence of carcass condemnation due to bruises or fractures, aspiration of rumen content, or abnormal odour, were positively associated with systems involving shorter transport distances to abattoirs. Significant differences in incidence of condemnations were also detected between abattoirs and reindeer herding cooperatives. Conclusions This study indicates that in particular the short-distance transports of reindeer merit more attention. While the results suggest that factors associated with long distance transport, such as driver education, truck design, veterinary supervision, and specialist equipment, may be favourable to reducing pre-slaughter stress in reindeer when compared with short distance transport systems, which occur in a variety of vehicle types and may be done by untrained handlers. Further work is required to elucidate the causal factors to the current results.
  • Pietikäinen, Aino (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) is one of the two native reindeer subspecies in Finland. The other one is semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus), which is a common livestock species in Lapland. A total of 22 zoos hold wild forest reindeer in Europe. These individuals along with individuals from the wild population are the base of a reintroduction program implemented in central Finland. The objective of this thesis is to shed light on the diet of wild forest reindeer in the wild and in captivity. From individuals in the wild and in reintroduction enclosures, a total of 17 fecal samples were collected. The samples were analyzed with DNA metabarcoding technique to determine the diet. The samples were analyzed at the Institute of Biotechnology and the obtained sequences were identified as plant genera with NCBI BLAST. The data was grouped according to sampling date and snow coverage to two groups and according to sampling site to two groups. The genera were assigned under types. 17 zoos submitted their feeding guideline of wild forest reindeer for the study. These were analyzed to obtain data about the different food item types corresponding to the types of plant genera found from the fecal samples. Fecal sample results were compared as frequencies of sequence reads assigned to genera and types. The most frequent types in the whole data was forbs and shrubs (42,1 %) and deciduous trees (38,9 %). The biggest differences were in the two groups when the data was grouped according to season. Differences were less prominent in the locationally grouped data. In the feeding guidelines from zoos, most of them (94 %) stated feeding deciduous trees and almost as many (88 %) stated feeding graminoids. In the fecal sample data, graminoids accounted for only 0,5 % of the sequence reads. The wild forest reindeer diets in the wild seem to have seasonal variation and not so much locational variation. The captive forest reindeer diets could be advanced with increasing the amount of forbs and shrubs offered and decreasing the amount of graminoids. The small sample size of 17 makes the results of this study indicative at best and further research is needed.
  • Suutari, Anniina; Hallikainen, Anja; Ruokojärvi, Päivi; Kiviranta, Hannu; Nieminen, Mauri; Laaksonen, Sauli (2012)
    Background: The aim of this study was to determine 17 Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxin and Dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) and 12 Dioxin-like Polychlorinated Biphenyl (DL-PCB) concentrations in the tissues of Finnish terrestrial herbivore species, semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L.), and wild moose (Alces alces), investigate transfer and accumulation of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs in milk of the lactating reindeer hinds, and explore contaminant concentrations in stillborn reindeer calves exposed via placental transfer to PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs. Methods: Reindeer and moose tissue sampling was focused in Finnish reindeer herding region. Reindeer milk samples were sampled in summer and autumn from reindeer hinds in experimental reindeer station in northern Finland. PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs were analyzed using HRGC/HRMS method. The results are reported here as WHOTEQ upper bound concentrations and congener-specific lower bound concentrations. Results: WHO-PCDD/F- and PCB-TEQs in reindeer muscle and liver were generally higher in the calves than in adults. Concentrations in moose calves were lower than in reindeer calves, while in adult reindeer and moose the levels were equal. General PCDD/F congeners in reindeer muscle and liver were 23478-PeCDF, 123678-HxCDD and OCDD. In reindeer milk, the highest PCDD/F detected was OCDD, and it was common also in the moose muscle samples. A strong contribution of non-ortho-PCBs to WHO-TEQ was detected in all studied samples. The most dominating non-ortho-DL-PCB congener was PCB-126 in reindeer muscle, liver and milk. In moose muscle samples PCB-77 was the most abundant congener. Species-, individual- and tissue-specific accumulation of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs may be the result from varying extent and quality of exposure, and to some extent from different metabolic potential. Conclusions: PCDD/Fs showed partly similar profiles in reindeer and moose muscle, reindeer liver and milk samples - indicating equal mode of bioaccumulation. A strong contribution of non-ortho-PCBs to WHO-TEQ was detected, although there were some differences in frequency of particular congeners in these species. Due to the harmonized sampling method the study offers the way to determine and compare the levels of PCDD/Fs and DLPCBs in reindeer and moose tissues and examine the transfer and dynamics of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds in northern terrestrial food web.
  • Kynkäänniemi, Sanna-Mari; Kortet, Raine; Laaksonen, Sauli (2020)
    The deer ked (Lipoptena cervi) is a harmful ectoparasite that emerged in the reindeer herding area of Finland in 2006. To understand the current range and the intensity of infestations on its novel reindeer host, we studied deer ked pupae collected from reindeer and moose bedding sites and conducted a questionnaire survey among the managers of 18 reindeer herding cooperatives in the southern part of the reindeer herding area. Our study confirmed that the deer ked can survive and successfully reproduce on reindeer through winter and that flying deer keds had been observed in reindeer wintering areas during several autumns in twelve cooperatives. The pupae originating from reindeer were smaller and showed lower hatching rates than the pupae from moose. The present results indicate that the range of the deer ked infestations on reindeer in Finland expanded during the recent 5 years, now reaching 14 cooperatives and bordering an area south of approximately 66 degrees N 25 degrees E in the west and 65 degrees N 29 degrees E east.
  • Haider, Najmul; Laaksonen, Sauli; Kjaer, Lene Jung; Oksanen, Antti; Bodker, Rene (2018)
    BackgroundIn northern Finland (Lapland), reindeer are reared as semi-domesticated animals. The region has a short summer season of 2-3 months, yet reindeer are infected with the mosquito-borne filarioid parasite Setaria tundra. The infection causes peritonitis and perihepatitis, which cause significant economic losses due to reduced body weight of infected animals. The objective of this study was to: (i) describe the spatial and temporal pattern of outbreaks in three different areas across Finnish Lapland; and (ii) construct a temperature-driven mechanistic transmission model to quantify the potential role of temperature on intensity of S. tundra transmission in reindeer.MethodsWe developed a temperature-driven transmission model able to predict the number of S. tundra potentially transmitted from an infectious reindeer. We applied the model to the years 2004-2015, and compared the predictions to the proportion of reindeer whose livers were condemned due to S. tundra infection at the time of slaughter.ResultsThe mean proportion of liver condemnation increased in reindeer slaughtered in late autumn/winter compared to earlier dates. The outbreaks were geographically clustered each year but there were no fixed foci where outbreaks occurred. Larger outbreaks were recorded in the southern regions of reindeer-herding areas compared to the central or northern parts of Lapland. Our model showed that temperatures never allowed for transmission of more than a single generation of S. tundra each season. In southern (Kuusamo) and central (Sodankyla) Lapland, our model predicted an increasing trend from 1979 to 2015 for both the duration of the effective transmission period of S. tundra (P <0.001) and for the potential number of L3 S. tundra larvae being transmitted from an infectious reindeer (P <0.001).ConclusionsThe effective transmission period for S. tundra in reindeer is very short in Lapland, but it increased over the period studied. Only one generation of S. tundra can be transmitted in one season among reindeer in Lapland. Increasing temperatures may facilitate a range expansion and increasing duration of effective transmission period for S. tundra.
  • Haider, Najmul; Laaksonen, Sauli; Kjær, Lene J; Oksanen, Antti; Bødker, René (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background In northern Finland (Lapland), reindeer are reared as semi-domesticated animals. The region has a short summer season of 2–3 months, yet reindeer are infected with the mosquito-borne filarioid parasite Setaria tundra. The infection causes peritonitis and perihepatitis, which cause significant economic losses due to reduced body weight of infected animals. The objective of this study was to: (i) describe the spatial and temporal pattern of outbreaks in three different areas across Finnish Lapland; and (ii) construct a temperature-driven mechanistic transmission model to quantify the potential role of temperature on intensity of S. tundra transmission in reindeer. Methods We developed a temperature-driven transmission model able to predict the number of S. tundra potentially transmitted from an infectious reindeer. We applied the model to the years 2004–2015, and compared the predictions to the proportion of reindeer whose livers were condemned due to S. tundra infection at the time of slaughter. Results The mean proportion of liver condemnation increased in reindeer slaughtered in late autumn/winter compared to earlier dates. The outbreaks were geographically clustered each year but there were no fixed foci where outbreaks occurred. Larger outbreaks were recorded in the southern regions of reindeer-herding areas compared to the central or northern parts of Lapland. Our model showed that temperatures never allowed for transmission of more than a single generation of S. tundra each season. In southern (Kuusamo) and central (Sodankylä) Lapland, our model predicted an increasing trend from 1979 to 2015 for both the duration of the effective transmission period of S. tundra (P < 0.001) and for the potential number of L3 S. tundra larvae being transmitted from an infectious reindeer (P < 0.001). Conclusions The effective transmission period for S. tundra in reindeer is very short in Lapland, but it increased over the period studied. Only one generation of S. tundra can be transmitted in one season among reindeer in Lapland. Increasing temperatures may facilitate a range expansion and increasing duration of effective transmission period for S. tundra.
  • Paatero, Jussi; Salminen-Paatero, Susanna (2020)
    Following the atmospheric nuclear tests in the '50s and early '60s radioecological research on the (sub)arctic food chain lichen-reindeer/caribou-man was initiated in Finland among other northern countries. The enrichment of radionuclides in this food chain can lead to exceptionally high body burdens among the indigenous Sami and Inuit populations consuming large quantities of the meat and edible organs of reindeer and caribou. In Finland, first fission and activation products and natural radionuclides were studied but in the early 1970s' the investigations concerning transuranium elements were started. These studies have continued to the present as also the effects of the Chernobyl accident on the existence of neptunium, plutonium, americium and curium isotopes in the environment of northern Finland have been investigated. In addition to radioactivity measure-ments detailed dietary surveys were performed among the reindeer herders and other Sami persons to assess the human intake of radionuclides by ingestion. The main aim of this literature review is to summarize the obtained data concerning transuranium elements in the food chain lichen-reindeer-man in northern Finland but also some supporting data is included.