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USGS - science for a changing world

Jorge E. Osorio

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Bats (Order Chiroptera) are an abundant group of mammals with tremendous ecological value as insectivores and plant dispersers, but their role as reservoirs of zoonotic diseases has received more attention in the last decade. With the goal of managing disease in free-ranging bats, we tested modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) and raccoon poxvirus (RCN) as potential vaccine vectors in the Brazilian Free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis), using biophotonic in vivo imaging and immunogenicity studies. Animals were administered recombinant poxviral vectors expressing the luciferase gene (MVA-luc, RCN-luc) through oronasal (ON) or intramuscular (IM) routes and subsequently monitored for bioluminescent signal indicative of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Vaccine
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Plague, a disease caused by Yersinia pestis introduced into North America about 100 years ago, is devastating to prairie dogs and the highly endangered black-footed ferret. Current attempts to control plague in these species have historically relied on insecticidal dusting of prairie dog burrows to kill the fleas that spread the disease. Although successful in curtailing outbreaks in most instances, this method of plague control has significant limitations. Alternative approaches to plague management are being tested, including vaccination. Currently, all black-footed ferret kits released for reintroduction are vaccinated against plague with an injectable protein vaccine, and even wild-born kits are captured and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: EcoHealth
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Rabies is an ancient neglected tropical disease that causes tens of thousands of human deaths and millions of cattle deaths annually. In order to develop a new vaccine for potential use in bats, a reservoir of rabies infection for humans and animals alike, an in silico antigen designer tool was used to create a mosaic glycoprotein (MoG) gene using available sequences from the rabies Phylogroup I glycoprotein. This sequence, which represents strains more likely to occur in bats, was cloned into raccoonpox virus (RCN) and the efficacy of this novel RCN-MoG vaccine was compared to RCN-G that expresses the glycoprotein gene from CVS-11 rabies or luciferase (RCN-luc, negative control) in mice and big brown bats (Eptesicus...
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Serum samples from a total of 71 healthy captive birds belonging to 18 species were collected in July of 2008 in Medellin (Colombia) and tested for flaviviruses. Eighteen of 29 samples from American Flamingoes (Phoenicopterus ruber) were positive for West Nile virus (WNV) by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Selected positive samples were serially passaged and WNV was confirmed by immunofluorescence. Two isolates (524/08, 9835/08) were characterized in vitro and in vivo. Sequence analysis revealed WNV with 16 nucleotide substitutions resulting in six amino acid changes when compared with the NY99 strain. Colombian (COL) viruses were more closely related to Louisiana isolates from 2001. When compared...
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Oral vaccination is an emerging management strategy to reduce the prevalence of high impact infectious diseases within wild animal populations. Plague is a flea-borne zoonosis of rodents that often decimates prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies in the western USA. Recently, an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) was developed to protect prairie dogs from plague and aid recovery of the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). Although oral vaccination programs are targeted toward specific species, field distribution of vaccine-laden baits can result in vaccine uptake by non-target animals and unintended indirect effects. We assessed the impact of SPV on non-target rodents at paired vaccine and placebo-treated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: EcoHealth
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