Disease is a potential threat to many endangered populations and may originate from sympatric
domestic species. This paper describes a cross-sectional serological survey of canine pathogens
carried out in domestic (n = 70) and wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) (n = 6), in Tsumkwe District, northeastern
Namibia. Evidence of past exposure to canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus and parainfluenza
virus was evident in both wild and domestic dogs with this, the first, documented exposure
of free-living wild dogs to canine distemper. Domestic dogs were also exposed to rabies virus,
canine parvovirus and coronavirus. There was no pathogen to which wild dogs, but not domestic
dogs, were exposed. With wild dogs known to be susceptible to rabies and canine distemper, these
may be the greatest threat to this population of wild dogs, although some wild dogs can clearly survive
infection with canine distemper.
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