OAHN Wildlife Network Project: Muskrat Health and Disease Surveillance (in progress)
Project Lead: Dr. Claire Jardine
Collaborators: Dr. Alex Reid
Working in collaboration with researchers at the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry (Bowman, Bruce, and Sadowski) we propose to examine ~200 trapper harvested muskrat carcasses collected in winter 2021-2022. We will assess health status (i.e., post mortem examination, histology, fat stores) and test for select pathogens of relevance to wildlife, domestic animal, and human health. For this project, we will focus on Francisella tularensis PCR and serology, and Echinococcus multilocularis detection. These were identified as priority pathogens for investigation. We will also collect samples for additional pathogen/contaminant testing which can be done at a later date with additional funding.