Prevalence of microorganisms in reindeer(Rangifer tarandustarandus)and possible effects of climate changes.

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Abstract: The climate in the north is changing over time, which affects the nature in many ways. For instance, some microorganisms that cause infections might become more common. This might have negative consequences for reindeer husbandry. In Sweden, this is an industry that is relatively large. However, even though the reindeer is common in the north the knowledge about its diseases is limited.In this study the prevalence of microorganisms that may cause infection in reindeer was investigated. Comparisons between different sami villages and previous studies were performed to detect differences that could occur due to climate changes. The diseases and microorganisms that were analyzed with PCR were malignant catarrhal fever, herpes infections, Chlamydia sp. and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD). The cause of eye problems in reindeer was also investigated. BVD and bovine leukemia virus where analyzed with ELISA. Next generation sequencing where used for broader screening of samples for microorganisms that might be of interest of future analysis in more detailed follow-up studies.Since not enough samples were available at the time of this study findings could not be linked to changing climate. In the reindeer with eye infection Chlamydia sp., Moraxella sp. and Neisseria sp. can probably be involved causing disease. This should be further investigated to be able to determine whether it is true or not by analyzing samples from individuals without changes in the eyes. The prevalence of reindeers with antibodies against BVD has increased in Sweden since 2012. There will be further studies in this field with reindeers from other northern countries.

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