Pathogen and rodenticide exposure in American badgers (Taxidea taxus) in California

Jessica H. Quinn, Yvette A. Girard, Kirsten Vk Gilardi, Yvette Hernandez, Robert H Poppenga, Bruno B Chomel, Janet E Foley, Christine K Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Urban and agricultural land use may increase the risk of disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and humans as we share ever-shrinking and fragmented habitat. American badgers (Taxidae taxus), a species of special concern in California, USA, live in proximity to urban development and often share habitat with livestock and small peridomestic mammals. As such, they may be susceptible to pathogens commonly transmitted at this interface and to anticoagulant rodenticides used to control nuisance wildlife on agricultural lands. We evaluated freeranging badgers in California for exposure to pathogens and anticoagulant rodenticides that pose a risk to wildlife, domestic animals, or public health. We found serologic evidence of badger exposure to Francisella tularensis, Toxoplasma gondii, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, canine distemper virus, and three Bartonella species: B. henselae, B. clarridgeiae, and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. Badger tissues contained anticoagulant rodenticides brodifacoum and bromadiolone, commonly used to control periurban rodent pests. These data provide a preliminary investigation of pathogen and toxicant exposure in the wild badger population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-472
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Wildlife Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • American badger
  • Anaplasma phagocytophilum
  • Anticoagulant rodenticide
  • Bartonella henselae
  • Canine distemper virus
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Taxidea taxus
  • Toxoplasma gondii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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