A gastro-intestinal disorder caused by an astrovirus in the genus Mamastrovirus has been described in cheetahs in the USA. A similar confirmed outbreak of this infection has been reported in a group of young cheetahs in the Hoedspruit area in South Africa.
The two recorded outbreaks occurred in groups of captive cheetah. There is no indication of the source of the infection, although in the South African event, humans in close association with the cheetahs also suffered from an undiagnosed gastro-intestinal upset .
Clinical signs and pathology
Both adult and juvenile cheetahs present with signs of lethargy, partial to complete anorexia, diarrhea and regurgitation over an a short period of time. The initial signs include mild lethargy, and partial anorexia that progress to a watery diarrhea and vomition. The course of the disease is short and uneventful recovery can be expected within 6 - 11 days from the commencement of clinical signs.
Symptomatic treatment was given in both instances to alleviate the clinical signs
- Atkins, A., Wellehan, J. F., Childress, A. L., Archer, L. L., Fraser, W. A., & Citino, S. B. (2009). Characterization of an outbreak of astroviral diarrhea in a group of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). Veterinary Microbiology, 136(1), 160-165. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.10.035
- Provet Wildlife Services, https://plus.google.com/113047159342423189696/about?gl=za&hl=en