A pilot serosurvey for selected pathogens in feral donkeys (Equus asinus).
Recent removal and relocation of feral donkeys from vast public lands to more concentrated holding pens, training facilities, and offsite adoption locations raises several health and welfare concerns. Very little is known regarding the common equid pathogens that are circulating within the feral donkey population in and around Death Valley National Park, California, USA. The aim of this study was to utilize serologic assays to assess previous exposure of these donkeys to equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1), equine influenza (EIV), West Nile virus (WNV), and Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease). The results of this study indicate that this feral equid population is mostly naïve and likely susceptible to these common equid pathogens upon removal from the wild.