Enteric infections are a major cause of neonatal death in South American camelids (SACs). The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of enteric viral pathogens among alpacas and llamas in Canchis, Cuzco, located in the southern Peruvian highland. Fecal samples were obtained from 80 neonatal alpacas and llamas and tested for coronavirus (CoV), mammalian orthoreovirus (MRV), and rotavirus A (RVA) by RT-PCR. Of the 80 fecal samples analyzed, 76 (95%) were positive for at least one of the viruses tested. Overall, the frequencies of positive samples were 94.1% and 100% among alpacas and llamas, respectively. Of the positive samples, 33 (43.4%) were monoinfected, while 43 (56.6%) had coinfections with two (83.7%) or three (16.3%) viruses. CoV was the most commonly detected virus (87.5%) followed by MRV (50%). RVA was detected only in coinfections. To our knowledge, this is the first description of MRV circulation in SACs or camelids anywhere. These data show that multiple viruses circulate widely among young alpaca and llama crias within the studied areas. These infections can potentially reduce livestock productivity, which translates into serious economic losses for rural communities, directly impacting their livelihoods.
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