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International meeting on sarcoptic mange in wildlife, June 2018, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
Almberg, Emily S
Sousa, Giovane R
Niedringhaus, Kevin D
Van Wick, Peach
Escobar, Luis E
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Abstract Sarcoptic mange is a globally distributed disease caused by the burrowing mite Sarcoptes scabiei, which also causes scabies in humans. A wide and increasing number of wild mammal species are reported to be susceptible to mange; however, the impacts of the disease in wildlife populations, mechanisms involved in its eco-epidemiological dynamics, and risks to public and ecosystem health are still unclear. Major gaps exist concerning S. scabiei host specificity and the mechanisms involved in the different presentations of the disease, which change between individuals and species. Immunological responses to the mite may have a relevant role explaining these different susceptibilities, as these affect the clinical signs, and consequently, the severity of the disease. Recently, some studies have suggested sarcoptic mange as an emerging threat for wildlife, based on several outbreaks with increased severity, geographical expansions, and novel wild hosts affected. Disease ecology experts convened for the “International Meeting on Sarcoptic Mange in Wildlife” on 4–5 June 2018, hosted by the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. The meeting had a structure of (i) pre-workshop review; (ii) presentation and discussions; and (iii) identification of priority research questions to understand sarcoptic mange in wildlife. The workgroup concluded that research priorities should be on determining the variation in modes of transmission for S. scabiei in wildlife, factors associated with the variation of disease severity among species, and long-terms effects of the mange in wildlife populations. In this note we summarize the main discussions and research gaps identified by the experts.