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Wildlife Forensic Pathology

  • Course Description

    Examine the pathology and pathogenesis of infectious and non-infectious diseases, traumatic injury, and poisoning that are a feature of wildlife forensic cases. Recognition of aspects of gross and histopathological pathology and correlate changes with clinical pathology and other data. Understand infectious agents and involvement in the production of pathological lesions.

    It is assumed that the student:

    • Has a basic knowledge of the normal gross and histological anatomy and embryology of the organ system in question.
    • Knows the relevant physiology and, where appropriate, the endocrine control of the relevant organ system.
    • Understands the nature of the main groups of microorganisms and non-infectious factors that may cause, or contribute, to disease in the relevant organ system.
    • Appreciates the relevance of pathological investigations in forensic work.

    In addition, s/he will be expected:

    1. to be able to carry out a diagnostic, investigative or forensic post-mortem examination and take relevant samples, and
    2. to know where to go for further information (books, journals, reports, reprints, pdfs, websites, museums) about pathology, especially in the context of forensic cases; how to seek further advice if needed.
    3. to comprehend the importance, especially in the context of wildlife forensic cases, of interdisciplinary collaboration.

    Course Objectives

    By the end of this course, students should be able to:

    • Recognize basic common pathological changes in relevant organs of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish and selected invertebrates, and the whole body, and write a report on the findings.
    • Suggest a diagnosis or sequence of pathological events and comment on their significance and relevance to clinical investigation, especially in the context of forensic cases involving free-living or captive mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish and selected invertebrates.
    • Examine gross, cytological and histological specimens from relevant organs and to correlate what is seen with clinical signs or epidemiological features in live animals free-living or captive mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish and selected invertebrates.
    • Extrapolate from knowledge of domestic animal pathology principles that can be applied to a) other, less familiar, species of animal that have been presented for clinical or post-mortem examination, or b) samples from live or dead animals that are the subject of a legal case.

    At a Glance