Epizootiology of brucella infection in Australian fur seals

Lynch, Michael, Duignan, Pa´draig J., Taylor, Trevor, Nielsen, Ole, Kirkwood, Roger, Gibbens, John and Arnould, John P. Y. 2011, Epizootiology of brucella infection in Australian fur seals, Journal of wildlife diseases, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 352-363.

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Title Epizootiology of brucella infection in Australian fur seals
Author(s) Lynch, Michael
Duignan, Pa´draig J.
Taylor, Trevor
Nielsen, Ole
Kirkwood, Roger
Gibbens, John
Arnould, John P. Y.
Journal name Journal of wildlife diseases
Volume number 47
Issue number 2
Start page 352
End page 363
Total pages 12
Publisher Wildlife Disease Association
Place of publication Lawrence, Kan.
Publication date 2011
ISSN 0090-3558
1943-3700
Keyword(s) abortion
Australian fur seals
Brucella
disease
epizootiology
gestational failure
pinniped
serology
Summary Novel members of the bacterial genus Brucella have recently emerged as pathogens of various marine mammal species and as potential zoonotic agents. We investigated the epizootiology of Brucella infection in Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) by establishing demographic and temporal variations in antibody prevalence, attempting isolation of the causative agent, and determining whether this potential pathogen is involved in frequent abortions observed in this pinniped species. Two competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (cELISAs), an indirect ELISA, and a fluorescence polarization assay (FPA) were used to test sera for Brucella antibodies. The FPA and cELISA proved suitable for use in this species. Significant differences in antibody prevalence were found between age classes of seals sampled between 2007 and 2009 at one colony. Pups sampled at this site (n5134) were negative for Brucella antibodies by all serologic tests but 17 of 45 (38%) of juveniles were antibody-positive. Antibody prevalence in adult females was significantly higher than in juveniles (P50.044). Antibody prevalence for adult females between 2003 and 2009 varied significantly over time (P50.011), and for individuals sampled between 2003 and 2005, the likelihood of pregnancy was greater in individuals positive for Brucella antibodies (P50.034). Inflammatory lesions suggestive of infectious agents were found in 14 of 39 aborted Australian fur seal pups, but pathologic changes were not uniformly consistent for Brucella infection. Culture and PCR investigations on fetal tissues were negative for Brucella. Culture and PCR on selected fresh or frozen tissues from 36 juvenile and adult animals were also negative. We suspect that the prevalence of active infection with Brucella in Australian fur seals is low relative to antibody prevalence. © Wildlife Disease Association 2011.
Language eng
Field of Research 060809 Vertebrate Biology
Socio Economic Objective 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2011, Wildlife Disease Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30040451

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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