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Fecal shedding of Helicobacter spp. by co-housed Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) and Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus)
journal contributionposted on 2004-08-06, 00:00 authored by Andrew OxleyAndrew Oxley, D B McKay
With the emergence of Helicobacter species as agents of gastrointestinal disease within a broad range of animal hosts, there is growing awareness of the need to identify such species and the potential role(s) they play within the intestine. Of interest in this study are captive seals and sea lions, where close proximity to one another may enhance the transmission of pathogens, in particular Helicobacter. The feces of several captive Australian sea lions and Australian fur seals were assessed for the occurrence of Helicobacter over 31 days. The presence of Helicobacter, detected by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) varied over time and at times could not be detected. Helicobacter species were detected in five of the six animals examined of which two species were identified. This is the first report of Helicobacter species in captive seals and demonstrates the diversity and potential role(s) they may play in the gut of these animals.