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Exposure of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to Brucella in declining populations across Scotland

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Exposure of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to Brucella in declining populations across Scotland. / Kershaw, Joanna Louise; Stubberfield, Emma J.; Foster, Geoffrey; Brownlow, Andrew; Hall, Ailsa Jane; Perrett, Lorraine L.

In: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, Vol. 126, No. 1, 20.09.2017, p. 12-23.

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Kershaw, JL, Stubberfield, EJ, Foster, G, Brownlow, A, Hall, AJ & Perrett, LL 2017, 'Exposure of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to Brucella in declining populations across Scotland' Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, vol. 126, no. 1, pp. 12-23. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03163

APA

Kershaw, J. L., Stubberfield, E. J., Foster, G., Brownlow, A., Hall, A. J., & Perrett, L. L. (2017). Exposure of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to Brucella in declining populations across Scotland. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 126(1), 12-23. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03163

Vancouver

Kershaw JL, Stubberfield EJ, Foster G, Brownlow A, Hall AJ, Perrett LL. Exposure of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to Brucella in declining populations across Scotland. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 2017 Sep 20;126(1):12-23. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03163

Author

Kershaw, Joanna Louise ; Stubberfield, Emma J. ; Foster, Geoffrey ; Brownlow, Andrew ; Hall, Ailsa Jane ; Perrett, Lorraine L. / Exposure of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to Brucella in declining populations across Scotland. In: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 2017 ; Vol. 126, No. 1. pp. 12-23.

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@article{f6b9b6eded9e4fd1a15e0b9c63377f00,
title = "Exposure of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to Brucella in declining populations across Scotland",
abstract = "Since 2000 there have been major declines in the abundance of Scottish harbour seals (Phoca vitulina). The causes of the declines remain uncertain. The aim of this study was to establish the extent to which the seals in the regions of greatest decline have been exposed to Brucella, a bacterial pathogen that causes reproductive failure in terrestrial mammalian hosts. Tissues from dead seals collected between 1992 and 2013 were cultured for Brucella (n=150). Serum samples collected from live capture-released seals (n=343) between 1997 and 2012 were tested for Brucella antibodies using the Rose Bengal plate agglutination test (RBT) and a competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). 16{\%} of seals cultured had Brucella isolated from one or more tissues but there were no pathological signs of infection. The cELISA results were more sensitive than the RBT results showing that overall, 25.4{\%} of seals were seropositive with the highest seroprevalence in juveniles. As there was no evidence of either a higher seroprevalence, or higher circulating antibody levels in seropositive animals in the areas with the greatest declines, it was concluded that Brucella infection is likely not a major contributing factor to recent declines. However, the consistently high proportion of seals exposed to Brucella indicates possible endemicity in these populations, likely due to B. pinnipedialis, which has demonstrated a preference for pinniped hosts. Importantly, given the close proximity between seals, humans and livestock in many areas, there is the potential for cross-species infections.",
keywords = "Pinnipeds, Brucella, Disease, Cultures, Seroprevalence, Antibodies, ELISA, Rose Bengal plate agglutination test",
author = "Kershaw, {Joanna Louise} and Stubberfield, {Emma J.} and Geoffrey Foster and Andrew Brownlow and Hall, {Ailsa Jane} and Perrett, {Lorraine L.}",
note = "The authors acknowledge the NERC National Capability Funding grant number SMRU 10001 for the funding",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "20",
doi = "10.3354/dao03163",
language = "English",
volume = "126",
pages = "12--23",
journal = "Diseases of Aquatic Organisms",
issn = "0177-5103",
publisher = "Inter-Research",
number = "1",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exposure of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to Brucella in declining populations across Scotland

AU - Kershaw, Joanna Louise

AU - Stubberfield, Emma J.

AU - Foster, Geoffrey

AU - Brownlow, Andrew

AU - Hall, Ailsa Jane

AU - Perrett, Lorraine L.

N1 - The authors acknowledge the NERC National Capability Funding grant number SMRU 10001 for the funding

PY - 2017/9/20

Y1 - 2017/9/20

N2 - Since 2000 there have been major declines in the abundance of Scottish harbour seals (Phoca vitulina). The causes of the declines remain uncertain. The aim of this study was to establish the extent to which the seals in the regions of greatest decline have been exposed to Brucella, a bacterial pathogen that causes reproductive failure in terrestrial mammalian hosts. Tissues from dead seals collected between 1992 and 2013 were cultured for Brucella (n=150). Serum samples collected from live capture-released seals (n=343) between 1997 and 2012 were tested for Brucella antibodies using the Rose Bengal plate agglutination test (RBT) and a competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). 16% of seals cultured had Brucella isolated from one or more tissues but there were no pathological signs of infection. The cELISA results were more sensitive than the RBT results showing that overall, 25.4% of seals were seropositive with the highest seroprevalence in juveniles. As there was no evidence of either a higher seroprevalence, or higher circulating antibody levels in seropositive animals in the areas with the greatest declines, it was concluded that Brucella infection is likely not a major contributing factor to recent declines. However, the consistently high proportion of seals exposed to Brucella indicates possible endemicity in these populations, likely due to B. pinnipedialis, which has demonstrated a preference for pinniped hosts. Importantly, given the close proximity between seals, humans and livestock in many areas, there is the potential for cross-species infections.

AB - Since 2000 there have been major declines in the abundance of Scottish harbour seals (Phoca vitulina). The causes of the declines remain uncertain. The aim of this study was to establish the extent to which the seals in the regions of greatest decline have been exposed to Brucella, a bacterial pathogen that causes reproductive failure in terrestrial mammalian hosts. Tissues from dead seals collected between 1992 and 2013 were cultured for Brucella (n=150). Serum samples collected from live capture-released seals (n=343) between 1997 and 2012 were tested for Brucella antibodies using the Rose Bengal plate agglutination test (RBT) and a competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). 16% of seals cultured had Brucella isolated from one or more tissues but there were no pathological signs of infection. The cELISA results were more sensitive than the RBT results showing that overall, 25.4% of seals were seropositive with the highest seroprevalence in juveniles. As there was no evidence of either a higher seroprevalence, or higher circulating antibody levels in seropositive animals in the areas with the greatest declines, it was concluded that Brucella infection is likely not a major contributing factor to recent declines. However, the consistently high proportion of seals exposed to Brucella indicates possible endemicity in these populations, likely due to B. pinnipedialis, which has demonstrated a preference for pinniped hosts. Importantly, given the close proximity between seals, humans and livestock in many areas, there is the potential for cross-species infections.

KW - Pinnipeds

KW - Brucella

KW - Disease

KW - Cultures

KW - Seroprevalence

KW - Antibodies

KW - ELISA

KW - Rose Bengal plate agglutination test

U2 - 10.3354/dao03163

DO - 10.3354/dao03163

M3 - Article

VL - 126

SP - 12

EP - 23

JO - Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

T2 - Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

JF - Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

SN - 0177-5103

IS - 1

ER -

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ID: 250727568