[MARMAM] Recent Papers re Zoonoses

Michael Moore mmoore at whoi.edu
Fri Aug 22 14:37:28 PDT 2008

    The following recent Open Access papers in Diseases Aquatic
    Organisms SPECIAL 3:Marine vertebrate zoonoses


    can be downloaded at http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/dao/v81/n1/

    Prevalence and characterization of /Salmonella /spp. among marine
    animals in the Channel Islands, California

      R. A. Stoddard^1,2, *, R. L. DeLong^3 , B. A. Byrne^2 , S. Jang^2
      , Frances M. D. Gulland^1

^1 The Marine Mammal Center, 1065 Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, California 
94965, USA
^2 Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of 
Veterinary Medicine, University of California, One Shields Avenue, 
Davis, California 95616, USA
^3 National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 
National Marine Fisheries Service, Bldg. 4,
7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, Washington 96115, USA

<mailto:stoddardr at tmmc.org>

ABSTRACT: /Salmonella enterica/ is a zoonotic pathogen that has been 
isolated from free-ranging marine mammals throughout the world, with 
animals in the Channel Islands of California (USA) showing the highest 
prevalence. The goal of this study was to determine prevalence, 
antimicrobial sensitivity and genetic similarity using pulsed-field gel 
electrophoresis (PFGE) of /Salmonella/ in several non-domestic animal 
species on San Miguel and San Nicolas Islands. Fecal samples were 
collected from 90 California sea lion /Zalophus californianus/ pups, 30 
northern elephant seal /Mirounga angustirostris/ pups and 87 western 
gulls /Larus occidentalis/ in the Channel Islands and 59 adult male sea 
lions in Puget Sound, WA (USA). /Salmonella/ were isolated, identified 
and serotyped, followed by antimicrobial susceptibility testing and 
PFGE. Of the California sea lion pups that were sampled on the islands, 
21% (n = 19) were positive for /Salmonella/, whereas no adults males in 
Puget Sound were positive. Of the northern elephant seal pups sampled, 
87% (n = 26) were harboring /Salmonella/. Only 9% (n = 8) of western 
gulls were shedding /Salmonella/, with one of these gulls harboring the 
only antimicrobial resistant isolate. The serotypes found in these 
animals were Enteritidis, Montevideo, Newport, Reading, and Saint Paul. 
The only serotype that showed variation on PFGE was Newport. The 
pinnipeds of the Channel Islands harbor /Salmonella/ at a higher 
prevalence than pinnipeds from other geographic areas observed in 
previous studies. Researchers and veterinarians should exercise 
increased caution when working with these animals due to the zoonotic 
potential of /Salmonella/.

    Victims or vectors: a survey of marine vertebrate zoonoses from
    coastal waters of the Northwest Atlantic

      Andrea L. Bogomolni^1 , Rebecca J. Gast^1 , Julie C. Ellis^2 ,
      Mark Dennett^1 , Katie R. Pugliares^3 , Betty J. Lentell^4 ,
      Michael J. Moore^1, *

^1 Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, 
Massachusetts 02543, USA
^2 Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 
Westboro Road, North Grafton, Massachusetts 01536, USA
^3 Cape Cod Stranding Network, a project of IFAW, 290 Summer Street, 
Yarmouthport, Massachusetts 02675, USA
^4 National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Observer 
Program, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA

<mailto:mmoore at whoi.edu>

ABSTRACT: Surveillance of zoonotic pathogens in marine birds and mammals 
in the Northwest Atlantic revealed a diversity of zoonotic agents. We 
found amplicons to sequences from /Brucella /spp., /Leptospira /spp./, 
Giardia /spp. and /Cryptosporidium /spp. in both marine mammals and 
birds. Avian influenza was detected in a harp seal and a herring gull. 
Routine aerobic and anaerobic culture showed a broad range of bacteria 
resistant to multiple antibiotics. Of 1460 isolates, 797 were tested for 
resistance, and 468 were resistant to one or more anti-microbials. 73% 
(341/468) were resistant to 1–4 drugs and 27% (128/468) resistant to 
5–13 drugs. The high prevalence of resistance suggests that many of 
these isolates could have been acquired from medical and agricultural 
sources and inter-microbial gene transfer. Combining birds and mammals, 
45% (63/141) of stranded and 8% (2/26) of by-caught animals in this 
study exhibited histopathological and/or gross pathological findings 
associated with the presence of these pathogens. Our findings indicate 
that marine mammals and birds in the Northwest Atlantic are reservoirs 
for potentially zoonotic pathogens, which they may transmit to 
beachgoers, fishermen and wildlife health personnel. Conversely, 
zoonotic pathogens found in marine vertebrates may have been acquired 
via contamination of coastal waters by sewage, run-off and agricultural 
and medical waste. In either case these animals are not limited by 
political boundaries and are therefore important indicators of regional 
and global ocean health.

    Molecular characterization of /Giardia intestinalis/ haplotypes in
    marine animals: variation and zoonotic potential

      Erica Lasek-Nesselquist^1,2, *, Andrea L. Bogomolni^3 , Rebecca J.
      Gast^3 , David Mark Welch^2 , Julie C. Ellis^4 , Mitchell L.
      Sogin^2 , Michael J. Moore^3

^1 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, 80 
Waterman Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA
^2 Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and 
Evolution, Marine Biological Laboratory,
7 MBL Street, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
^3 Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, 
Massachusetts 02543, USA
^4 Department of Environmental and Population Health, Cummings School of 
Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, North Grafton, Massachusetts 
01536, USA

<mailto:erica_lasek-nesselquist at brown.edu>

ABSTRACT: /Giardia intestinalis/ is a microbial eukaryotic parasite that 
causes diarrheal disease in humans and other vertebrates worldwide. The 
negative effect on quality of life and economics caused by /G. 
intestinalis/ may be increased by its potential status as a zoonosis, or 
a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. The zoonotic 
potential of /G. intestinalis/ has been implied for over 2 decades, with 
human-infecting genotypes (belonging to the 2 major subgroups, 
Assemblages A and B) occurring in wildlife and domesticated animals. 
There are recent reports of /G. intestinalis/ in shellfish, seals, sea 
lions and whales, suggesting that marine animals are also potential 
reservoirs of human disease. However, the prevalence, genetic diversity 
and effect of /G. intestinalis/ in marine environments and the role that 
marine animals play in transmission of this parasite to humans are 
relatively unexplored. Here, we provide the first thorough molecular 
characterization of /G. intestinalis/ in marine vertebrates. Using a 
multi-locus sequencing approach, we identify human-infecting /G. 
intestinalis/ haplotypes of both Assemblages A and B in the fecal 
material of dolphins, porpoises, seals, herring gulls /Larus 
argentatus/, common eiders /Somateria mollissima/ and a thresher shark 
/Alopias vulpinus/. Our results indicate that /G. intestinalis/ is 
prevalent in marine ecosystems, and a wide range of marine hosts capable 
of harboring zoonotic forms of this parasite exist. The presence of /G. 
intestinalis/ in marine ecosystems raises concerns about how this 
disease might be transmitted among different host species.

    Incidence of /Brucella/ species in marine mammals of the German
    North Sea

      E. Prenger-Berninghoff^1, *, U. Siebert^2 , M. Stede^3 , A.
      König^1,4 , R. Weiß^1 , G. Baljer^1

^1 Institut für Hygiene und Infektionskrankheiten der Tiere der 
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Frankfurter Strasse 85–89, 35392 
Giessen, Germany
^2 Forschungs- und Technologiezentrum Westküste der 
Christian-Albrecht-Universität Kiel, Hafentörn 1, 25761 Büsum, Germany
^3 Staatliches Veterinäruntersuchungsamt für Fische und Fischwaren 
Cuxhaven, Lentzkai 1, 27472 Cuxhaven, Germany
^4 /Present address:/ Landesuntersuchungsamt Rheinland-Pfalz, 
Blücherstr. 34, 56073 Koblenz, Germany

<mailto:ellen.prenger-berninghoff at vetmed.uni-giessen.de>

ABSTRACT: In this study, organ samples from 426 common seals /Phoca 
vitulina/, 298 harbour porpoises /Phocoena phocoena/, 34 grey seals 
/Halichoerus grypus/ and 10 other marine mammals were assessed for the 
presence of /Brucella/ species. Forty-seven common seals, 2 harbour 
porpoises and 1 grey seal were found to be positive for these bacteria. 
A total of 91 /Brucella/ strains were successfully isolated, due to the 
fact that /Brucella/ spp. were found in more than one organ sample in 15 
animals. The primary organ in which the bacteria were present was the 
lung. In addition, 2 strains were isolated from lungworms 
(/Parafilaroides/ spp.). Forty-nine of the isolated strains were 
selected for further analysis using conventional phenotyping methods. 
Molecular characterisation was carried out by analysing the /IS711/ and 
/omp2/ loci. With respect to the distribution of the /IS711 /loci in the 
genome, the 49 field isolates differed strongly from the terrestrial 
/Brucella/ species and marginally from the marine /Brucella/ reference 
strain NCTC12890. Based on the results of the PCR restriction fragment 
length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) investigation of the /omp2/ locus, the 
majority of the /Brucella/ field isolates were classified as /B. 
pinnipediae/, recently proposed /B. pinnipedialis/, possessing 1 /omp2a/ 
gene and 1 /omp2b /gene. Two field isolates revealed the presence of 2 
/omp2a/ genes, as has been described for /Brucella ovis/. To our 
knowledge, these results confirm for the first time the presence of 
/Brucella/ species in the marine mammal population of the German North 
Sea. These findings highlight the need for additional research on the 
relevance of these /Brucella/ species for marine hosts and their 

    Herpes simplex-like infection in a bottlenose dolphin stranded in
    the Canary Islands

      F. Esperón^1, *, A. Fernández^2 , J. M. Sánchez-Vizcaíno^3

^1 Animal Health Research Centre (CISA-INIA), Ctra Algete a El Casar 
s/n, Madrid, Spain
^2 Institute for Animal Health, Veterinary School, University of Las 
Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Canary Islands
^3 Department of Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UCM 
Madrid, Avda Puerta de Hierro s/n, Madrid

<mailto:fernando at sanidadanimal.info>

ABSTRACT: A bottlenose dolphin, stranded in the Canary Islands in 2001 
exhibited non-suppurative encephalitis. No molecular detection of 
cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) was found, but a herpesviral-specific band 
of 250 bp was detected in the lung and brain. The sequenced herpesviral 
PCR product was compared with GenBank sequences, obtaining 98% homology 
(p-distance of 0.02) with /Human herpesvirus 1/ (herpes simplex virus 1 
or HSV-1). This is the first report of a herpes simplex-like infection 
in a stranded dolphin.

    Viral and bacterial serology of six free-ranging bearded seals
    /Erignathus barbatus/

      Paul P. Calle^1, *, Dana J. Seagars^2,6 , Catherine McClave^3 ,
      Dennis Senne^4 , Carol House^5 , James A. House^5

^1 Global Health Programs, Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern 
Blvd., Bronx, New York 10460-1099, USA
^2 US Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management, 1011 E. 
Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99503, USA
^3 New York Aquarium, Wildlife Conservation Society, Surf Avenue & West 
8th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11224, USA
^4 National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA
^5 Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, USDA, APHIS-VS-NVSL, 
Plum Island, New York 11944, USA
^6 /Present address:/ US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services, 
605 W. Fourth Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, USA

<mailto:pcalle at wcs.org>

ABSTRACT: Serum or heparinized plasma samples were obtained from 3 male 
(2 adult and 1 weaned calf) and 3 adult female free-ranging bearded 
seals /Erignathus barbatus/ in May of 1994, 1995, or 1996. Blood samples 
were obtained from animals taken in subsistence hunts near St. Lawrence 
Island, Alaska and screened for antibodies to a suite of bacteria and 
viruses potentially pathogenic for pinnipeds and/or humans. No samples 
had detectable antibodies to /Brucella /spp., Phocine distemper virus, 
influenza A virus or caliciviruses (San Miguel sea lion virus strains 1, 
2, and 4 to 13, vesicular exanthema of swine serotypes A48, B51, C52, 
D53, E54, F55, G55, H54, I55, J56, K54, 1934B, and Tillamook and Walrus 
calicivirus). One seal had a low titer of 100 to /Leptospira 
interrogans/ serovar /grippotyphosa/.

    Health risks for marine mammal workers

      Tania D. Hunt^1 , Michael H. Ziccardi^1 , Frances M. D. Gulland^2
      , Pamela K. Yochem^3 , David W. Hird^1,4 , Teresa Rowles^5 , Jonna
      A. K. Mazet^1,4, *

^1 Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, and ^4 
Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, University of California, One 
Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616, USA
^2 The Marine Mammal Center, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 
Sausalito, California 94965, USA
^3 Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, 
California 92109, USA
^5 National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources 
(F/PR2), East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA

<mailto:jkmazet at ucdavis.edu>

ABSTRACT: Marine mammals can be infected with zoonotic pathogens and 
show clinical signs of disease, or be asymptomatic carriers of such 
disease agents. While isolated cases of human disease from contact with 
marine mammals have been reported, no evaluation of the risks associated 
with marine mammal work has been attempted. Therefore, we designed a 
survey to estimate the risk of work-related injuries and illnesses in 
marine mammal workers and volunteers. The 17-question survey asked 
respondents to describe their contact with marine mammals, injuries 
sustained, and/or illnesses acquired during their period of marine 
mammal exposure. Most respondents, 88% (423/483), were researchers and 
rehabilitators. Of all respondents, 50% (243/483) reported suffering an 
injury caused by a marine mammal, and 23% (110/483) reported having a 
skin rash or reaction. Marine mammal work-related illnesses commonly 
reported included: ‘seal finger’ (/Mycoplasma/ spp. or /Erysipelothrix 
rhusiopathiae/), conjunctivitis, viral dermatitis, bacterial dermatitis, 
and non-specific contact dermatitis. Although specific diagnoses could 
not be confirmed by a physician through this study, severe illnesses 
were reported and included tuberculosis, leptospirosis, brucellosis, and 
serious sequelae to seal finger. Risk factors associated with increased 
odds of injury and illness included prolonged and frequent exposure to 
marine mammals; direct contact with live marine mammals; and contact 
with tissue, blood, and excretions. Diagnosis of zoonotic disease was 
often aided by veterinarians; therefore, workers at risk should be 
encouraged to consult with a marine mammal veterinarian as well as a 
physician, especially if obtaining a definitive diagnosis for an illness 
becomes problematic.

More information about the MARMAM mailing list