[MARMAM] New paper on HAB toxins and effects in Scottish harbour seals

Silje Kristin Jensen siljekristinjensen at gmail.com
Thu Feb 12 16:43:03 PST 2015


Dear all

I am (very!!) proud to present a new paper on the interesting topic of toxins from harmful algae and their effects:

Authors:
Silje-Kristin Jensen, Lacaze JP, Hermann G, Kershaw J, Brownlow A, Turner A, Hall A.

Paper title:  
Detection and effects of harmful algal toxins in Scottish harbour seals and potential links to population decline

Highlights:
•We document exposure of Scottish harbour seals to both DA and PSP toxins.
•We show evidence of immunomodulatory effects as a result of toxin exposure.
•Exposure occurs through contaminated prey at potentially lethal levels.
•Toxin exposure could be driving the harbour seal decline in specific regions.

Abstract:
Over the past 15 years or so, several Scottish harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) populations have declined in abundance and several factors have been considered as possible causes, including toxins from harmful algae. Here we explore whether a link could be established between two groups of toxins, domoic acid (DA) and saxitoxins (STXs), and the decline in the harbour seal populations in Scotland. We document the first evidence that harbour seals are exposed to both DA and STXs from consuming contaminated fish. Both groups of toxins were found in urine and faeces sampled from live captured (n = 162) and stranded animals (n = 23) and in faecal samples collected from seal haul-out sites (n = 214) between 2008 and 2013. The proportion of positive samples and the toxins levels measured in the excreta were significantly higher in areas where harbour seal abundance is in decline. There is also evidence that DA has immunomodulatory effects in harbour seals, including lymphocytopenia and monocytosis. Scottish harbour seals are exposed to DA and STXs through contaminated prey at potentially lethal levels and with this evidence we suggest that exposure to these toxins are likely to be important factors driving the harbour seal decline in some regions of Scotland.


The full version with full bibliographic details is available online at:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2015.02.002

Please note access to the full text of this article will depend on your personal or institutional entitlements. You can contact me for a pdf copy or any questions (siljekristinjensen at gmail.com)

Citation: Detection and effects of harmful algal toxins in Scottish harbour seals and potential links to population decline.
Jensen SK, Lacaze JP, Hermann G, Kershaw J, Brownlow A, Turner A, Hall A.
Toxicon. 2015 doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2015.02.002.

All the best
Silje-Kristin Jensen

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