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Serological screening for Brucella spp. and Leptospira spp. antibodies in southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina from Elephant Island, Antarctica, in 2003 and 2004

Sanchez-Sarmiento, AM, Ruoppolo, V, Muelbert, MMC, Neto, JSF and Catao-Dias, JL 2020 , 'Serological screening for Brucella spp. and Leptospira spp. antibodies in southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina from Elephant Island, Antarctica, in 2003 and 2004' , Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, vol. 142 , pp. 161-170 , doi: 10.3354/DAO03548.

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Abstract

Brucella spp. and Leptospira spp. antibodies were surveyed in 35 southern elephant seals (SESs) Mirounga leonina at Elephant Island (South Shetland Islands), western Antarctic peninsula, in the Austral summer of 2003 and 2004. The rose Bengal test and a commercial competitive ELISA (c-ELISA) were used to detect Brucella spp. exposure, and the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) with 22 live serovars was used to determine anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies. We found evidence of Brucella spp. exposure in 3 of 35 (8.6%) SESs tested via the c-ELISA displaying high percentage inhibition (PI), similar to other studies in pinnipeds in which Brucella spp. antibodies have been determined. Two of the 3 positives were pups (PI = 70.4 and 86.6%), while the third was an adult female (PI = 48.8%). The 3 c-ELISA positive SESs were additionally tested via the serum agglutination test but were found to be negative. All individuals were negative for antibodies against 22 Leptospira spp. serovars by MAT. These results contribute to the knowledge and monitoring of zoonotic pathogens with epizootic potential in Southern Ocean pinnipeds. Given the potential impact that pathogens may have on the abundance of wild (sometimes threatened and endangered) populations, constant monitoring and surveillance are required to prevent pathogen spread, particularly under forecast climate change scenarios.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sanchez-Sarmiento, AM and Ruoppolo, V and Muelbert, MMC and Neto, JSF and Catao-Dias, JL
Keywords: competitive ELISA, brucellosis, leptospirosis, southern elephant seals, Phocidae, serology
Journal or Publication Title: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Publisher: Inter-Research
ISSN: 0177-5103
DOI / ID Number: 10.3354/DAO03548
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Inter-Research

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