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1 October 2017 Isolation of Brucella pinnipedialis from Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the Baltic Sea
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Brucella infection in seals was reported for the first time in 1994 around the coast of Scotland. Since then, marine mammal Brucella infections were found to be widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. Two Brucella species affect marine mammals: Brucella pinnipedialis in pinnipeds and Brucella ceti in cetaceans. We examined the livers of Baltic grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) from the Finnish coast (n=122) hunted, found dead, or killed as by-catch in fishing gear in 2013–15 as part of population health monitoring. We detected B. pinnipedialis in the livers of three grey seals. The bacterium was isolated from livers displaying parasitic cholangitis. We also detected Brucella DNA in liver flukes (Pseudamphistomum truncatum) obtained from a Brucella-infected grey seal, suggesting that flukes might be possible vectors of this pathogen in the marine environment.

© Wildlife Disease Association 2017
Varpu Hirvelä-Koski, Minna Nylund, Teresa Skrzypczak, Petra Heikkinen, Kaarina Kauhala, Maryne Jay, and Marja Isomursu "Isolation of Brucella pinnipedialis from Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) in the Baltic Sea," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 53(4), 850-853, (1 October 2017).
Received: 23 June 2016; Accepted: 1 March 2017; Published: 1 October 2017

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