Emerging zoonoses in marine mammals and seabirds of the Northeast U.S.
Bogomolni, Andrea L.
Ellis, Julie C.
Gast, Rebecca J.
Touhey, Kathleen M.
Moore, Michael J.
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In the Northeast United States, marine vertebrates come into contact with each other and with humans through a variety of mechanisms which allow for the transfer of pathogens from one taxa to another. Though there are many ways in which humans come into contact with infectious agents, there is an inadequate understanding of the prevalence of clinical and sub-clinical zoonotic agents in the marine vertebrates of the Northeast United States. We are strengthening our understanding of the issue by targeting marine mammals and seabirds of New England and screening normal and diseased individuals of this ecosystem to establish a baseline prevalence of zoonotic agents in this ecosystem. Samples from stranded, bycaught and wild marine mammals and seabirds have been found to be positive for our screened pathogens. Most notable are the diseases found in bycaught marine mammals as well as wild caught individuals. Our current focus is specifically on influenza A and B, brucellosis, leptospirosis, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Samples for virology, bacterial screening and molecular screening are being archived and analyzed as practical. Our goal is to create an optimized PCR-based molecular detection protocol for the above agents.
Author Posting. © IEEE, 2006. Author Posting. © IEEE, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of IEEE for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Proceedings Oceans 2006, Boston, MA, USA, 5 pp, doi:10.1109/OCEANS.2006.306826.