Infectious disease monitoring of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal

  • Aguirre A
  • eefe T
  • eif J
 et al. 
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Abstract

As part of conservation efforts between 1997 and 2001, more than 25\% 332 animals) of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus chauinslandi) population was sampled in the northwestern Hawaiian slands. Serum samples were tested for antibodies to viruses, bacteria, nd parasites known to cause morbidity and mortality in other marine ammal species. Antibodies were found to phocine herpesvirus-1 by using n enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, but seropositive results were not onfirmed by virus neutralization test. Antibodies to Leptospira ratislava, L. hardjo, L. icterohaemorrhagiae, and L. pomona were etected in seals from several sites with the microagglutination test. ntibodies to Brucella spp. were detected using 10 conventional erologic tests, but because of inconsistencies in test results and aboratories used, and the lack of validation by culture, the Brucella erology should be interpreted with caution. Antibodies to B. canis ere not detected by card test. Chlamydophila abortus antibodies were etected by complement fixation (CF) test, and prevalence increased ignificantly as a function of age; the low sensitivity and specificity ssociated with the CF make interpretation of results difficult. ntibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and Dirofilaria immitis were rarely ound. There was no serologic evidence of exposure to four orbilliviruses, influenza A virus, canine adenovirus, caliciviruses, r other selected viruses. Continuous surveillance provides a means to etect the introduction or emergence of these or other infectious iseases, but it is dependent on the development or improvement of iagnostic tools. Continued and improved surveillance are both needed s part of future conservation efforts of Hawaiian monk seals.

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Authors

  • A Aguirre

  • Thomas eefe

  • John eif

  • Lizabeth ashinsky

  • Pamela ochem

  • Jeremiah aliki

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