Serological Profile of Bacterial Pathogens in Wild and Captive Marine Mammals
N.A. Vedros; L. Stier; J.P. Zhang; K. MacKnight; J.P. Schroeder; J.L. Dunn
There is an increasing body of knowledge on the microbial flora of captive and wild marine mammals. The expense and practicality, however, of isolation and identification of pathogens indicate that sero-surveys may be a viable alternative.
In the present study, Salmonella sp. (C2), Past. multocida, Ery. rhusiopathiae, and Vibrio alginolyticus (all marine mammal isolates) were used as antigens in the ELISA to measure antibodies in 343 captive and wild pinnipeds and cetaceans. The IgG levels in newborn, stranded, and wild pinnipeds were significantly lower to all pathogens compared with captive animals; lower in wild cetaceans versus captive; and absent in a newborn killer whale. The usefulness of ELISA in disease diagnosis will be discussed.