Article Text

Isolation of Brucella species from cetaceans, seals and an otter
  1. G. Foster, FIMLS1,
  2. K. L. Jahans, MSc, CIBiol, MIBiol2,
  3. R. J. Reid1 and
  4. H. M. Ross, BVM&S, MRCVS1
  1. 1 SAC Veterinary Services, Drummondhill, Stratherrick Road, Inverness IV2 4JZ
  2. 2 FAO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Brucellosis, OIE Brucella Reference Laboratory, Central Veterinary Laboratory, Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB


Brucella organisms which differed from the recognised species of the genus, were isolated from nine seals, eight cetaceans and one otter. A method is described for the isolation of Brucella species from sea mammals and the first isolations of Brucella species are recorded from an Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus), two striped dolphins (Stenella coeuleoalba), a hooded seal (Cystophora cristata), a grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) and a European otter (Lutra lutra). There were differences in the culture media required for the primary isolation of the organisms and in their dependency on carbon dioxide. Subcutaneous lesions, when present, always yielded a confluent growth. The organisms were isolated from seven of 14 spleen samples and also from the mammary glands, uterus, testes and blood and the mandibular, gastric, iliac, sub-lumbar and colorectal lymph nodes.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.