Following the isolation of previously unrecognised species of Brucella from stranded seals and cetaceans in Scotland and northern England, a serological survey was carried out to investigate the range of marine mammal species which may have been exposed to Brucella species around the coasts of England and Wales, the prevalence of infection and the temporal and geographical distribution of seropositive animals. Serum collected from 153 stranded marine mammals from the coasts of England and Wales between 1989 and 1995 were tested by competitive and indirect ELISA. Positive titres were recorded for six of 62 (10 per cent) grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), one of 12 (8 per cent) common seals (Phoca vitulina), 11 of 35 (31 per cent) harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and nine of 29 (31 per cent) common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) tested. Positive titres were also found in a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), a killer whale (Orcinus orca) and a pilot whale (Globicephala melas). The seropositive animals were from all around the coasts of England and Wales and the first seropositive sample was from a common dolphin in 1990.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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