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Infection with Brucella ceti and high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stranded in south-west England
  1. N. J. Davison1,
  2. L. L. Perrett, BSc2,
  3. R. J. Law, BSc, CChem, FRSC3,
  4. C. E. Dawson2,
  5. E. J. Stubberfield, BSc2,
  6. R. J. Monies, BVMS, MRCVS1,
  7. R. Deaville, BSc4 and
  8. P. D. Jepson, BVMS, PhD, DipECZM, MRCVS4
  1. Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) – Polwhele, Truro, Cornwall TR4 9AD
  2. FAO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Brucellosis and OIE Brucellosis Reference Centre, AHVLA – Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  3. Cefas Lowestoft Laboratory, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0HT
  4. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY
  1. E-mail for correspondence nick.davison{at}
  • Mr Monies's present address is AHVLA – Bristol, Langford House, Langford, North Somerset BS40 5DX

Eight bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that stranded in Cornwall, south-west England, between June 2004 and December 2007 were examined using standardised postmortem examination and bacteriological methods. Evidence of Brucella species infection was found in four of these dolphins on culture. In addition, of the eight dolphins, four were positive and two were weakly positive for antibodies to Brucella species on serological analyses of pericardial and other fluids using a competitive ELISA and two indirect ELISAs. High or very high levels of the sum of 25 individual chlorobiphenyl congeners (∑25CBs) were also determined in blubber samples from two of the dolphins (45.5 and 446.6 mg/kg lipid weight).

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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