Translator Disclaimer
1 April 2017 ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF MARINE BRUCELLA FROM A SOUTHERN SEA OTTER (ENHYDRA LUTRIS NEREIS), CALIFORNIA, USA
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

We characterize Brucella infection in a wild southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) with osteolytic lesions similar to those reported in other marine mammals and humans. This otter stranded twice along the central California coast, US over a 1-yr period and was handled extensively at two wildlife rehabilitation facilities, undergoing multiple surgeries and months of postsurgical care. Ultimately the otter was euthanized due to severe, progressive neurologic disease. Necropsy and postmortem radiographs revealed chronic, severe osteoarthritis spanning the proximal interphalangeal joint of the left hind fifth digit. Numerous coccobacilli within the joint were strongly positive on Brucella immunohistochemical labelling, and Brucella sp. was isolated in pure culture from this lesion. Sparse Brucella-immunopositive bacteria were also observed in the cytoplasm of a pulmonary vascular monocyte, and multifocal granulomas were observed in the spinal cord and liver on histopathology. Findings from biochemical characterization, 16S ribosomal DNA, and bp26 gene sequencing of the bacterial isolate were identical to those from marine-origin brucellae isolated from cetaceans and phocids. Prior reports document the zoonotic potential of the marine brucellae. Isolation of Brucella sp. from a stranded sea otter highlights the importance of wearing personal protective equipment when handling sea otters and other marine mammals as part of wildlife conservation and rehabilitation efforts.

© Wildlife Disease Association 2017
Melissa A. Miller, Tristan L. Burgess, Erin M. Dodd, Jack C. Rhyan, Spencer S. Jang, Barbara A. Byrne, Frances M. D. Gulland, Michael J. Murray, Sharon Toy-Choutka, Patricia A. Conrad, Cara L. Field, Inga F. Sidor, and Woutrina A. Smith "ISOLATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF MARINE BRUCELLA FROM A SOUTHERN SEA OTTER (ENHYDRA LUTRIS NEREIS), CALIFORNIA, USA," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 53(2), 215-224, (1 April 2017). https://doi.org/10.7589/2015-12-326
Received: 30 November 2015; Accepted: 1 October 2016; Published: 1 April 2017
JOURNAL ARTICLE
10 PAGES


SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top