One hundred and twenty-five serum samples from California sea lion (Zalophus californianus californianus) pups, and one from an adult female from eight reproductive rookeries located in seven islands in the Gulf of California (Mexico), were collected during the 1994–96 reproductive seasons. These were tested for antibodies to 19 serovars of Leptospira interrogans using a Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT). Forty-one samples (32%) had antibody levels from 1:20 to 1:320 to one or more serovars. The most frequently detected serotypes were Leptospira interrogans hardjo (n = 13), cynopteri (8), ballum (6), and szwajizak (5). Serovars with the highest prevalence were Leptospira interrogans hardjo and serjoe (1:320), ballum (1:160), and cynopteri, girppotyphosa, and tarassovi (1:80). Based on these results, exposure of sea lions to L. interrogans serovar hardjo seems to be relatively common among colonies located in the islands of the Gulf of California in contrast with those located on the Pacific coast, where the most frequently detected serovar is L. interrogans serovar pomona.
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Vol. 35 • No. 1