A survey for Brucella spp. antibodies was undertaken on 164 serum samples from 144 Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandi) from the northwestern Hawaiian Islands collected between 1995 and 2002. The buffered antigen plate agglutination test (BPAT), the indirect enzyme immunoassay (I-ELISA), the competitive enzyme immunoassay (C-ELISA), and the fluorescence polarization assay (FPA) were compared with regard to their ability in detecting antibodies to Brucella spp. in the serum samples. Overall, antibodies were detected in 28 (17.1%) animals, using the BPAT test, 25 (15.2%) by the C-ELISA, and 19 (11.6%) in the I-ELISA and the FPA test, using thresholds established for cattle. No evidence of gross pathology consistent with clinical brucellosis was noted in any of the seropositive animals tested. Although further work would be necessary to validate these tests for use with monk seals it appears that both the C-ELISA and the FPA tests would be appropriate as diagnostic screening tests for detection of antibodies to Brucella spp. in this species.
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Vol. 41 • No. 1