Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increase in Leptospirosis Disease in Sea Lions

Date:
October 27, 2008
Source:
The Marine Mammal Center
Summary:
The Marine Mammal Center has seen an increase in leptospirosis cases in sea lions this year. Researchers there are launching a new study to determine causes of cyclical outbreaks and how the disease is spread among sea lions.

The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, Calif., inches a special net close to capture wild California sea lions. Before releasing the animals back to the ocean, veterinarians will collect blood samples and other data as part of a study to learn more about leptospirosis.
Credit: The Marine Mammal Center, NOAA Permit No. 932-1489-10

The Marine Mammal Center is seeing a large number of leptospirosis cases in California sea lions this year and is leading a study to determine when and why the sea lions contract this disease. Every four to five years, the Center sees a surge in the number of sea lions admitted as a result of this bacterial infection that affects the kidneys and can be lethal for patients.

Related Articles


The current research will focus on the factors contributing to these cycles of disease so that scientists will have an understanding of how the disease spreads and what the risks are to sea lions and other animals. Recently, the Center began taking blood samples, tagging, and releasing wild juvenile California sea lions in the Bay Area as part of the new research study.

"The blood samples our team will collect from wild California sea lions will help them determine kidney function and exposure rates among these animals," said Dr. Jeffrey Boehm, Executive Director at The Marine Mammal Center. "The data will also help us understand more about the susceptibility of sea lions in the population during an epidemic and clarify the relationship between the stranded sea lions with leptospirosis we see here at the Center and those that are susceptible in the population."

Leptospirosis epidemics were first documented in California sea lions in the early 1970s and are caused by spiral shaped bacteria called leptospires. Many different animal species, including humans, carry the bacterium which can leech into water or soil and survive there for weeks to months. Humans and animals can become infected through contact with contaminated urine, water, or soil. If not treated, the patient can develop kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, and respiratory distress. The Marine Mammal Center advises beach goers and their dogs to stay away from marine mammals they may encounter on beaches and to call the Center's 24-hour response line at (415) 289-SEAL should they come across any marine mammal in distress.

Collaborators in this new study include the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, University of California Los Angeles, University of California at Davis, Penn State University and the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Marine Mammal Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Marine Mammal Center. "Increase in Leptospirosis Disease in Sea Lions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081022135842.htm>.
The Marine Mammal Center. (2008, October 27). Increase in Leptospirosis Disease in Sea Lions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081022135842.htm
The Marine Mammal Center. "Increase in Leptospirosis Disease in Sea Lions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081022135842.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins