Publications

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enteric bacterial pathogen detection in southern sea otters (enhydra lutris nereis) is associated with coastal urbanization and freshwater runoff.although protected for nearly a century, california's sea otters have been slow to recover, in part due to exposure to fecally-associated protozoal pathogens like toxoplasma gondii and sarcocystis neurona. however, potential impacts from exposure to fecal bacteria have not been systematically explored. using selective media, we examined feces from live and dead sea otters from california for specific enteric bacterial pathogens (campylobacter, salmonella, clostridium perfringens, c. difficile an ...201019720009
molecular characterization of sarcocystis neurona strains from opossums (didelphis virginiana) and intermediate hosts from central california.sarcocystis neurona is a significant cause of neurological disease in horses and other animals, including the threatened southern sea otter (enhydra lutris nereis). opossums (didelphis virginiana), the only known definitive hosts for s. neurona in north america, are an introduced species in california. s. neurona dna isolated from sporocysts and/or infected tissues of 10 opossums, 6 horses, 1 cat, 23 southern sea otters, and 1 harbor porpoise (phocoena phocoena) with natural infections was analy ...201020226596
evaluation of cardiac lesions and risk factors associated with myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy in southern sea otters (enhydra lutris nereis).to describe cardiac lesions and identify risk factors associated with myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy (dcm) in beach-cast southern sea otters.200515757130
ultrastructural and molecular confirmation of the development of sarcocystis neurona tissue cysts in the central nervous system of southern sea otters (enhydra lutris nereis).in 2004, three wild sea otters were diagnosed with putative sarcocystis neurona-associated meningoencephalitis by histopathology and immunohistochemistry. schizonts, free merozoites and tissue cysts were observed in the brains of all three infected animals. tissue cysts walls from sea otter 1 (so1) stained positively using anti-s. neurona polyclonal antiserum. however, positive staining does not preclude infection by closely related or cross-reactive tissue cyst-forming coccidian parasites. two ...200919527725
temporal association between land-based runoff events and california sea otter (enhydra lutris nereis) protozoal mortalities.toxoplasma gondii and sarcocystis neurona have caused significant morbidity and mortality in threatened southern sea otters (enhydra lutris nereis) along the central california coast. because only terrestrial animals are known to serve as definitive hosts for t. gondii and s. neurona, infections in otters suggest a land to sea flow of these protozoan pathogens. to better characterize the role of overland runoff in delivery of terrestrially derived fecal pathogens to the near shore, we assessed t ...201222493114
dual congenital transmission of toxoplasma gondii and sarcocystis neurona in a late-term aborted pup from a chronically infected southern sea otter (enhydra lutris nereis).toxoplasma gondii and sarcocystis neurona are protozoan parasites with terrestrial definitive hosts, and both pathogens can cause fatal disease in a wide range of marine animals. close monitoring of threatened southern sea otters (enhydra lutris nereis) in california allowed for the diagnosis of dual transplacental transmission of t. gondii and s. neurona in a wild female otter that was chronically infected with both parasites. congenital infection resulted in late-term abortion due to dissemina ...201626494610
california mussels (mytilus californianus) as sentinels for marine contamination with sarcocystis neurona.sarcocystis neurona is a terrestrial parasite that can cause fatal encephalitis in the endangered southern sea otter (enhydra lutris nereis). to date, neither risk factors associated with marine contamination nor the route of s. neurona infection to marine mammals has been described. this study evaluated coastal s. neurona contamination using california mussels (mytilus californianus) as sentinels for pathogen pollution. a field investigation was designed to test the hypotheses that (1) mussels ...201627003262
a protozoal-associated epizootic impacting marine wildlife: mass-mortality of southern sea otters (enhydra lutris nereis) due to sarcocystis neurona infection.during april 2004, 40 sick and dead southern sea otters (enhydra lutris nereis) were recovered over 18km of coastline near morro bay, california. this event represented the single largest monthly spike in mortality ever recorded during 30 years of southern sea otter stranding data collection. because of the point-source nature of the event and clinical signs consistent with severe, acute neurological disease, exposure to a chemical or marine toxin was initially considered. however, detailed post ...201020615616
limited genetic diversity among sarcocystis neurona strains infecting southern sea otters precludes distinction between marine and terrestrial isolates.sarcocystis neurona is an apicomplexan parasite identified as a cause of fatal neurological disease in the threatened southern sea otter (enhydra lutris nereis). in an effort to characterize virulent s. neurona strains circulating in the marine ecosystem, this study developed a range of markers relevant for molecular genotyping. highly conserved sequences within the 18s ribosomal gene array, the plastid-encoded rna polymerase (rpob) and the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 mitochondrial gene (co1) ...201020071081
transplacental toxoplasmosis in a wild southern sea otter (enhydra lutris nereis).in september 2004, a neonatal sea otter pup was found alive on the beach in northern monterey bay, ca. efforts to locate the mother were unsuccessful. due to a poor prognosis for successful rehabilitation, the pup was euthanized. postmortem examination revealed emaciation, systemic lymphadenopathy and a malformation of the left cerebral temporal lobe. on histopathology, free tachyzoites and tissue cysts compatible with toxoplasma gondii were observed in the brain, heart, thymus, liver, lymph nod ...200818304737
prey choice and habitat use drive sea otter pathogen exposure in a resource-limited coastal system.the processes promoting disease in wild animal populations are highly complex, yet identifying these processes is critically important for conservation when disease is limiting a population. by combining field studies with epidemiologic tools, we evaluated the relationship between key factors impeding southern sea otter (enhydra lutris nereis) population growth: disease and resource limitation. this threatened population has struggled to recover despite protection, so we followed radio-tagged se ...200919164513
biological characterisation of sarcocystis neurona isolated from a southern sea otter (enhydra lutris nereis).sarcocystis neurona was isolated from the brain of a juvenile, male southern sea otter (enhydra lutris nereis) suffering from cns disease. schizonts and merozoites in tissue sections of the otter's brain reacted with anti-s. neurona antiserum immunohistochemically. development in cell culture was by endopolyogeny and mature schizonts were first observed at 3 days postinoculation. pcr of merozoite dna using primer pairs jnb33/jnb54 and restriction enzyme digestion of the 1100 bp product with dra ...200010779575
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