Clinicopathologic features of suspected brevetoxicosis in double-crested cormorants (phalacrocorax auritus) along the Florida Gulf Coast

Christine K Johnson, Jonna A Mazet, Gregory D. Bossart, Tim Carpenter, Marcel Holyoak, Marc S. Elie, Scott D. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Outbreaks of morbidity and mortality in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) along Florida's Gulf Coast have occurred sporadically for at least 30 yr. During these outbreaks, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, located on Sanibel Island in Florida, has admitted a substantial number of cormorants with consistent presentation of primarily neurologic clinical signs. In order to investigate the association of these outbreaks in cormorants with exposure to brevetoxin, we compared the timing of admittance of cormorants with outbreak-specific clinical signs to blooms of the brevetoxin-producing marine algae, Karenia brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve), around Sanibel Island from 1995 through 1999. The clinic admitted 360 out of 613 cormorants with the common clinical sign of severe cerebellar ataxia in six outbreaks occurring during this period. The ataxia was characterized by a broad-based stance, truncal incoordination, hypermetric gait, and intention tremors of the head. The histopathologic findings in 10 cormorants euthanized in 1997 were mild and nonspecific. An immunohistochemical staining technique for the detection of brevetoxin in cormorants documented the uptake of brevetoxin in tissues from four cormorants admitted during an outbreak in 1997, but a modified technique used on samples from 11 cormorants admitted during a K. brevis bloom in 2000 produced indeterminate results. Admittance of cormorants with outbreak-specific clinical signs was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with concurrent concentrations of K. brevis in local water. The cross-correlation coefficient was also significant when increased K. brevis levels preceded cormorant admittances by 2, 4, 6, and 8 wk. This delay in time between K. brevis blooms and cormorant admittance and our clinical finding of neurologic abnormalities in cormorants without overt histopathologic features suggest an association between K. brevis blooms and local cormorant morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume33
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

Fingerprint

Phalacrocorax auritus
Phalacrocorax
Disease Outbreaks
algal bloom
coasts
coast
morbidity
brevetoxins
Ataxia
Islands
abnormality
Nervous System Malformations
Morbidity
Dinoflagellida
alga
Cerebellar Ataxia
mortality
Tremor
algae
nervous system

Keywords

  • Brevetoxin
  • Double-crested cormorant
  • Karenia brevis
  • Neurologic disease
  • Phalacrocorax auritus
  • Red tide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Clinicopathologic features of suspected brevetoxicosis in double-crested cormorants (phalacrocorax auritus) along the Florida Gulf Coast. / Johnson, Christine K; Mazet, Jonna A; Bossart, Gregory D.; Carpenter, Tim; Holyoak, Marcel; Elie, Marc S.; Wright, Scott D.

In: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2002, p. 8-15.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3e61c04f07244c8f8a2febb9d9f4538c,
title = "Clinicopathologic features of suspected brevetoxicosis in double-crested cormorants (phalacrocorax auritus) along the Florida Gulf Coast",
abstract = "Outbreaks of morbidity and mortality in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) along Florida's Gulf Coast have occurred sporadically for at least 30 yr. During these outbreaks, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, located on Sanibel Island in Florida, has admitted a substantial number of cormorants with consistent presentation of primarily neurologic clinical signs. In order to investigate the association of these outbreaks in cormorants with exposure to brevetoxin, we compared the timing of admittance of cormorants with outbreak-specific clinical signs to blooms of the brevetoxin-producing marine algae, Karenia brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve), around Sanibel Island from 1995 through 1999. The clinic admitted 360 out of 613 cormorants with the common clinical sign of severe cerebellar ataxia in six outbreaks occurring during this period. The ataxia was characterized by a broad-based stance, truncal incoordination, hypermetric gait, and intention tremors of the head. The histopathologic findings in 10 cormorants euthanized in 1997 were mild and nonspecific. An immunohistochemical staining technique for the detection of brevetoxin in cormorants documented the uptake of brevetoxin in tissues from four cormorants admitted during an outbreak in 1997, but a modified technique used on samples from 11 cormorants admitted during a K. brevis bloom in 2000 produced indeterminate results. Admittance of cormorants with outbreak-specific clinical signs was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with concurrent concentrations of K. brevis in local water. The cross-correlation coefficient was also significant when increased K. brevis levels preceded cormorant admittances by 2, 4, 6, and 8 wk. This delay in time between K. brevis blooms and cormorant admittance and our clinical finding of neurologic abnormalities in cormorants without overt histopathologic features suggest an association between K. brevis blooms and local cormorant morbidity.",
keywords = "Brevetoxin, Double-crested cormorant, Karenia brevis, Neurologic disease, Phalacrocorax auritus, Red tide",
author = "Johnson, {Christine K} and Mazet, {Jonna A} and Bossart, {Gregory D.} and Tim Carpenter and Marcel Holyoak and Elie, {Marc S.} and Wright, {Scott D.}",
year = "2002",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "33",
pages = "8--15",
journal = "Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine",
issn = "1042-7260",
publisher = "American Association of Zoo Veterinarians",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Clinicopathologic features of suspected brevetoxicosis in double-crested cormorants (phalacrocorax auritus) along the Florida Gulf Coast

AU - Johnson, Christine K

AU - Mazet, Jonna A

AU - Bossart, Gregory D.

AU - Carpenter, Tim

AU - Holyoak, Marcel

AU - Elie, Marc S.

AU - Wright, Scott D.

PY - 2002

Y1 - 2002

N2 - Outbreaks of morbidity and mortality in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) along Florida's Gulf Coast have occurred sporadically for at least 30 yr. During these outbreaks, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, located on Sanibel Island in Florida, has admitted a substantial number of cormorants with consistent presentation of primarily neurologic clinical signs. In order to investigate the association of these outbreaks in cormorants with exposure to brevetoxin, we compared the timing of admittance of cormorants with outbreak-specific clinical signs to blooms of the brevetoxin-producing marine algae, Karenia brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve), around Sanibel Island from 1995 through 1999. The clinic admitted 360 out of 613 cormorants with the common clinical sign of severe cerebellar ataxia in six outbreaks occurring during this period. The ataxia was characterized by a broad-based stance, truncal incoordination, hypermetric gait, and intention tremors of the head. The histopathologic findings in 10 cormorants euthanized in 1997 were mild and nonspecific. An immunohistochemical staining technique for the detection of brevetoxin in cormorants documented the uptake of brevetoxin in tissues from four cormorants admitted during an outbreak in 1997, but a modified technique used on samples from 11 cormorants admitted during a K. brevis bloom in 2000 produced indeterminate results. Admittance of cormorants with outbreak-specific clinical signs was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with concurrent concentrations of K. brevis in local water. The cross-correlation coefficient was also significant when increased K. brevis levels preceded cormorant admittances by 2, 4, 6, and 8 wk. This delay in time between K. brevis blooms and cormorant admittance and our clinical finding of neurologic abnormalities in cormorants without overt histopathologic features suggest an association between K. brevis blooms and local cormorant morbidity.

AB - Outbreaks of morbidity and mortality in double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) along Florida's Gulf Coast have occurred sporadically for at least 30 yr. During these outbreaks, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, located on Sanibel Island in Florida, has admitted a substantial number of cormorants with consistent presentation of primarily neurologic clinical signs. In order to investigate the association of these outbreaks in cormorants with exposure to brevetoxin, we compared the timing of admittance of cormorants with outbreak-specific clinical signs to blooms of the brevetoxin-producing marine algae, Karenia brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve), around Sanibel Island from 1995 through 1999. The clinic admitted 360 out of 613 cormorants with the common clinical sign of severe cerebellar ataxia in six outbreaks occurring during this period. The ataxia was characterized by a broad-based stance, truncal incoordination, hypermetric gait, and intention tremors of the head. The histopathologic findings in 10 cormorants euthanized in 1997 were mild and nonspecific. An immunohistochemical staining technique for the detection of brevetoxin in cormorants documented the uptake of brevetoxin in tissues from four cormorants admitted during an outbreak in 1997, but a modified technique used on samples from 11 cormorants admitted during a K. brevis bloom in 2000 produced indeterminate results. Admittance of cormorants with outbreak-specific clinical signs was positively correlated (P < 0.05) with concurrent concentrations of K. brevis in local water. The cross-correlation coefficient was also significant when increased K. brevis levels preceded cormorant admittances by 2, 4, 6, and 8 wk. This delay in time between K. brevis blooms and cormorant admittance and our clinical finding of neurologic abnormalities in cormorants without overt histopathologic features suggest an association between K. brevis blooms and local cormorant morbidity.

KW - Brevetoxin

KW - Double-crested cormorant

KW - Karenia brevis

KW - Neurologic disease

KW - Phalacrocorax auritus

KW - Red tide

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0036490504&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0036490504&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 12216798

AN - SCOPUS:0036490504

VL - 33

SP - 8

EP - 15

JO - Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

JF - Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

SN - 1042-7260

IS - 1

ER -