Nematode (Otostrongylus circumlitus) infestation of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) stranded along the central California coast

F. M D Gulland, K. Beckmen, K. Burek, Linda J Lowenstine, L. Werner, T. Spraker, M. Dailey, E. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Between 1 January 1992 and 31 December 1995, 73 of 487 (15%) juvenile northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) that stranded along the central California coastline and were transported to a rehabilitation center had similar clinical signs. These signs included anorexia, depression, dehydration, and epistaxis, and were accompanied by a neutrophilia. Coagulation assays on five of these animals indicated all five were in a state of disseminated intravascular coagulation. Sixty-five of the 73 animals died, and post-mortem examination revealed heavy burdens of Otostrongylus circumlitus in the right ventricle and atrium of the hearts and pulmonary arteries, with occasional nematodes in the bronchi and bronchioles. Histologic examination of 33 of these seals showed multiple pulmonary thromboses associated with a suppurative arteritis and occasionally intravascular nematodes, suggesting disseminated intravascular coagulation triggered by an arteritis may be important in causing mortality of elephant seals infested with O. circumlitus. This pathology, combined with the observation that death of juvenile northern elephant seals infected with O. circumlitus usually occurs prior to the parasite reaching reproductive maturity, suggests this is a relatively recent host-parasite association.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-459
Number of pages14
JournalMarine Mammal Science
Volume13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1997

Fingerprint

Mirounga angustirostris
elephant
coagulation
arteritis
disseminated intravascular coagulation
nematode
Nematoda
coasts
coast
heart atrium
parasite
heart ventricle
Mirounga
parasites
bronchi
dehydration (animal physiology)
pulmonary artery
animal
thrombosis
pathology

Keywords

  • Arteritis
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Elephant seal
  • Mirounga angustirostris
  • Nematode
  • Otostrongylus circumlitus
  • Pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Nematode (Otostrongylus circumlitus) infestation of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) stranded along the central California coast. / Gulland, F. M D; Beckmen, K.; Burek, K.; Lowenstine, Linda J; Werner, L.; Spraker, T.; Dailey, M.; Harris, E.

In: Marine Mammal Science, Vol. 13, No. 3, 07.1997, p. 446-459.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gulland, F. M D ; Beckmen, K. ; Burek, K. ; Lowenstine, Linda J ; Werner, L. ; Spraker, T. ; Dailey, M. ; Harris, E. / Nematode (Otostrongylus circumlitus) infestation of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) stranded along the central California coast. In: Marine Mammal Science. 1997 ; Vol. 13, No. 3. pp. 446-459.
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