Novel symptomatology and changing epidemiology of domoic acid toxicosis in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus): An increasing risk to marine mammal health

Tracey Goldstein, Jonna A Mazet, T. S. Zabka, G. Langlois, K. M. Colegrove, M. Silver, S. Bargu, F. Van Dolah, T. Leighfield, Patricia A Conrad, J. Barakos, D. C. Williams, S. Dennison, M. Haulena, F. M D Gulland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

136 Scopus citations

Abstract

Harmful algal blooms are increasing worldwide, including those of Pseudo-nitzschia spp. producing domoic acid off the California coast. This neurotoxin was first shown to cause mortality of marine mammals in 1998. A decade of monitoring California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) health since then has indicated that changes in the symptomatology and epidemiology of domoic acid toxicosis in this species are associated with the increase in toxigenic blooms. Two separate clinical syndromes now exist: acute domoic acid toxicosis as has been previously documented, and a second novel neurological syndrome characterized by epilepsy described here associated with chronic consequences of previous sub-lethal exposure to the toxin. This study indicates that domoic acid causes chronic damage to California sea lions and that these health effects are increasing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume275
Issue number1632
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2008

Keywords

  • Amnesic shellfish poisoning
  • California sea lions
  • Domoic acid
  • Harmful algal blooms
  • Hippocampal atrophy
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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    Goldstein, T., Mazet, J. A., Zabka, T. S., Langlois, G., Colegrove, K. M., Silver, M., Bargu, S., Van Dolah, F., Leighfield, T., Conrad, P. A., Barakos, J., Williams, D. C., Dennison, S., Haulena, M., & Gulland, F. M. D. (2008). Novel symptomatology and changing epidemiology of domoic acid toxicosis in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus): An increasing risk to marine mammal health. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1632), 267-276. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2007.1221