Surveillance for zoonotic and selected pathogens in harbor seals Phoca vitulina from central California

Denise J Greig, Frances M D Gulland, Woutrina A Smith, Patricia A Conrad, Cara L Field, Michelle Fleetwood, James T Harvey, Hon S Ip, Spencer Jang, Andrea Packham, Elizabeth Wheeler, Ailsa J Hall

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The infection status of harbor seals Phoca vitulina in central California, USA, was evaluated through broad surveillance for pathogens in stranded and wild-caught animals from 2001 to 2008, with most samples collected in 2007 and 2008. Stranded animals from Mendocino County to San Luis Obispo County were sampled at a rehabilitation facility: The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC, n = 175); wild-caught animals were sampled at 2 locations: San Francisco Bay (SF, n = 78) and Tomales Bay (TB, n = 97), that differed in degree of urbanization. Low prevalences of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium were detected in the feces of stranded and wild-caught seals. Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli were more prevalent in the feces of stranded (58% [78 out of 135] and 76% [102 out of 135]) than wild-caught (42% [45 out of 106] and 66% [68 out of 106]) seals, whereas Vibrio spp. were 16 times more likely to be cultured from the feces of seals from SF than TB or TMMC (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-106
Number of pages14
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2014


  • Campylobacter
  • Leptospira
  • Influenza
  • Morillivirus
  • Neospora
  • Sarcocystis
  • Toxoplasma
  • Vibrio


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