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Schaefer A.M.,Florida Atlantic University | Bossart G.D.,Florida Atlantic University | Mazzoil M.,Florida Atlantic University | Fair P.A.,Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Environmental and Public Health | Year: 2011

Opportunistic pathogens related to degradation in water quality are of concern to both wildlife and public health. The objective of this study was to identify spatial, temporal, and environmental risk factors for E. coli colonization among Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), FL between 2003 and 2007. Age, gender, capture location, coastal human population density, proximity of sewage treatment plants, number of septic tanks, cumulative precipitation 48hrs and 30 days prior to capture, salinity, and water temperature were analyzed as potential risk factors. Highest E. coli colonization rates occurred in the northern segments of the IRL. The risk of E. coli colonization was the highest among the youngest individuals, in counties with the highest cumulative rainfall 48hrs and in counties with the highest number of septic systems during the year of capture. The prevalence of colonization was the highest during 2004, a year during which multiple hurricanes hit the coast of Florida. Septic tanks, in combination with weather-related events suggest a possible pathway for introduction of fecal coliforms into estuarine ecosystems. The ability of E. coli and related bacteria to act as primary pathogens or cause opportunistic infections adds importance of these findings. Copyright © 2011 Adam M. Schaefer et al.


Ramsdell J.S.,Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research | Gulland F.M.,Marine Mammal Center
Marine Drugs | Year: 2014

Domoic acid epileptic disease is characterized by spontaneous recurrent seizures weeks to months after domoic acid exposure. The potential for this disease was first recognized in a human case study of temporal lobe epilepsy after the 1987 amnesic shellfish-poisoning event in Quebec, and was characterized as a chronic epileptic syndrome in California sea lions through investigation of a series of domoic acid poisoning cases between 1998 and 2006. The sea lion study provided a breadth of insight into clinical presentations, unusual behaviors, brain pathology, and epidemiology. A rat model that replicates key observations of the chronic epileptic syndrome in sea lions has been applied to identify the progression of the epileptic disease state, its relationship to behavioral manifestations, and to define the neural systems involved in these behavioral disorders. Here, we present the concept of domoic acid epileptic disease as a delayed manifestation of domoic acid poisoning and review the state of knowledge for this disease state in affected humans and sea lions. We discuss causative mechanisms and neural underpinnings of disease maturation revealed by the rat model to present the concept for olfactory origin of an epileptic disease; triggered in dendodendritic synapases of the olfactory bulb and maturing in the olfactory cortex. We conclude with updated information on populations at risk, medical diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI.


Sorenson L.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Sorenson L.,University of California at Los Angeles | McDowell J.R.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science | Knott T.,Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research | Graves J.E.,Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Conservation Genetics Resources | Year: 2013

Blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) stock status varies among ocean basins, and the Atlantic-wide stock is overfished. United States regulations prohibit commercial landing, importation and sale of Atlantic blue marlin, but not of Pacific or Indian Ocean conspecifics. We genotyped 344 blue marlin of known origin and 16 samples used as unknowns at 13 microsatellite loci and the mitochondrial control region. Assignment tests were conducted using GENECLASS2 to investigate the efficacy of available genotypic data to identify individual origin. We successfully discriminated Atlantic and Pacific blue marlin using genetic characters, providing more power to assign marketed blue marlin products to ocean of origin. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Fauquier D.A.,Mote Marine Laboratory | Fauquier D.A.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Flewelling L.J.,Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission | Maucher J.M.,Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2013

Harmful algal bloom events causedby the dinoflagellate Karenia brevis occurred along the central west Florida, USA, coast from February 2005 through December 2005 and from August 2006 through December 2006. During these events, from 4 February 2005 through 28 November 2006, live, debilitated seabirds admitted for rehabilitation showed clinical signs that included disorientation, inabilitytostand, ataxia, and seizures. Testing ofblood, biologic fluids, andtissuesfor brevetoxin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay found toxin present in 69% (n=95) of rehabilitating seabirds. Twelve of the 19 species of birds had evidence of brevetoxin exposure. Commonly affected species included Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias), and Common Loons (Gavia immer). Serial blood and fecal samples taken from several live seabirds during rehabilitation showed that brevetoxin was cleared within 5-10 days after being admitted to the rehabilitation facility, depending on the species tested. Among seabirds that died or were euthanized, the highest brevetoxin concentrations were found in bile, stomach contents, and liver. Most dead birds had no significant pathologic findings at necropsy, thereby supporting brevetoxin-related mortality. © Wildlife Disease Association 2013.


Key P.B.,Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research | Chung K.W.,JHT Inc. | Venturella J.J.,JHT Inc. | Shaddrick B.,JHT Inc. | Fulton M.H.,Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research
Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part B Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes | Year: 2010

In this study, the toxicity of endosulfan sulfate, the primary degradation product of the insecticide endosulfan, was determined in three life stages of the grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio). After 96 h exposure to endosulfan sulfate, the grass shrimp adult LC50 was 0.86 μg/L (95% CI 0.56-1.31), the grass shrimp larvae LC50 was 1.64 μg/L (95% CI 1.09-2.47) and the grass shrimp embryo LC50 was 45.85 μg/L (95% CI 23.72-88.61 μg/L). This was compared to the previously published grass shrimp 96-h LC50s for endosulfan. The toxicity of the two compounds was similar for the grass shrimp life stages with adults more sensitive than larvae and embryos. The presence of sediment in 24h endosulfan sulfate-exposures raised LC50s for both adult and larval grass shrimp but not significantly. The USEPA expected environmental concentrations (EEC) for total endosulfan and endosulfan sulfate and the calculations of risk quotients (RQ) based on the more sensitive adult grass shrimp 96-h LC50 clearly show that environmental concentrations equal to acute EECs would prove detrimental to grass shrimp or other similarly sensitive aquatic organisms. These results indicate that given the persistence and toxicity of endosulfan sulfate, future risk assessments should consider the toxicity potential of the parent compound as well as this degradation product. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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