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Foster G.,SAC Consulting Veterinary Services | Higgins R.,University of Montreal | Leclair D.,Makivik Corporation | Korczak B.M.,University of Bern | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology | Year: 2011

Phenotypic and phylogenetic studies were performed on eight Gram-negative-staining, rod-shaped bacteria isolated from seals. Biochemical and physiological studies showed identical profiles for all of the isolates and indicated that they were related to the family Pasteurellaceae. 16S rRNA gene sequencing demonstrated that the organism represented a distinct cluster with two sublines within the family Pasteurellaceae with,<96% sequence similarity to any recognized species. Multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) including rpoB, infB and recN genes further confirmed these findings with the eight isolates forming a genus-like cluster with two branches. Genome relatedness as deduced from recN gene sequences suggested that the isolates represented a new genus with two species. On the basis of the results of the phylogenetic analysis and phenotypic criteria, it is proposed that these bacteria from seals are classified as Bisgaardia hudsonensis gen. nov., sp. nov. (the type species) and Bisgaardia genomospecies 1. The G+C content of the DNA was 39.5 mol%. The type strain of Bisgaardia hudsonensis gen. nov., sp. nov. is M327/99/2 T (=CCUG 43067 T=NCTC 13475 T598-D-690B T) and the reference strain of Bisgaardia genomospecies 1 is M1765/96/5 (5CCUG 595515NCTC 13474). © 2011 IUMS.

Bailleul F.,Maurice Lamontagne Institute | Lesage V.,Maurice Lamontagne Institute | Power M.,University of Waterloo | Doidge D.W.,Makivik Corporation | Hammill M.O.,Maurice Lamontagne Institute
Climate Research | Year: 2012

Global warming has been linked to dramatic environmental changes, particularly in polar marine environments, where water temperatures and sea-ice cover are especially affected. Using satellite telemetry, we investigated how local changes in sea-surface temperatures (2002- 2004) affected the movement patterns of belugas Delphinapterus leucas in eastern Hudson Bay (EHB), Canada. Of 26 whales equipped with satellite transmitters, 17 had records that ex tended beyond the summer season and showed a fall migration pattern. During summer, foraging activity of individuals was either aggregated, at small spatial scales of <90 km (Strategy A), or dispersed, at larger spatial scales of >120 km (Strategy D). In 2002 and 2003, belugas preferentially selected cold water temperatures <4°C, while, in 2004, no selection occurred. In 2002-2003, the range of water temperatures was larger than in 2004. Moreover, while cold waters were found mainly to the north of the Belcher Islands in 2002-2003, cold waters were broadly scattered throughout the whole bay in 2004. Independent of year, animals employing Strategy A left their summer habitat late (31 October, ±14 d), while those using Strategy D left about 3 wk earlier (4 October, ±2 d). In 2002-2003, the range of water temperatures was larger than in 2004. Moreover, while cold waters were found mainly to the north of the Belcher Islands in 2002-2003, cold waters were broadly scattered throughout the whole bay in 2004. Therefore, it appeared that the strategy used in summer, and hence the migration timing among EHB belugas, was related to sea-surface temperature conditions. Although other factors may also trigger migration, the present study is among the first to reveal a relationship between environmental conditions and habitat use and the migration patterns of beluga whales. Consequently, this work indicates alterations in a well-established migration phenology due to longer term effects of climate change on this Arctic species. © Inter-Research 2012.

Larrat S.,University of Montreal | Simard M.,Makivik Corporation | Lair S.,University of Montreal | Belanger D.,University of Montreal | Proulx J.-F.,Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services
International Journal of Circumpolar Health | Year: 2012

Objectives. During the 1980s, walrus-meat consumption caused infections with the parasite Trichinella nativa in Nunavik inhabitants. In response to these events, stakeholders set up the community-based Nunavik Trichinellosis Prevention Program (NTPP). The objectives of the present communication are to review the NTPP, describe how science and action were interwoven in its development and identify its assets and limitations. Study design. Descriptive study. Methods. The NTPP relies on a pooled digestion assay of tongue samples taken from each harvested walrus. The public health recommendations depend on the results of the analyses: infected walrus meat should be destroyed; parasite-free meat may be eaten raw or cooked. Results. All communities involved in the walrus hunt participate in the NTPP and a high percentage of harvested walruses are included in the NTPP. Infected animals account for 2.9% of the walruses tested (20/ 694) since 1992. The NTPP permitted the early management of a trichinellosis event in 1997. Since then, it prevented the new occurrence of outbreaks related to walruses hunted by Nunavimmiut. Conclusions. The absence of recent major outbreaks of trichinellosis in Nunavik may reasonably be attributed to the NTPP. The success of the program stands on many facilitating factors such as the nature of the disease and its source, the existence of an efficient analytic method, the strong involvement of the different partners including direct resource users, as well as the comprehensive bidirectional science-to-action approach that has been followed. © 2012 Sylvain Larrat et al.

Karpiej K.,University of Gdansk | Simard M.,Makivik Corporation | Pufall E.,University of Guelph | Rokicki J.,University of Gdansk
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom | Year: 2014

As many Arctic fish species are intermediate hosts of anisakids, they are present in the diet of the ringed seal, Pusa hispida, and the bearded seal, Erignathus barbatus. Parasitic nematodes from the stomachs of 66 seals caught in the Nunavut region (Canada) from two communities (Arviat and Sanikiluaq) from October 2007 to January 2008 have been examined in order to identify the epidemiological risk for Inuit communities who consume traditional food. In Arviat 2428 anisakids were observed in 37 seals, while in Sanikiluaq 316 Anisakidae were isolated from 29 seals. The worms were treated with a host tissue, washed in deionized water and stored until analysis in 70% ethanol. The parasites were divided into three parts. The anterior and posterior parts were stored in 70% ethanol containing 5% glycerol and were examined using a light microscope by evaporation of the ethanol/glycerin mixture. The central parts were prepared for molecular identification by fixing in 70% ethanol. Using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method, the following members of the family Anisakidae were identified: Contracaecum osculatum A and C and Pseudoterranova bulbosa. In the studied material, more adult worms were noted than larval stages. The most numerous nematodes were P. bulbosa, and mixed infection was observed. The mean prevalence of anisakids infection was 43.2% in the Arviat and 37.9% in the Sanikiluaq communities. © 2013 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom .

Tran L.,Makivik Corporation | Reist J.D.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Power M.,University of Waterloo
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2016

Total mercury (THg) concentrations were measured for different life-history types of Northern Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma malma) from the Babbage River, Yukon Territory, Canada to test hypotheses regarding the influence of life-history type, trophic position, and growth rate on THg tissue concentrations. In contrast to other northern anadromous fish species, higher measured THg concentrations were found in the anadromous life-history types. Standardization for common age, however, indicated that anadromous fish had lower THg concentrations than freshwater resident life-history types. δ15N was the most important factor in explaining observed differences among the individuals regardless of life-history types, with growth rate also contributing to explain among-individual variation. The contrast of higher absolute, but lower age- and size-adjusted THg levels in anadromous fish was explained by a combination of two counteracting mechanisms, including: (1) a switch to feeding at higher trophic levels and the use of more THg contaminated marine prey, and (2) somatic growth dilution that, with increasing growth efficiency, decreases THg as fish grow and age. Results underscore the importance of considering life-history variation in addition to trophic patterns, and fish sizes and age when interpreting mercury concentrations in fish with varying life histories. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

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