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Seibel H.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Siebert U.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover | Rosenberger T.,Seal Center Friedrichskoog e.V. | Baumgartner W.,University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology

Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a highly contagious viral pathogen. Domesticated dogs are the main reservoir of CDV. Although phocine distemper virus was responsible for the recent epidemics in seals in the North and Baltic Seas, most devastating epidemics in seals were also caused by CDV. To further study the pathogenesis of CDV infection in seals, it was the aim of the present study to investigate the mechanisms of CDV induced immunosuppression in seals by analyzing the gene transcription of different pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in Concanavalin A (Con A) stimulated and non-stimulated phocine lymphocytes in vitro following infection with the CDV Onderstepoort (CDV-OND) strain. Phocine lymphocytes were isolated via density gradient centrifugation. The addition of 1. μg/ml Con A and virus was either performed simultaneously or lymphocytes were stimulated for 48. h with Con A prior to virus infection. Gene transcription of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) as pro-inflammatory cytokines and IL-4, IL-10 and transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) as anti-inflammatory cytokines were determined by using RT-qPCR. CDV-OND infection caused an initial increase of pro-inflammatory phocine cytokines mRNA 24. h after infection, followed by a decrease in gene transcription after 48. h. A strong increase in the transcription of IL-4 and TGFβ was detected after 48. h when virus and mitogen were added simultaneously. An increased IL-10 production occurred only when stimulation and infection were performed simultaneously. Furthermore, an inhibition of IL-12 on IL-4 was noticed in phocine lymphocytes which were stimulated for 48. h prior to infection. In summary, the duration of the stimulation or the lymphocytes seem to have an important influence on the cytokine transcription and indicates that the outcome of CDV infection is dependent on various factors that might sensitize lymphocytes or make them more susceptible or reactive to CDV infection. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Fonfara S.,University of Bristol | Casamian-Sorrosal D.,University of Bristol | Sundermeyer J.,Seal Center Friedrichskoog e.V. | Rosenberger T.,Seal Center Friedrichskoog e.V.
Marine Mammal Science

Heart rate and rhythm is regulated by the autonomic nervous system, which matures during the first months of life. Little is known about heart rate and rhythm development and potential arrhythmias in seal pups during rehabilitation in seal centers. Using an iPhone ECG device, 1 min ECGs were obtained from harbor seal pups admitted to a seal rehabilitation facility. ECGs were taken from 55 seals after admission, 53 seals after 14 d, and 52 seals prior to release. From 24 seal pups additional ECGs were taken daily for the first week of rehabilitation. At admission sinus rhythm with a median heart rate of 148 complexes per minute was detected, prior to release sinus bradycardia or sinus arrhythmia with a median heart rate of 104 complexes minute was present. P wave morphology was highly variable and single supra- and ventricular premature complexes were recorded in individual animals. The first 14 d were characterized by highly variable heart rates and rhythms, including episodes of sinus tachycardia and 2nd degree atrioventricular blocks. The reduction in heart rates and development of a regular heart rhythm during rehabilitation suggest adaptation to the unfamiliar environment, resolution of disease, and/or maturation of the autonomic nervous system. © 2014 Society for Marine Mammalogy. Source

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