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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Produce Safety and Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #359128

Research Project: Molecular Identification and Characterization of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens Associated with Foods

Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research

Title: Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus and C. pinnipediorum subsp. pinnipediorum recovered from abscesses in pinnipeds

item FOSTER, GEOFFREY - Sruc-Scotland'S Rural College
item BAILY, JOHANNA - Moredun Research Institute
item HOWIE, FIONA - Sruc-Scotland'S Rural College
item BROWNLOW, ANDREW - Sruc-Scotland'S Rural College
item WAGENAAR, JAAP - Utrecht University
item GILBERT, MAARTEN - Utrecht University
item Miller, William - Bill
item BYRNE, BARBARA - University Of California, Davis
item CLOTHIER, KRISTIN - University Of California, Davis
item SCHMITT, TODD - Hubbs-Sea World
item PATTERSON, I ANTHONY - Sruc-Scotland'S Rural College
item REID, ROBERT J - Sruc-Scotland'S Rural College
item DAGLEISH, MARK P - Moredun Research Institute

Submitted to: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/29/2020
Publication Date: 11/20/2020
Citation: Foster, G., Baily, J., Howie, F., Brownlow, A., Wagenaar, J.A., Gilbert, M.J., Miller, W.G., Byrne, B.A., Clothier, K.A., Schmitt, T., Patterson, I., Reid, R., Dagleish, M. 2020. Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus and Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. pinnipediorum recovered from abscesses in pinnipeds. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 142:41-46.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter species are isolated typically from a wide variety of warm-blooded animals and birds. Several Campylobacter species have been isolated from the marine environment: sea water/beach sand; marine birds and mammals; and shellfish. Infestation of the latter can lead to human food-borne illness. Seals and sea lions have been shown previously to harbor C. insulaenigrae, a species related to the thermotolerant C. lari-like species. However, strains isolated recently from seals and sea lions in both California and Scotland were shown to be unrelated to species normally associated with the marine environment, but were instead shown to be related to Campylobacter concisus group organisms. C. concisus group organisms are typically orally-associated and isolated from terrestrial animals and humans. Genetic and biochemical analysis of these strains indicated that these strains represent a novel species within Campylobacter for which the name C. pinnipediorum (of pinnipeds =seals/sea lions) was assigned. The California and Scotland strains were distinguished by the presence/absence, respectively, of an enzyme that degrades hydrogen peroxide. Thus, the Californian and Scottish strains are proposed to form two subspecies (subsp. pinnipediorum and subsp. caledonicus) within C. pinnipediorum. This study details the veterinary description of C. pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus-associated disease in seals.

Technical Abstract: Campylobacter pinnipediorum was described recently for isolates recovered from pinnipeds. The novel species was further split into two subspecies based on host and geography, with Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. pinnipediorum recovered from otariid seals in California and Campylobacter pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus recovered from phocid seals in Scotland. The C. pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus isolates were derived from two harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) and a single grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) and were all associated with abscesses. We report here details of the pathologies of the infections caused by C. pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus in these three animals. In two of these seals, C. pinnipediorum subsp. caledonicus was the sole bacterial isolate from the abscesses.