A review of Brucella sp. infection of sea mammals with particular emphasis on isolates from Scotland

G Foster, AP MacMillan, J Godfroid, F Howie, HM Ross, A Cloeckaert, RJ Reid, S Brew, IAP Patterson

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Brucellae recovered from sea mammals were first reported in 1994. In the years since both culture and serological analysis have demonstrated that the infection occurs in a wide range of species of marine mammals inhabiting a vast amount of the world’s oceans. Molecular studies have demonstrated that the isolates differ from those found amongst terrestrial animals and also distinguish between strains which have seals and cetaceans as their preferred hosts. At the phenotypic level seal and cetacean strains can also be differed with respect to their CO2 requirement, primary growth on Farrells medium and metabolic activity on galactose. Two new species B. cetaceae and B. pinnipediae have been proposed as a result. This paper provides a review of Brucella in sea mammals and updates findings from the study of sea mammals from around the coast of Scotland. # 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563 - 580
Number of pages18
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-4
Publication statusFirst published - 2002


Bibliographical note



  • Brucellosis
  • Dolphin
  • Epidemiology
  • Minke whale
  • Pathology
  • Porpoise
  • Reproductivity problems
  • Scotland
  • Seals
  • Serology
  • Transmission

Cite this

Foster, G., MacMillan, AP., Godfroid, J., Howie, F., Ross, HM., Cloeckaert, A., Reid, RJ., Brew, S., & Patterson, IAP. (2002). A review of Brucella sp. infection of sea mammals with particular emphasis on isolates from Scotland. Veterinary Microbiology, 90(1-4), 563 - 580. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1135(02)00236-5