• 1.

    Greig DJ, Gulland FMD, Kreuder C. A decade of live California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) strandings along the central California coast: causes and trends, 1991–2000. Aquat Mamm 2005; 31:1122.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Bossart GD, Reidarson TH, Dierauf LA, et al. Clinical pathology. In: Dierauf LA, Gulland FMD, eds. CRC handbook of marine mammal medicine. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press, 2001;383436.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Clampitt RB, Hart RJ. The tissue activities of some diagnostic enzymes in ten mammalian species. J Comp Pathol 1978; 88:607621.

  • 4.

    Fauquier DA, Mazet JAK, Gulland FMD, et al. Distribution of tissue enzymes in three species of pinnipeds. J Zoo Wildl Med 2008; 39:15.

  • 5.

    Medway W, Geraci JR. Clinical pathology of marine mammals. In: Fowler ME, ed. Zoo and wildlife medicine. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co, 1978;604610.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Lauckner G. Diseases of mammalia: pinnipedia. In: Kinne O, ed. Diseases of marine mammals. Vol 4. Hamburg, Germany: Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, 1985;683793.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Gerber JA, Roletto J, Morgan LE, et al. Findings in pinnipeds stranded along the central and northern California coast, 1984–1990. J Wildl Dis 1993; 29:423433.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Gage LJ, Gerber JA, Smith DM, et al. Rehabilitation and treatment success rate of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) stranded along the central and northern California coast, 1984–1990. J Zoo Wildl Med 1993; 24:4147.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Parent J. Neurologic disorders. In: Willard MD, Tvedten H, eds. Small animal clinical diagnosis by laboratory methods. St Louis: Elsevier, 2004;322331.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Haulena M, Gulland, FMD, Lawrence JA, et al. Lesions associated with a novel Mycoplasma sp. in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) undergoing rehabilitation. J Wildl Dis 2006; 42:4045.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Miller MA. Tissue-cyst forming coccidian of marine mammals. In: Fowler ME, ed. Zoo and wildlife medicine. Vol 6. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier, 2008;319340.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Mense MG, Dubey JP, Homer BL. Acute hepatic necrosis associated with a Sarcocystis-like protozoa in a sea lion (Zalophus californianus). J Vet Diagn Invest 1992; 4:486490.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Dubey JP, Zarnke RL, Thomas NJ, et al. Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis neurona and Sarcocystis canis-like infections in marine mammals. Vet Parasitol 2003; 116:275296.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Brown RJ, Smith AW, Keyes MC. Sarcocystis in the northern fur seal. J Wildl Dis 1974; 10:53.

  • 15.

    Ewing R, Zaias J, Stamper MA, et al. Prevalence of Sarcocystis sp. in stranded Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus). J Wildl Dis 2002; 38:291296.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Akao S. A new species of Sarcocystis parasite in the whale Balaenoptera borealis. J Protozool 1970; 17:290294.

  • 17.

    Bishop L. Parasite-related lesions in a bearded seal, Erignathus barbatus. J Wildl Dis 1979; 15:285293.

  • 18.

    Dailey MD, Stroud R. Parasites and associated pathology observed in cetaceans stranded along the Oregon coast. J Wildl Dis 1978; 14:503511.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    DeGuise S, Lagace A, Girard C, et al. Intramuscular Sarcocystis in two beluga whales and an Atlantic white-sided dolphin from the St. Lawrence estuary, Quebec, Canada. J Vet Diagn Invest 1993; 5:296300.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Dubey JP, Lindsay DS, Rosenthal BM, et al. Sarcocysts of an unidentified species of Sarcocystis in the sea otter (Enhydra lutris). J Parasitol 2003; 89:397399.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    Migaki G, Albert TF. Sarcosporidiosis in the ringed seal. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1980; 177:917918.

  • 22.

    Vashisht K, Lichtensteiger CA, Miller LA, et al. Naturally occurring Sarcocystis neurona-like infection in a dog with myositis. Vet Parasitol 2005; 133:1925.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Traub-Dargatz JL, Schlipf JW Jr, Granstrom DE, et al. Multifocal myositis associated with Sarcocystis sp in a horse. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1994; 205:15741576.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Chapman J, Mense M, Dubey JP. Clinical muscular sarcocystosis in a dog. J Parasitol 2005; 91:187190.

  • 25.

    Arness MK, Brown JD, Dubey JP, et al. An outbreak of acute eosinophilic myositis attributed to human Sarcocystis parasitism. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1999; 61:548553.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    Dubey JP, Speer CA, Fayer R. Sarcocystis of animals and man. Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press, 1989;1215.

  • 27.

    Woulda W, Snoep JJ, Dubey JP. Eosinophilic myositis due to Sarcocystis hominis in a beef cow. J Comp Pathol 2006; 135:249253.

  • 28.

    Finno CJ, Eaton JS, Aleman M, et al. Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis due to Neospora hughesi and equine motor neuron disease in a mule. Vet Ophthalmol 2000; 13:259265.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Dubey JP, Lindsay DS, Saville WJ, et al. A review of Sarcocystis neurona and equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). Vet Parasitol 2001; 95:89131.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Mitchell SM, Zajac AM, Davis WL, et al. Efficacy of ponazuril in vitro and in preventing and treating Toxoplasma gondii infections in mice. J Parasitol 2004; 90:639642.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31.

    Mylniczenko ND, Kearns KS, Melli AC. Diagnosis and treatment of Sarcocysitis neurona in a captive harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). J Zoo Wildl Med 2008; 39:228235.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32.

    Lapointe JM, Dunigan PJ, Marsh AE, et al. Meningoencephalitis due to a Sarcocystis neurona-like protozoan in Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi). J Parasitol 1998; 84:11841189.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33.

    Miller MA, Sverlow K, Crosbie PR, et al. Isolation and characterization of two parasitic protozoa from a Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardsi) with meningoencephalitis. J Parasitol 2001; 87:816822.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 34.

    Conrad PA, Miller MA, Kreuder C, et al. Transmssion of Toxoplasma: clues from the study of sea otters as sentinels of Toxoplasma gondii flow into the marine environment. Int J Parasitol 2005; 35:11551168.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35.

    Miller MA, Gardner IA, Kreuder C, et al. Coastal freshwater runoff is a risk factor for Toxoplasma gondii infection of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis). Int J Parasitol 2002; 32:9971006.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 36.

    Tenter AM, Heckenroth AR, Weiss LW. Toxoplasma gondii: from animals to humans. Int J Parasitol 2000; 30:12511258.

  • 37.

    Jardine JE, Dubey JP. Congenital toxoplasmosis in an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus). J Parasitol 2002; 88:197199.

  • 38.

    Resendes AR, Almeria S, Dubey JP, et al. Disseminated toxoplasmosis in a Mediterranean pregnant Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) with transplacental fetal infection. J Parasitol 2002; 88:10291032.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Diagnosis and treatment of Sarcocystis neurona–induced myositis in a free-ranging California sea lion

View More View Less
  • 1 Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 2 Marine Mammal Center, Marin Headlands, 2000 Bunker Rd, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, CA 94965
  • | 3 Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616
  • | 4 Zoological Pathology Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Maywood, IL 60153.
  • | 5 Marine Mammal Center, Marin Headlands, 2000 Bunker Rd, Fort Cronkhite, Sausalito, CA 94965

Abstract

Case Description—An underweight, lethargic adult female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) became stranded along the California shore and was captured and transported to a rehabilitation hospital for assessment and care.

Clinical Findings—Initial physical assessment revealed the sea lion was lethargic and in poor body condition. Active myositis was diagnosed on the basis of concurrent elevations in activities of alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase detected during serum biochemical analysis. Infection with Sarcocystis neurona was diagnosed after serologic titers increased 4-fold over a 3-week period. Diagnosis was confirmed on the basis of histopathologic findings, positive results on immunohistochemical staining, and results of quantitative PCR assay on biopsy specimens obtained from the diaphragm and muscles of the dorsal cervical region.

Treatment and Outcome—Anticoccidial treatment was instituted with ponazuril (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) and continued for 28 days. Prednisone (0.2 mg/kg [0.09 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) was administered for 2 days and then every 24 hours for 5 days to treat associated inflammation. At the end of treatment, the sea lion was clinically normal, alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase values were within reference limits, and antibody titers against S neurona had decreased 6-fold. The sea lion was released approximately 3 months after becoming stranded.

Clinical RelevanceS neurona–induced myositis was diagnosed in a free-ranging California sea lion. On the basis of the successful treatment and release of this sea lion, anticoccidial treatment should be considered for marine mammals in which protozoal disease is diagnosed.

Abstract

Case Description—An underweight, lethargic adult female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) became stranded along the California shore and was captured and transported to a rehabilitation hospital for assessment and care.

Clinical Findings—Initial physical assessment revealed the sea lion was lethargic and in poor body condition. Active myositis was diagnosed on the basis of concurrent elevations in activities of alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase detected during serum biochemical analysis. Infection with Sarcocystis neurona was diagnosed after serologic titers increased 4-fold over a 3-week period. Diagnosis was confirmed on the basis of histopathologic findings, positive results on immunohistochemical staining, and results of quantitative PCR assay on biopsy specimens obtained from the diaphragm and muscles of the dorsal cervical region.

Treatment and Outcome—Anticoccidial treatment was instituted with ponazuril (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) and continued for 28 days. Prednisone (0.2 mg/kg [0.09 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) was administered for 2 days and then every 24 hours for 5 days to treat associated inflammation. At the end of treatment, the sea lion was clinically normal, alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase values were within reference limits, and antibody titers against S neurona had decreased 6-fold. The sea lion was released approximately 3 months after becoming stranded.

Clinical RelevanceS neurona–induced myositis was diagnosed in a free-ranging California sea lion. On the basis of the successful treatment and release of this sea lion, anticoccidial treatment should be considered for marine mammals in which protozoal disease is diagnosed.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Carlson-Bremer's present address is Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, 2525 W End Ave, Ste 750, Nashville, TN 37203.

Supported by the National Institutes of Health under Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award T32 RR207038; the National Science Foundation Ecology of Infectious Disease Grant No. 0525765; the Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis; the Marine Mammal Center; and the University Corporation of Atmospheric Research (UCAR) under Grant No. NA06OAR4310119 with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and US Department of Commerce.

The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UCAR, NOAA, or the US Department of Commerce.

The authors thank Dr. Nicola Pussini, Dr. Denise Greig, and Liz Wheeler for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Carlson-Bremer (dpbremer@gmail.com).