Tuesday, September 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

UCD team finds elephant seals infected by flu virus

Free-ranging northern elephant seals off the central California coast were found infected by the H1N1 strain, according to UC Davis researchers. This is the first report of that flu strain in any marine mammal. Tracey Goldstein, UC Davis/Courtesy photo

By
From page A12 | May 17, 2013 |

UC Davis researchers found the H1N1 virus in free-ranging northern elephant seals off the Central California coast — the first report of that flu strain in any marine mammal — a year after the 2009 human pandemic.

“We thought we might find influenza viruses, which have been found before in marine mammals, but we did not expect to find pandemic H1N1,” said lead author Tracey Goldstein, an associate professor with the UCD’s One Health Institute and Wildlife Health Center. “This shows influenza viruses can move among species.”

The journal PLOS ONE published the study Wednesday.

UCD researchers have been studying flu viruses in wild birds and mammals since 2007 as part of the Centers of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance program funded by National Institutes of Health. The goal of this research is to understand how viruses emerge and move among animals and people.

Between 2009 and 2011, the team tested nasal swabs from more than 900 marine mammals from 10 different species off the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California. They detected H1N1 infection in two northern elephant seals and antibodies to the virus in an additional 28 elephant seals, indicating more widespread exposure.

Neither infected seal appeared to be ill, indicating marine mammals may be infected without showing clinical signs of illness.

The findings are particularly pertinent to people who handle marine mammals, such as veterinarians and animal rescue and rehabilitation workers, Goldstein said. They are also a reminder of the importance of wearing personal protective gear when working around marine mammals, both to prevent workers’ exposure to diseases, as well as to prevent the transmission of human diseases to animals.

H1N1 originated in pigs. It emerged in humans in 2009, spreading worldwide as a pandemic. The World Health Organization now considers the H1N1 strain from 2009 to be under control, taking on the behavior of a seasonal virus.

“H1N1 was circulating in humans in 2009,” Goldstein said. “The seals on land in early 2010 tested negative before they went to sea, but when they returned from sea in spring 2010, they tested positive. So the question is where did it come from?”

When elephant seals are at sea, they spend most of their time foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean off the continental shelf, which makes direct contact with humans unlikely, the report said.

The seals had been satellite-tagged and tracked, so the researchers knew exactly where they had been and when they arrived on the coast. The first seal traveled from California on Feb. 11 to southeast Alaska to forage off the continental shelf, returning to Point Piedras Blancas near San Simeon on April 24. The second seal left Año Nuevo State Reserve in San Mateo County on Feb. 8, traveling to the northeast Pacific and returning on May 5.

Infections in both seals were detected within days of their return to land. The report said exposure likely occurred in the seals before they reached land, either while at sea or upon entering the near-shore environment.

The research, led by scientists Goldstein and Walter Boyce at the One Health Institute, was conducted with collaborators Nacho Mena and Adolfo García-Sastre at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, who sequenced the virus isolates and characterized their phenotypic properties.

“The study of influenza virus infections in unusual hosts, such as elephant seals, is likely to provide us with clues to understand the ability of influenza virus to jump from one host to another and initiate pandemics,” said García-Sastre, professor of microbiology and director of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine.

— UC Davis News Service

Comments

comments

.

News

Sanity phase begins in Daniel Marsh trial

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Council looks at granny-flat revision

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Man on a mission: Rob White seeks to transform Davis

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Poppenga outlines ambitious agenda

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Cool Davis Festival is très chill

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Standing In: Is the therapy for them, or me?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

California exhausts initial firefighting budget

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Find the perfect club or organization to join

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C2 | Gallery

Brown allows new local development financing tools

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Forum examines Props. 1 and 2 on November ballot

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Assembly candidates will be at Woodland forum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
California approves landmark ‘yes means yes’ law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

TSA bomb training may be noisy

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Try out basic yoga on Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

DCC welcomes students with free lunch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Gibson House hosts plant sale and garden event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UCD, University College Dublin will cooperate on food, health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Accessibility technology on exhibit at fair

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Covell Gardens breakfast benefits Komen Foundation

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Put your hoes down and celebrate the harvest

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Panelists discuss raising children with special needs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Number of wheels: How many bicycles do you have in your household?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C5 | Gallery

DCC hosts fair-trade gift sale on Oct. 11

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Downtown history tour planned in October

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Emerson gives away old textbooks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Fraud Awareness Fair set Oct. 15 in West Sac

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Woodland PD seeks volunteers for ViP program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

DMTC makes musical theater accessible to everyone

By Bev Sykes | From Page: C9 | Gallery

 
Take home a wreath from Davis Flower Arrangers’ meeting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Snapshot: A night out with the neighbors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C10

 
Davis school names reflect interesting history

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: C12

Snapshot: Plenty of places to park it

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C14

 
Snapshot: Dive into Davis fun

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C15

Snapshot: Kick garbage to the curb

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C16

 
Snapshot: Sounds like a party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: C17

.

Forum

It takes two to lambada

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
He seems happy at home

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

The great bedtime conspiracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
They’re best-prepared to lead

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Vibrant and hard-working

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Archer has the right stuff

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Get on your bikes to meet Davis’ greenhouse gas goals

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Marsh case shows need for ‘Maupin’s Law’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

 
Only 15 months out of UCD, Runas off to LPGA Tour

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis golfers get teaching moments in forfeit win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
‘Playoff game’ or missed chance? Either way the Aggies move on

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils move atop league standings with win

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Two Junior Blue Devil squads emerge victorious

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
.

Features

.

Arts

 
Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

I-House film series continues with ‘Monsieur Lazhar’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
‘Art Farm’ exhibition will open in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Pleasant Valley Boys cool down Picnic in the Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Acclaimed guitarist Peppino D’Agostino to play The Palms

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Danelle Evelyn Watson

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Michael Allen Hanks Baxter

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Anne Elizabeth Elbrecht

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7