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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Rebecca Gast

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Projects
» Antarctic Protists

» Marine Animal Zoonoses in the Northeast

» Mixotrophy

» Cold Tubulin

» Symbiosis

» Parasites of Marine Invertebrates

» Human Pathogens in the Marine Environment

» Ctenophore Commensals


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Bird and Marine Mammal Emerging Zoonoses

Collaborators:
Michael Moore (lead PI) Andrea Bogomolni Mark Dennett Julie Ellis (Tufts Veterinary School Wildlife Clinic) Mark Pokras (Tufts Veterinary School Wildlife Clinic) Kathleen Touhey (Cape Cod Stranding Network) Rebecca Harris (Tufts Veterinary School)

Marine animals are major potential oceanic vectors and victims of zoonotic diseases. Fish and shellfish are directly consumed by humans, while marine mammals and seabirds prey or scavenge on fish. Marine mammals and birds often haul out, strand or land on the same beaches that humans recreate upon. Coastal birds such as gulls routinely mix with humans in recreational settings, and forage at human solid and liquid waste facilities. Humans encounter these animals as processors and consumers of seafood, and as bird and marine animal rehabilitatirs. There has been an inadequate knowledge of the prevalence of zoonotic agents in the marine vertebrates of the North East United States. In this project, we focus on surveillance of marine mammals and gulls of New England by screening for the presence of influenza, Brucella, Leptospira, Giardia and Cryptosporidium in fecal, serum and tissue samples collected from live, bycaught and stranded animals. See our website www.whoi.edu/sites/zoonoses

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