IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Printer-friendly version

Relative immunocompetence of the newborn harbour seal, Phoca vitulina
Ross, P.S.; de Swart, R.L.; Visser, I.K.G.; Vedder, L.J.; Murk, W.; Bowen, W.D.; Osterhaus, A.D.M.E. (1994). Relative immunocompetence of the newborn harbour seal, Phoca vitulina. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 42: 331-348
In: Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; Lausanne; New York; Shannon; Amsterdam. ISSN 0165-2427, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Ross, P.S.; de Swart, R.L.; Visser, I.K.G.; Vedder, L.J.; Murk, W.; Bowen, W.D.; Osterhaus, A.D.M.E. (1995). Relative immunocompetence of the newborn harbour seal, Phoca vitulina, in: Ross, P.S. Seals, pollution and disease: environmental contaminant-induced immunosuppression = Zeehonden, vervuiling en infectieziekten: immuunsuppressie als gevolg van blootstelling aan milieuvervuilende stoffen. pp. 27-40, more

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Immunology; Juveniles; Pathology; Phoca vitulina Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Ross, P.S.
  • de Swart, R.L.
  • Visser, I.K.G.
  • Vedder, L.J.
  • Murk, W.
  • Bowen, W.D.
  • Osterhaus, A.D.M.E.

Abstract
    The immune system of many mammalian species is not fully developed at birth, with newborns obtaining temporary immunological protection from maternal antibodies. Little is known of the immune system of the harbour seal, and developmental aspects of its immune system have not been systematically studied. We collected blood and milk samples from nine free-ranging mother-pup pairs throughout the lactation period on Sable Island, Canada, in an effort to characterise developmental aspects of the immune system of this newborn pinniped. Pup lymphocytes responded stronger to the mitogens concanavalin A, phytohaemagglutinin, and pokeweed mitogen than the lymphocytes of their mothers. In contrast to newborn cats and dogs, newborn seal pups developed high specific antibody responses after immunisation with an inactivated rabies vaccine. Circulating levels of total IgG in newborn pups were low (3% of maternal levels), but increased rapidly after colostrum intake (to 65% of maternal levels after 15 days). A similar pattern of increase in pup serum was observed for phocine distemper virus specific antibodies which had been detected in the serum and milk of mothers, suggesting that the transfer of colostral antibodies is an important feature of temporary protection for the pup. We speculate that the relative immunocompetence of the harbour seal at birth reflects an adaptation to its relatively short nursing period and limited maternal care.

All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors