1. Ecology
  2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
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Immune mediated hookworm clearance and survival of a marine mammal decreases with warmer ocean temperatures

  1. Mauricio Seguel  Is a corresponding author
  2. Felipe Montalva
  3. Diego Perez-Venegas
  4. Josefina Gutiérrez
  5. Hector J Paves
  6. Ananda Muller
  7. Carola Valencia
  8. Elizabeth Howerth
  9. Victoria Mendiola
  10. Nicole Gottdenker
  1. University of Georgia, United States
  2. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  3. Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile
  4. Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile
  5. Universidad Santo Tomas, Chile
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e38432 doi: 10.7554/eLife.38432

Abstract

Increases in ocean temperature are associated with changes in the distribution of fish stocks, and the foraging regimes and maternal attendance patterns of marine mammals. However, it is not well understood how these changes affect offspring health and survival. The maternal attendance patterns and immunity of South American fur seals were assessed in a rookery where hookworm disease is the main cause of pup mortality. Pups receiving higher levels of maternal attendance had a positive energy balance and a more reactive immune system. These pups were able to expel hookworms through a specific immune mediated mechanism and survived the infection. Maternal attendance was higher in years with low sea surface temperature, therefore, the mean hookworm burden and mortality increased with sea surface temperature over a 10-year period. We provide a mechanistic explanation regarding how changes in ocean temperature and maternal care affect infectious diseases dynamics in a marine mammal.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Mauricio Seguel

    Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    For correspondence
    mseguel@uga.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-0465-236X
  2. Felipe Montalva

    Departmento de Biología Marina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Diego Perez-Venegas

    Facultad de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Josefina Gutiérrez

    Programa de Investigación Aplicada en Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Hector J Paves

    Departamento de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad Santo Tomas, Osorno, Chile
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Ananda Muller

    Instituto de Ciencias Clínicas Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Carola Valencia

    Programa de Investigación Aplicada en Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Elizabeth Howerth

    Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Victoria Mendiola

    Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Nicole Gottdenker

    Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Morris Animal Foundation (D16ZO-413)

  • Mauricio Seguel

Society for Marine Mammalogy (Small grants in aid)

  • Mauricio Seguel

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: The experiments described in this manuscript were conducted with approval of the Chilean fisheries service and the University of Georgia animal use committee (IACUC #A2013 11-004-Y3-A0).

Reviewing Editor

  1. Christian Rutz, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: May 16, 2018
  2. Accepted: October 26, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 6, 2018 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2018, Seguel et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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