Sea lions aborting on San Miguel Island, California, and fur seals on St. Paul Island, Alaska, were studied for the presence of infectious disease agents. Leptospira were isolated from both groups and may have been one cause of reproductive failure in both species. From a total of seven virus isolations made, one isolate from fur seals and two isolates from sea lions appear antigenically related by serum neutralization tests. In their host range, morphology, and physicochemical properties, the virus isolates are indistinguishable from Vesicular Exanthema of Swine Virus. Six mycoplasma isolations have been made but have not been fully characterized. A fungus, Scopulariopsis sp., isolated from three different sea lions, is the same genus that was repeatedly isolated from Navy divers during prolonged submergence studies.

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Author notes


This investigation was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, United States Navy, under a contract between the Office of Naval Research and the Regents of the University of California. Reproduction in whole or in part is permitted for any purpose of the United States Government.


Presented in part at the 4th Annual Conference of the International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, May 1973.


Naval Undersea Center, San Diegò, California 92132.


Comparative Pathology Branch Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory, Pensacola, Florida 32512, U.S.A.


Marine Mammal Division, Northwest Fisheries Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, Seattle, Washington 98115, U.S.A.