Seal killing parasite found
Researchers at the University of British Columbia say they have identified the parasite that killed hundreds of seals off Cape Breton in 2012.
Michael Grigg, a molecular parasitologist and adjunct professor at the school, says a new strain of sarcocystis is responsible for the deaths of 406 grey seals on Hay Island in February 2012.
In a release on the university's website, Grigg says the strain of parasite is not harmful to humans but has killed an endangered Steller sea lion, seals, walruses, and polar and grizzly bears.
Scientists had previously thought a parasite was responsible for the grey seal deaths, but had not identified it.
Grigg and his colleagues presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science last week, saying that the disappearance of ice is exposing various mammals to new pathogens.
They also say they found for the first time an infectious form of a cat parasite in western Arctic belugas that can cause blindness and fetal abortions in people.
Comments on this story are pre-moderated. Before they appear, comments are reviewed by moderators to ensure they meet our submission guidelines. Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then. Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of Castanet, but only of the comment writer.
Read more BC News
- Cold and snow returns to the Midwest World
- Sign meeting draws big crowdPenticton / S. Okanagan
- Rockets drop heartbreaker to RoyalsSports
- Another 'Club' teams up with Yacht ClubKelowna
Government of BC
Provincial Emergency Program
BC Health Guide