To better elucidate the potential immune-related health effects of exposure to environmentally persistent organic pollutants (POP), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), in ringed seals (Pusa hispida), a sentinel Arctic species, we assessed 1) associations between mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation and in vivo tissue contaminant burdens, and 2) the concentration-response effects of in vitro exposure to PFASs and PCB congeners on mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation. Upon in vitro contaminant exposure, the non-coplanar PCB congeners CB 138, 153, and 180, but not the coplanar CB 169, significantly reduced lymphocyte proliferation between 10 and 20µgg(-1) ww. The respective in vitro EC50 values for these congeners were 13.3, 20.7, 20.8, and 54.6µgg(-1) ww. No modulation of lymphocyte proliferation was observed upon in vitro exposure to two individual PFASs, perfluorooctane sulphonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), at concentrations up to 1000ngg-1. In addition, no significant correlations were found between lymphocyte proliferation and any blood or blubber contaminant measured. Taken together, these data suggest this population of ringed seals is not currently at high risk of altered lymphocyte proliferation from exposure to the POPs or PFASs in this study.
Despite the remoteness of the North Water, Northwest Greenland, the local Inughuit population is affected by global anthropogenic pollution and climate change. Using a cross-disciplinary approach combining Mercury (Hg) analysis, catch information, and historical and anthropological perspectives, this article elucidates how the traditional diet is compromised by Hg pollution originating from lower latitudes. In a new approach we here show how the Inughuits in Avanersuaq are subject to high Hg exposure from the hunted traditional food, consisting of mainly marine seabirds and mammals. Violation of the provisional tolerably yearly intake of Hg, on average by a factor of 11 (range 7-15) over the last 20 years as well as the provisional tolerably monthly intake by a factor of 6 (range 2-16), raises health concerns. The surplus of Selenium (Se) in wildlife tissues including narwhals showed Se:Hg molar ratios of 1.5, 2.3, and 16.7 in muscle, liver, and mattak, respectively, likely to provide some protection against the high Hg exposure.
Cites: Sci Total Environ. 2010 Jul 1;408(15):2995-3043 PMID 19910021
Cites: Ugeskr Laeger. 1993 Jan 11;155(2):108-9 PMID 8421855
Concentrations of organohalogenated contaminants (OHCs) can show significant temporal and spatial variation in the environment and wildlife. Most of the variation is due to changes in use and production, but environmental and biological factors may also contribute to the variation. Nestlings of top predators are exposed to maternally transferred OHCs in the egg and through their dietary intake after hatching. The present study investigated spatial and temporal variation of OHCs and the role of age and diet on these variations in plasma of Norwegian white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) nestlings. The nestlings were sampled at two locations, Smøla and Steigen, in 2015 and 2016. The age of the nestlings was recorded (range: 44?-?87 days old) and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes (d13C and d15N) were applied as dietary proxies for carbon source and trophic position, respectively. In total, 14 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, range: 0.82?-?59.05 ng/mL), 7 organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs, range: 0.89?-?52.19?ng/mL), 5 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs, range: 0.03?-?2.64 ng/mL) and 8 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs, range: 4.58?-?52.94?ng/mL) were quantified in plasma samples from each location and year. The OHC concentrations, age and dietary proxies displayed temporal and spatial variations. The age of the nestlings was indicated as the most important predictor for OHC variation as the models displayed significantly decreasing plasma concentrations of PCBs, OCPs, and PBDEs with increasing age, while concentrations of PFASs were significantly increasing with age. Together with age, the variations in PCB, OCP and PBDE concentrations were also explained by d13C and indicated decreasing concentrations with a more marine diet. Our findings emphasise age and diet as important factors to consider when investigating variations in plasma OHC concentrations in nestlings.
Zoonotic infections transmitted from terrestrial and marine mammals to humans in European Arctic are of unknown significance, despite considerable potential for transmission due to local hunt and a rapidly changing environment. As an example, infection with Brucella bacteria may have significant impact on human health due to consumption of raw meat or otherwise contact with tissues and fluids of infected game species such as muskoxen and polar bears. Here, we present serological results for Baffin Bay polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n?=?96) and North East Greenland muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) (n?=?32) for antibodies against Brucella spp. The analysis was a two-step trial initially using the Rose Bengal Test (RBT), followed by confirmative competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of RBT-positive samples. No muskoxen had antibodies against Brucella spp., while antibodies were detected in six polar bears (6.25%) rendering a seroprevalence in line with previous findings in other Arctic regions. Seropositivity was not related to sex, age or biometrics i.e. size and body condition. Whether Brucella spp. antibodies found in polar bears were due to either prey spill over or true recurrent Brucella spp. infections is unknown. Our results therefore highlight the importance of further research into the zoonotic aspects of Brucella spp. infections, and the impact on wildlife and human health in the Arctic region.
The risk from POP (persistent organic pollutant) exposure and subsequent reproductive, immunotoxic and liver histopathological effects was evaluated in a classical parallel trial on Greenland sledge dogs (Canis familiaris) fed contaminated minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) blubber. First the critical body residues (CBRs) were estimated using the physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for seven POP compounds based on rat critical daily doses (CDDs). These were then compared with the actual daily oral POP doses (DD) and body residues (BR) in the sledge dogs by calculating risk quotients (RQDD: DD/CDD; RQBR: BR/CBR; =1 indicates risk). The results showed that risk quotients for reproductive, immunotoxic and liver histopathological effects were significantly lowest in the control group (p
Zoonotic infections transmitted from marine mammals to humans in the Baltic and European Arctic are of unknown significance, despite given considerable potential for transmission due to local hunt. Here we present results of an initial screening for Brucella spp. in Arctic and Baltic seal species. Baltic ringed seals (Pusa hispida, n?=?12) sampled in October 2015 and Greenland Sea harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus, n?=?6) and hooded seals (Cystophora cristata, n?=?3) sampled in March 2015 were serologically analysed for antibodies against Brucella spp. The serological analyses were performed using the Rose Bengal Test (RBT) followed by a confirmatory testing of RBT-positive samples by a competitive-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (C-ELISA). Two of the Baltic ringed seals (a juvenile male and a juvenile female) were seropositive thus indicating previous exposure to a Brucella spp. The findings indicate that ringed seals in the Baltic ecosystem may be exposed to and possibly infected by Brucella spp. No seropositive individuals were detected among the Greenland harp and hooded seals. Although our initial screening shows a zoonotic hazard to Baltic locals, a more in-depth epidemiological investigation is needed in order to determine the human risk associated with this.
Information on trace element pollution in the terrestrial environment and its biota is limited compared to the marine environment. In the present study, we collected body feathers and blood of 37 Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) nestlings from Tromsø (northern Norway), Trondheim (central Norway), and Murcia (southeastern Spain) to study regional exposure, hypothesizing the potential health risks of metals and other trace elements. Blood and body feathers were analyzed by a high resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (HR-ICP-MS) for aluminum (Al), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), selenium (Se), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb). The influence of regional differences, urbanization and agricultural land usage in proximity to the nesting Northern goshawks was investigated using particular spatial analysis techniques. Most trace elements were detected below literature blood toxicity thresholds, except for elevated concentrations (mean ± SD µgml(-1) ww) found for Zn (5.4 ± 1.5), Cd (0.00023 ± 0.0002), and Hg (0.021 ± 0.01). Corresponding mean concentrations in feathers (mean ± SD µgg(-1) dw) were 82.0 ± 12.4, 0.0018 ± 0.002, and 0.26 ± 0.2 for Zn, Cd and Hg respectively. Multiple linear regressions indicated region was a significant factor influencing Al, Zn, Se and Hg feather concentrations. Blood Cd and Hg concentrations were significantly influenced by agricultural land cover. Urbanization did not have a significant impact on trace element concentrations in either blood or feathers. Overall metal and trace element levels do not indicate a high risk for toxic effects in the nestlings. Levels of Cd in Tromsø and Hg in Trondheim were however above sub-lethal toxic threshold levels. For holistic risk assessment purposes it is important that the concentrations found in the nestlings of this study indicate that terrestrial raptors are exposed to various trace elements.
Exposure to long-range transported industrial chemicals, climate change and diseases is posing a risk to the overall health and populations of Arctic wildlife. Since local communities are relying on the same marine food web as marine mammals in the Arctic, it requires a One Health approach to understand the holistic ecosystem health including that of humans. Here we collect and identify gaps in the current knowledge of health in the Arctic and present the veterinary perspective of One Health and ecosystem dynamics. The review shows that exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is having multiple organ-system effects across taxa, including impacts on neuroendocrine disruption, immune suppression and decreased bone density among others. Furthermore, the warming Arctic climate is suspected to influence abiotic and biotic long-range transport and exposure pathways of contaminants to the Arctic resulting in increases in POP exposure of both wildlife and human populations. Exposure to vector-borne diseases and zoonoses may increase as well through range expansion and introduction of invasive species. It will be important in the future to investigate the effects of these multiple stressors on wildlife and local people to better predict the individual-level health risks. It is within this framework that One Health approaches offer promising opportunities to survey and pinpoint environmental changes that have effects on wildlife and human health.
Cites: Aquat Toxicol. 2012 Mar;109:185-9322018916
Cites: Environ Sci Technol. 2006 Jan 15;40(2):449-5516468388
Cites: Sci Total Environ. 2010 Oct 15;408(22):5165-23420728918
Cites: Sci Total Environ. 2010 Jul 1;408(15):2995-304319910021