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Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) in Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella


Rectal swabs were collected from Antarctic fur seal pups Arctocephalus gazella at Cape Shirreff, South Shetland Islands, and analyzed for the presence of anthropogenic pathogens. Two of the 33 pups tested positive for enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). These samples are the first records of EPEC in Antarctic wildlife and suggest that more needs to be done to protect the Antarctic fauna from exotic anthropogenic pathogens.

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The Chilean Antarctic Institute (Project INACH 018) and the Swedish Polar Secretariat are greatly acknowledged for their support. The Swedish Research Council FORMAS (2001–1146) financially supported this study. Romeo Vargas collected the samples.

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Correspondence to Jorge Hernandez.

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Hernandez, J., Prado, V., Torres, D. et al. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) in Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella . Polar Biol 30, 1227–1229 (2007).

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  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Rectal Swab
  • Fishing Vessel
  • South Shetland Island
  • Cloacal Swab