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Caspian Seal Disease


Investigation of Ethyology and Epizootology of Caspian Seal Disease. Elaboration of Aerosol Immunization Method of Rookery Sea Animals

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Agriculture
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Russian Scientific-Research Institute of Hunting and Fur Farming, Russia, Kirov reg., Kirov

Supporting institutes

  • Center of Ecological Initiatives Press-Torf, Russia, Kirov reg., Kirov


  • US Department of Commerce / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / Alaska Fisheries Science Center / National Marine Mammal Laboratory, USA, WA, Seattle\nPacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA, WA, Richland

Project summary

Since the 1980s of the XX-th century a mass death of seals in the Caspian Sea has been observed. At present the death of those animals reaches several thousand inpiduals a year that makes up 10-15% of the animal life stock. The causes of that phenomenon have not been studied completely. Preliminary research works showed that the causes may be epizooties of an unclear viral nature or severe ecological changes in the habitat of those rookery-living sea animals or a complex effect of several unfavourable factors.

To preserve that unique species of animals it is necessary to carry out studies on revealing real causes of the seal’s death and also to work out scientifically grounded recommendations on prophylactic and other measures.

One of the methods of infectious disease prophylaxis in animals is vaccination. The mass and most humane immunization of wild animals in nature is oral and aerosol (inhalation) ways of vaccine preparation administration. However, practical methods of carrying out immunization of such rookery-living animals as seal had not been worked out by present.

The main aim of the given project is to find out the cause of mass death of the Caspian seal, and to work out scientifically grounded recommendations on preventing the extinction of those rear animals including an aerosol way of immunization of rookery-living sea animals using the given species as an example.

The main aims of the project are the following:

1. Ecological and epizootological studies in the areas of mass gathering of seal:

2. Clinical observations, carrying out of postmortem, biochemical, toxicological and special diagnostic examinations to reveal the disease pathogenic organism (organisms) among pinnipeds.

3. Studying of biological characteristics of the pathogenic organism of the infection.

4. Working out of recommendations on preventing seal’s mass death in the areas of their compact living in nature.

5. Working out of an aerosol (inhalation) method of immunization of rookery-living animals (using seal as an example) in nature.

When carrying out the given project the following results will be expected:

1. The cause of seal’s mass death in the Caspian Sea will be found.

2. Scientifically grounded recommendations on preventing seal’s mass death will be worked out, and further measures on preventing and eliminating that infectious disease of animals will be planned.

3. Scientifically grounded methodical recommendations on aerosol immunization (including technical equipment) of sea animals in their habitat.

4. The list of available vaccines suitable for aerosol vaccination of seal will be substantiated.

5. Instruction for aerosol immunization of seal will be worked out.

The work on the project is applied investigations in character.

Scientific significance of the project is to work out a methodology of revealing the causes of seal’s death will find use when revealing etiological factors of infectious diseases of other sea animals, and the worked out method of mass immunization may be extrapolated to other wild animals.

Commercial significance of the project is that in the market new technical approaches to a mass and humane way of immunization of wild animals in their habitats appeared.

The following main investigations will be carried out:

Epizootological and ecological studies in the areas of seal living. Clinical observations, postmortem, biochemical, toxicological and special diagnostic examinations with the purpose to find pathogenic organisms of infection among those animals. Studying of biological characteristics of a pathogenic organism of infection. Studying of an infectious disease in a laboratory model or healthy inpiduals of pinnipeds.

Besides, an aerosol method of immunization of seal in nature with the option of technical means of an experiment will be worked out, and special equipment will be made.


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