Update browser for a secure Made experience

It looks like you may be using a web browser version that we don't support. Make sure you're using the most recent version of your browser, or try using of these supported browsers, to get the full Made experience: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge.

Get Tickets

General Admission

We look forward to seeing you

General Admission: Find Tickets

Start Saving Now

Discounts & promotions

Start Saving Now: See Discounts

Animal Encounters

Get up close with our animals

Animal Encounters: Learn More

Mystic Aquarium offers Brucella diagnostic and immunological testing for both routine analysis and research projects. Before submitting samples or for further information, please contact:

Laura Thompson, PhD

Mystic Aquarium

55 Coogan Blvd.

Mystic CT 06355

lthompson@mysticaquarium.org

Available Tests

Competitive ELISA

Procedure: This cELISA is based on a whole-cell Brucella isolate from a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) and tests for the presence of antibodies against marine-origin Brucella. This test does not detect the presence of the bacteria, but the presence of antibodies to the bacteria. The presence of antibodies can indicate either previous exposure or a current active infection. All samples are screened at a 1:10 dilution and the percent of inhibition is measured. For information regarding the development of this assay please read Meegan et al. 2010.

Negative result: ≤ 24.9% inhibition

Suspect result: 25-29.9% inhibition

Positive result: ≥ 30% inhibition

 

Samples accepted: Serum; preferably 0.5 ml or more

Sample storage: Label each sample with the date and animal ID#. Freeze samples as soon as possible following collection. Store at -70°C (short-term storage at -20°C is acceptable).

Sample shipment: Overnight on ice, frozen ice packs, or dry ice. Please include the “Sample Submission Form” and “Sample Submission Information Release Form” with your samples. Notify contact above via email before shipping samples to confirm ship and receive dates.

Test days: The cELISA will be conducted the first week of every month and results should typically be available by the second week of the month. Samples need to arrive by the last day of the previous month to be included in the run.

Expedited processing at other times may be available for a surcharge. Please inquire with the contact listed above for more information. Requests for expedited processing will be assessed per case and may not be feasible.

Pricing:

1-4 samples: $200 flat rate (whether 1,2,3, or 4 samples are submitted)

5-14 samples: $50/sample

15-28 samples: $45/sample

29+ samples: $40/sample

DISCLAIMER

Performance characteristics of the cELISA assay is yet to be determined under all conditions and clinical circumstances. Results should be interpreted in the context of each case, given the totality of clinical and diagnostic test findings. Negative results do not guarantee the absence of infection. Additional information is needed about the nature of marine Brucella before further interpretations can be made. It is up to the discretion of each submitting facility to decide how to use the results of these tests and to determine if further testing on specific animals is warranted.

Immunophenotyping

Procedure: Peripheral blood lymphoid cells are labeled with cetacean specific antibodies to identify specific cell subsets. The percentage of cells expressing these molecules is measured by flow cytometry. Cell subsets quantified include: Total lymphocytes, T Cells, T Helper Cells and B Cells.

Samples accepted: Dolphin whole blood; beluga whole blood: 1-2 sodium heparin 10ml vacutainer tube.

Sample storage: 4oC; following collection samples should be stored immediately on ice.

Sample shipment: Samples must be shipped on the day of collection. Samples should ship overnight on ice.

Test days: The assay will be run when sufficient numbers of samples are received. For projects involving blood sampling over days or weeks, the assay will occur once all samples for the project have been received.

Pricing: $250 per sample.

Disclaimer

These Immunophenotyping, Phagocytosis/Respiratory Burst, and Lymphocyte Proliferation immune function assays are research-based tests that are currently under development and validation. Therefore, the results of these assays should be interpreted with caution. Performance characteristics of these assays have not yet been determined under all conditions and clinical circumstances. It is up to the discretion of each submitting facility to decide how to use the results of these tests.

Phagocytosis/Respiratory Burst

Procedure: Phagocytosis and respiratory burst activity of granulocytes and monocytes are measured using propidium iodide labeled, heat-killed S. aureus coupled with a cell-permeant indicator for reactive oxygen species and subsequent analysis by flow cytometry. 

Samples accepted: Cetacean whole blood; 1 sodium heparin 10ml vacutainer tube. Please contact Mystic Aquarium to inquire about additional species.

Sample storage: 4oC; following collection samples should be stored immediately on ice.

Sample shipment: Samples must be shipped on the day of collection. Samples should ship overnight on ice.

*Please contact Mystic Aquarium prior to sample collection and shipment to ensure availability of dates.

Test days: Upon receipt of samples.

Pricing: $200 per sample.

Disclaimer

These Immunophenotyping, Phagocytosis/Respiratory Burst, and Lymphocyte Proliferation immune function assays are research-based tests that are currently under development and validation. Therefore, the results of these assays should be interpreted with caution. Performance characteristics of these assays have not yet been determined under all conditions and clinical circumstances. It is up to the discretion of each submitting facility to decide how to use the results of these tests.

Lymphocyte Proliferation

Procedure: BrdU is incorporated into mitogen-stimulated lymphocytes and measured by an ELISA assay.  Lymphocyte proliferation is proportional to the amount of BrdU incorporated into the DNA of mitogen-stimulated cells as compared to unstimulated control cells.

Samples accepted: Cetacean whole blood; 2 sodium heparin 10ml vacutainer tubes. Please contact Mystic Aquarium to inquire about additional species.

Sample storage: 4oC; following collection samples should be stored immediately on ice.

Sample shipment: Samples must be shipped on the day of collection. Samples should ship overnight on ice.

Test days: Assay will occur when a sufficient number of samples are received. For projects involving blood sampling over days or weeks, the assay will occur once all samples for the project have been received.

Pricing: $200 per sample.

Disclaimer

These Immunophenotyping, Phagocytosis/Respiratory Burst, and Lymphocyte Proliferation immune function assays are research-based tests that are currently under development and validation. Therefore, the results of these assays should be interpreted with caution. Performance characteristics of these assays have not yet been determined under all conditions and clinical circumstances. It is up to the discretion of each submitting facility to decide how to use the results of these tests.