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Thierry M Work

Veterinary Medical Officer

National Wildlife Health Center

Office Phone: 808-792-9520
Fax: 808-792-9596
ORCID: 0000-0002-4426-9090

300 Ala Moana Blvd.
P.O. Box 50167
Honolulu , HI 96850

Supervisor: Katherine L Richgels
Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a tumor disease of marine turtles associated with Chelonid herpesvirus 5 (ChHV5) that has historically been refractory to growth in tissue culture. Here, we show for the first time de novo formation of ChHV5-positive intranuclear inclusions in cultured green turtle cells, which is indicative for active lytic replication of the virus. The minimal requirements to achieve lytic replication in cultured cells included 1) either in-vitro culturing of ChHV5-positive tumor biopsies or organotypic cultures consisting of ChHV5-positive turtle fibroblasts in collagen rafts seeded with ChHV5-negative or -positive turtle keratinocytes and 2) keratinocyte maturation, which occurred naturally in explanted...
The present study proposes a new methodology for the quantification of parasite eggs in animal tissue. Quantification of parasites are important to understand epidemiology of spirorchiid infections in sea turtles, however different methodologies for quantifying Spirorchiidae eggs in turtle tissues have been used. The most representative way to quantify Spirorchiidae burdens in tissues is counting eggs / g of tissue, however, this method is very laborious. As an alternative, we propose quantifying number of Spirorchiidae egg/ area of tissue on a microscope slide. We compared this method to number of eggs / slide, a common metric of egg burden in turtle tissues. Both methods correlated well with eggs / g with eggs/mm2...
In 2007, a phase shift from corals to corallimorpharians (CM) was documented at Palmyra Atoll, Line Islands, centered around a shipwreck. Subsequent surveys revealed CM to be overgrowing the reef benthos, including corals and coralline algae, potentially placing coral ecosystems in the atoll at risk. This prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the lead management agency of the atoll, to remove the shipwreck. Subsequent surveys showed reversal of spread of CM around the ship impact site. We explain patterns of spread of the CM in terms of life history and local currents and show with a pilot study that pulverized bleach may be an effective tool to eradicate CM on a local scale. If applied strategically, particularly...
Echinoderms such as urchins are important in marine ecosystems, particularly as grazers, and unhealthy urchins can have important ecological implications. For instance, unexplained mortalities of Diadema sp. in the Caribbean were followed by algal overgrowth and subsequent collapse of coral reef ecosystems. Unfortunately few tools exist to evaluate echinoderm health making management of mortalities or other health issues problematic. Hematology is often used to assess animal health in many animal groups including invertebrates but is seldom applied to echninoderms. We used a standard gravitometric technique to concentrate fixed ceolomocytes from the collector urchin Tripneustes gratilla onto microscope slides permitting...
Invasive rodents on islands have adverse impacts on native birds in island ecosystems, and rats are the most common culprits. Recently, house mice (Mus musculus) in the South Atlantic were found preying on three species of albatross chicks. Here, we show that house mice can also prey on nesting adult Laysan albatross (Phoebastrea immutabilis) on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (USA). In contrast to mouse attacks on albatross in the South Atlantic where mice targeted the rump and crown of chicks, on Midway, mice targeted nesting adults mainly on the back. For both regions, the outcome was similar with reduced nesting success. In the case of Midway, reduced nesting success was due to nest abandonment or mortality...
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