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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 41:77-79 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/dao041077

Aspects of general antimicrobial properties of skin secretions in the common seal Phoca vitulina

W. Meyer1,*, M. Bollhorn1, M. Stede2

1Anatomical Institute, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hannover, Germany
2Veterinary Investigation Centre for Fish and Fishproducts, 27472 Cuxhaven, Germany

ABSTRACT: Considerable amounts of several saccharide residues (α-d-Man, β-d-GlcNAc, α-d-GalNAc, β-d-Gal, α-d-Gal, α-l-Fuc, NeuNAc) are demonstrated by lectin histochemistry in the sections of the sebaceous glands, and, particularly, the apocrine tubular glands of the common seal. These sugars may be liberated on the skin surface by microbial activities and, then, represent a general antimicrobial protection mechanism of the skin because of their ability to inhibit the adherence of different bacteria and fungi to the epidermis.

KEY WORDS: Skin secretions · Free sugars · Antimicrobial protection · Seal

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