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Manatee eyes could be window to health status

human ophthalmology and is in its early stages in veterinary medicine, he said.

Kendal Harr, D.V.M., assistant director of UF's Marine Mammal Medicine program, is collaborating with Samuelson on a large federal Fish and Wildlife Service research initiative to assess the immune function of manatees at Homosassa Springs State Park. She is coordinating sample and data collection for the UF veterinary college as part of the project.

"We suspect that manatees' thick, mucusy tear film likely contains proteins, such as antibodies, that would prevent bacteria and other pathogens from causing disease," Harr said. "We are currently developing qualitative assays to measure antibodies in blood as well as in tear film and milk."


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Contact: Sarah Carey
careys@mail.vetmed.ufl.edu
352-392-4700
University of Florida
21-Jun-2005


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