A juvenile female striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) live stranded on 4 March 2016 at Alassio, western Ligurian Sea Coast, Italy. The dolphin died shortly after stranding and a complete post mortem examination was performed. Necropsy revealed severe tracheal occlusion and unilateral partial bronchial stenosis with luminal accumulation of abundant green-yellow mucous-gelatinous material. Histological features suggestive of tracheobronchial aspergillosis were observed, extensive regions of bronchial mucosa were ulcerated, necrotic and covered by many fungal hyphae. Cultures of lung tissue and tracheo-bronchial exudate isolated Aspergillus fumigatus, identified by Microseq D2 LSUrDNA fungal sequencing kit. A pan-Herpesvirus nested PCR assay on frozen samples obtained from multiple organs was positive. Phylogenetic analysis on the partial DNA polymerase gene revealed that the striped dolphin isolate was closely related to known cetacean Alphaherpesvirus sequences from the same host species. Attempted virus isolation was unsuccessful. The tissue levels of different persistent organic pollutants and the toxicological stress, evaluated using a theoretical model, showed a severely impaired immune response. This study reports the first case of occlusive mycotic tracheobronchitis in a free-living cetacean and the first molecular identification of an Alphaherpesvirus in a free-ranging striped dolphin stranded on the coast of Italy.

Occlusive mycotic tracheobronchitis and systemic Alphaherpesvirus coinfection in a free-living striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) in Italy.

DI GUARDO, Giovanni
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2018-01-01

Abstract

A juvenile female striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) live stranded on 4 March 2016 at Alassio, western Ligurian Sea Coast, Italy. The dolphin died shortly after stranding and a complete post mortem examination was performed. Necropsy revealed severe tracheal occlusion and unilateral partial bronchial stenosis with luminal accumulation of abundant green-yellow mucous-gelatinous material. Histological features suggestive of tracheobronchial aspergillosis were observed, extensive regions of bronchial mucosa were ulcerated, necrotic and covered by many fungal hyphae. Cultures of lung tissue and tracheo-bronchial exudate isolated Aspergillus fumigatus, identified by Microseq D2 LSUrDNA fungal sequencing kit. A pan-Herpesvirus nested PCR assay on frozen samples obtained from multiple organs was positive. Phylogenetic analysis on the partial DNA polymerase gene revealed that the striped dolphin isolate was closely related to known cetacean Alphaherpesvirus sequences from the same host species. Attempted virus isolation was unsuccessful. The tissue levels of different persistent organic pollutants and the toxicological stress, evaluated using a theoretical model, showed a severely impaired immune response. This study reports the first case of occlusive mycotic tracheobronchitis in a free-living cetacean and the first molecular identification of an Alphaherpesvirus in a free-ranging striped dolphin stranded on the coast of Italy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11575/98614
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