Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in three common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus); A first description from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Eyal Bigal, Danny Morick, Aviad P. Scheinin, Harold Salant, Asaf Berkowitz, Roni King, Yaniv Levy, Mar Melero, José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Oz Goffman, Nir Hadar, Mia Roditi-Elasar, Dan Tchernov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii has been described in several marine mammals around the world including numerous species of cetaceans, yet infection and transmission mechanisms in the marine environment are not clearly defined. The Israel Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center has been collating a database of all marine mammal stranding events along the country's national coastlines since 1993. In this study, we describe the molecular detection and characterisation of T. gondii in three common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) including one case of coinfection with herpesvirus. The animals were found stranded on the Mediterranean coast of Israel in May and November 2013. In one of the three cases, the dolphin was found alive and admitted to intensive care. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T. gondii infection of marine mammals in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. As this parasite acts as an indicator for marine pollution and marine mammal health, we believe these findings add important information regarding the state of the environment in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-78
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume258
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Common bottlenose dolphin
  • Distemper virus
  • Eastern Mediterranean Sea
  • Herpesvirus
  • Israel
  • Marine mammals
  • Toxoplasma gondii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Veterinary (all)

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