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Title: First case of erysipelas in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded in the Mediterranean Sea
Authors: Melero, Mar 
Rubio-Guerri, Consuelo
Crespo, Jose Luis
Arbelo, Manuel 
Vela, Ana Isabel
García-Párraga, Daniel
Sierra, Eva 
Domínguez, Lucas
Sánchez-Vizcaíno, José Manuel
Keywords: Rhusiopathiae
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: 0177-5103
Journal: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 
Abstract: An adult female bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded alive and subsequently died several minutes later on the Mediterranean coast of Spain on 14 July 2010. Clinical examination revealed foam through the blowhole and rales upon lung auscultation. On venipuncture, the blood was abnormally dense and dark. Hematological and biochemical abnormalities included dehydration, leukocytosis (48 600 leukocytes mu l(-1)) characterized by neutrophilia (48 200 neutrophils mu l(-1)), and elevated bilirubin (4.38 mg dl(-1)), alanine aminotransferase (382.3 U l(-1)), aspartate aminotransferase (1449.3 U l(-1)), lactate dehydrogenase (1631.3 U l(-1)), and creatine kinase (404.7 U l(-1)). The most relevant findings of the gross examination were rhomboid-shaped skin lesions, stable froth in the trachea, pulmonary congestion, abnormally thick and rough pleura with adhesions, edematous and congestive superficial cervical and tracheobronchial lymph nodes, red-tinged urine, and severe brain congestion. Histopathology of the kidney, lung, skin, and brain revealed multisystemic intravascular bacterial emboli. Samples of skin, brain, and lung were cultured on Columbia blood agar under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, and pure and heavy bacterial cultures were obtained from skin and brain samples. The microorganism isolated was Gram-positive, catalase-negative, facultatively anaerobic, and rod-shaped. The isolates were identified as Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae by the API Coryne biochemical system. Based on the gross and microscopic findings, a diagnosis of acute E. rhusiopathiae septicemia was made. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of E. rhusiopathiae septicemia in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin.
ISSN: 0177-5103
DOI: 10.3354/dao02412
Source: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms[ISSN 0177-5103],v. 97, p. 167-170
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