[MARMAM] New paper on cutaneous nodules in Irrawaddy dolphins

Marie Van Bressem marievanbressem at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Jan 31 00:56:14 PST 2014


are pleased to announce the publication of the following paper in
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms:  

Bressem M-F, Minton G, Sutaria D, Kelkar N, Peter C, Zulkarnaen M,
Mansur R, Porter L, Rodriguez Vargas LH, Rajamani L. (2014) 
Cutaneous nodules in Irrawaddy dolphins: an emerging disease in
vulnerable populations. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 107: 181–189. doi:10.3354/dao02689.  

article can be downloaded at:


presence of cutaneous nodules is reported in vulnerable populations
of Irrawaddy dolphins Orcaella brevirostris from Malaysia (Kuching,
Bintulu-Similajau, Kinabatangan-Segama and Penang Island), India
(Chilika Lagoon) and Bangladesh (Sundarbans). Approximately 5700
images taken for photo-identification studies in 2004 to 2013 were
examined for skin disorders. Nodules were detected in 6 populations.
They appeared as circumscribed elevations of the skin and varied in
size from 2 to >30 mm, were sparse or numerous and occurred on all
visible body areas. In 8 photo-identified (PI) dolphins from India
and Malaysia, the lesions remained stable (N = 2) or progressed (N =
6) over months but did not regress. The 2 most severely affected
individuals were seen in Kuching and the Chilika Lagoon. Their fate
is unknown. Cutaneous nodules were sampled in a female that died in a
gillnet in Kuching in 2012. Histologically, the lesions consisted of
thick collagen bundles covered by a moderately hyperplasic epithelium
and were diagnosed as fibropapillomas. Whether the nodules observed
in the other O. brevirostris were also fibropapillomas remains to be
investigated. Disease prevalence ranged from 2.2% (N = 46;
Bintulu-Similajau) to 13.9% (N = 72; Chilika) in 4 populations from
Malaysia and India. It was not significantly different in 3 study
areas in eastern Malaysia. In Chilika, prevalence was significantly
higher (p = 0.00078) in 2009 to 2011 (13.9%) than in 2004 to 2006
(2.8%) in 72 PI dolphins. The emergence of a novel disease in
vulnerable O. brevirostris populations is of concern.

feel free to contact me if you have any further enquiries.


Dr Marie-Francoise
Van Bressem
e-mail: mfb.cmed at gmail.com
Conservation Medicine Group-CMED  
Centre for Cetacean Research-CEPEC

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