[MARMAM] Please post: New publication- Systematic health assessment of Tursiops and Sousa from South Africa

Plon, Stephanie (Dr) (Summerstrand Campus South) Stephanie.Plon at nmmu.ac.za
Tue Sep 16 06:18:46 PDT 2014

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article:

E. P. Lane, M. de Wet, P. Thompson, U. Siebert, P. Wohlsein, S. Plön

A systematic health assessment of Indian Ocean bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and Indo-Pacific humpback (Sousa plumbea) dolphins incidentally caught in shark nets off the KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa.

PLoS ONE 9(9): e0107038.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107038
Coastal dolphins are regarded as indicators of changes in coastal marine ecosystem health that could impact humans utilizing the marine environment for food or recreation. Necropsy and histology examinations were performed on 35 Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) and five Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea) incidentally caught in shark nets off the KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa, between 2010 and 2012. Parasitic lesions included pneumonia (85%), abdominal and thoracic serositis (75%), gastroenteritis (70%), hepatitis (62%), and endometritis (42%). Parasitic species identified were Halocercus sp. (lung), Crassicauda sp. (skeletal muscle) and Xenobalanus globicipitis (skin). Additional findings included bronchiolar epithelial mineralisation (83%), splenic filamentous tags (45%), non-suppurative meningoencephalitis (39%), and myocardial fibrosis (26%). No immunohistochemically positive reaction was present in lesions suggestive of dolphin morbillivirus, Toxoplasma gondii and Brucella spp. The first confirmed cases of lobomycosis and sarcocystosis in South African dolphins were documented. Most lesions were mild, and all animals were considered to be in good nutritional condition, based on blubber thickness and muscle mass. Apparent temporal changes in parasitic disease prevalence may indicate a change in the host/parasite interface. This study provided valuable baseline information on conditions affecting coastal dolphin populations in South Africa and, to our knowledge, constitutes the first reported systematic health assessment in incidentally caught dolphins in the Southern Hemisphere. Further research on temporal disease trends as well as disease pathophysiology and anthropogenic factors affecting these populations is needed.

The article can be accessed via http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0107038

or by requesting an electronic reprint from emily at nzg.ac.za<mailto:emily at nzg.ac.za> or stephanie.plon at nmmu.ac.za<mailto:stephanie.plon at nmmu.ac.za>

Thanks, Stephanie

Dr. Stephanie Plön
Coastal and Marine Research Institute
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)
PO Box 77000
Port Elizabeth, 6031


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