[MARMAM] new articles on postmortem analyses on bycaught animals applying diatoms technique

Sandro Mazzariol sandro.mazzariol at unipd.it
Fri Aug 3 12:22:27 PDT 2018

Dear Collegues

I'm glad to announce a new article on a forensic techniques which could
be useful in by-catch diagnosis. This article is a preliminary
evaluation of the presence of diatoms in bones of stranded marine
vertebrates including cetaceans. Diatoms researches are used in forensic
human medicine in order to support drowning evidences. Further studies
could enforce the use of this technique in bycatch postmortem diagnosis
along with other findings. Details could be found in the following


*The diatoms test in veterinary medicine: a pilot study on cetaceans and
sea turtles.*

Fishing activities are considered one of the most relevant threats for
cetaceans and sea turtles con- servation since these animals are
sometimes found dead entangled in fishing gears. Currently, postmortem
diagnosis is based mainly on the presence of nets and lines on the body
and the related marks and injuries evident at gross examination. A more
detailed and objective evidence is needed to clarify doubts cases and
the diatoms technique, used in forensic human medicine, could support
drowning diagnosis also in this field. Diatoms’ investigation was
implemented to be applied in ma- rine vertebrate on 8 striped (Stenella
coeruleoalba) and 1 bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) dolphins and 5 sea
turtles (Caretta caretta) stranded along the Italian coastlines with a
likely cause of death hypothized on necropsies carried out by veterinary
pathologists. Diatoms were microscopically searched in the bone marrow
collected from long bones implementing protocols used in human medicine
and their presence was observed in 4 cetaceans and 2 sea turtles.
Despite a clear relation between diatoms’ presence and amount and the
likely cause of death was not proved due to the poor number of samples,
the higher burden of diatoms was found in 3 animals deemed to be death
for the interaction with human activity. Despite more studied are
necessary to identify the possible relation between the cause of death
and diatoms’ findings, the present study implemented this technique to
be adapted to marine animals, confirming its possible application also
in veterinary forensic medicine.

CITATION:  Rubini S, Frisoni P, Russotto C, Pedriali N, Mignone W,
Grattarola C, Giorda F, Pautasso A, Barbieri S, Cozzi B, Mazzariol S,
Gaudio RM. The diatoms test in veterinary medicine: A pilot study on
cetaceans and sea turtles. Forensic Sci Int. 2018 Jul 5. pii:

Full text could be downloaded at the following address


All the best

Sandro Mazzariol

Dr. Sandro Mazzariol, DVM, PhD
Dipartimento di Biomedicina Comparata e Alimentazione (BCA)
Università degli Studi di Padova
Cetaceans strandings Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Viale dell'Università 16
35020 - Legnaro (PD)

tel.: +39 049 827 2963
fax:  +39 049 827 2973
skype: smazzariol

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