[MARMAM] New publication: lobomycosis-like disease in bottlenose dolphins

Fernando Félix Grijalva fefelix90 at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 26 06:31:30 PDT 2019

My coauthors and I are pleased to share the following article recently published in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms.

F. Félix, M.F. Van Bressem and K. Van Waerebeek. 2019Role of social behaviour in the epidemiology of lobomycosis-like disease (LLD) in estuarine common bottlenose dolphins from Ecuador. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 134: 75-87. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03356

ABSTRACT: Lobomycosis-like disease (LLD) is a chronic granulomatous skin disorder that affects Delphinidae worldwide. LLD has been observed in common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador, since 1990. Although exogenous factors such as salinity and pollution may play a role in the pathogenesis of this disease in estuarine and coastal dolphin communities, we hypothesized that demography and social behaviour may also influence its epidemiology. To address this issue, the role of social behaviour in the distribution and prevalence of LLD was assessed through hierarchical cluster analysis and spatial distribution analysis in 7 dolphin communities inhabiting the inner estuary. Individuals with LLD lesions were observed in 5 of the 7 dolphin communities, with 13 of the 163 (8%) animals being positive, all adults. Among 8 dolphins of known sex, LLD affected mostly males (86%), who usually were found in pairs. Prevalence was low to moderate (5.1-13%) in dolphin communities where low-rank males had LLD. Conversely, it was high (44.4%, n = 9) in a small community where a high-rank male was infected. LLD affected both dolphins in 2 of the 4 male pairs for which large time series data were available, suggesting horizontal transmission due to contact. Thus, association with LLD-positive males seems to be an important risk factor for infections. Additionally, low-rank males had larger home ranges than high-rank males, indicating that low-status LLD-affected dolphins are likely responsible for the geographic dissemination of the disease in this population.

The article is available from the editorial site https://www.int-res.com/abstracts/dao/v134/n1/p75-87/.

Let me know if you need a pdf copy.

Best regards

Fernando Félix

fefelix90 at hotmail.com<mailto:fefelix90 at hotmail.com>

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