[MARMAM] New Publication | Evidence for Unknown Sarcocystis-Like Infection in Stranded Striped Dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) from the Ligurian Sea, Italy

umberto romani cremaschi umberto.romanicremaschi at gmail.com
Fri Apr 23 03:08:15 PDT 2021


Dear MARMAM community,

With my co-authors, we are very glad to share with you that our newest
publication, entitled "Evidence for Unknown *Sarcocystis*-Like Infection in
Stranded Striped Dolphins (*Stenella coeruleoalba*) from the Ligurian Sea,
Italy" (*https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051201
<https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051201>*), has been published in Animals as
part of the Special Issue Parasites and Wildlife and is available online:
https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/11/5/1201/htm

*Abstract*
Two striped dolphins (SD1, SD2), stranded along the Ligurian coast of
Italy, were diagnosed with a nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis associated
with previously undescribed protozoan tissue cysts. As tissue cysts were
morphologically different from those of Toxoplasma gondii, additional
histopathological, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural, and biomolecular
investigations were performed, aiming to fully characterize the organism.
Histopathology revealed the presence of large Sarcocystis-like tissue
cysts, associated with limited inflammatory lesions in all CNS areas
studied. IHC was inconclusive, as positive staining with polyclonal
antisera did not preclude cross-reaction with other Sarcocystidae coccidia.
Applied to each animal, 11 different PCR protocols precluded a neural
infection by Sarcocystis neurona, Sarcocystis falcatula, Hammondia hammondi,
and Neospora caninum. T. gondii coinfection was confirmed only in dolphin
SD2. Sarcocystis sp. sequences, showing the highest homology to species
infecting the Bovidae family, were amplified from SD1 myocardium and SD2
skeletal muscle. The present study represents the first report of
Sarcocystis-like tissue cysts in the brain of stranded cetaceans along with
the first description of Sarcocystis sp. infection in muscle tissue of
dolphins from the Mediterranean basin.

Regards,
Umberto Romani Cremaschi
Veterinary Department, Mundomar(Benidorm)
umberto.romanicremaschi at gmail.com
veterinario at mundomar.es
Mobile : +34 666399118
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