Nocardiosis (see Nocardiosis) is commonly reported in debilitated marine mammals. It has been diagnosed in bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales, pil

(Globicephala spp), harbor porpoises, killer whales (Orcinus orca), false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris
seals (Hydrurga leptonyx). Infections due to Actinomyces spp also have been diagnosed in bottlenose dolphins.


Serologic evidence of brucellosis in marine mammals was first reported in 1994. Since then, a wide range of pinniped and cetacean species have b

antibodies to Brucella spp. Several marine Brucella species have been cultured, and genetic analyses show these to be different from known terres

The names Brucella ceti and B pinnipedialis are now accepted for isolates from cetaceans and seals, respectively. Strains from dolphins, porpoises,

appear to be distinct from each other, but strains from one type of animal do not seem to vary much from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. Diagnosis

controversial with challenges in both culture techniques and serologic methods. Little is known about the pathophysiology of brucellosis in marine m

have been reported to cause orchitis, abortions, and meningoencephalitis. When present, brucellae often appear to be secondary or opportunistic p

experience with the disease is not extensive and no therapy or control methods are established. Zoonotic potential has not yet been determined, alt
infection has been reported.

Clostridial Myositis
Severe myositis due to infections with Clostridium spp has been diagnosed in captive killer whales, pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins, California sea

manatees. All marine mammals are probably susceptible. The disease is characterized by acute swelling, muscle necrosis, and accumulations of ga

tissues, accompanied by a severe leukocytosis. Untreated, it can be fatal. Diagnosis is based on detection of gram-positive bacilli in aspirates of the

confirmed by anaerobic culture and identification of the organism. Treatment includes systemic and local antibiotics, surgical drainage of abscessed

flushing with hydrogen peroxide. Commercially available inactivated clostridial bacterins are used routinely in some facilities, although efficacy in ma

not been studied. Botulism has been reported in captive California sea lions during an endemic outbreak of the disease in waterfowl. Affected anima

and appeared unable to swallow several days before dying.


The chief cause of death in captive marine mammals (other than polar bears) is believed to be pneumonia. Most cases of marine mammal pneumon

bacterial involvement, and most organisms cultured from terrestrial species have been identified in marine mammals. Pneumonia often can be cons

mismanagement. Marine mammals require good air quality, including high rates of air exchange at the water surface in indoor facilities. Tempered a

cold temperatures is also important to prevent lung disease, even in polar species. Animals acclimated to cold temperatures are usually quite hardy;

transition from warm environments to cold air, even with warmer water, can precipitate fulminating pneumonias, particularly in nutritionally or otherw

animals. Clinical signs include lethargy, anorexia, severe halitosis, dyspnea, pyrexia, and marked leukocytosis. The disease can progress rapidly. D

based on clinical signs and confirmed by response to therapy. Treatment consists of correction of environmental factors and intensive antibiotic and

therapy. The initial antibiotic is usually broad-spectrum, commonly cephalexin (40 mg/kg, tid-qid); adjustments are based on cultures and sensitivitie
tracheal samples.

Erysipelas (Diamond Skin Disease)

Erysipelas can be a serious infectious disease of captive cetaceans and pinnipeds. The organism,Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, which causes erysip

other domestic species, is a common contaminant of fish. A septicemic form of the disease in marine mammals can be peracute or acute; affected a

suddenly either with no prodromal signs or with sudden depression, inappetence, or fever. A cutaneous form that causes typical rhomboidal skin les
chronic form of the disease. Animals with this form usually recover with timely antibiotic treatment.

Erysipelas. dolphin .

tetracyclines. If cetaceans are to be revaccinated. Diagnosis is based on culture o the blood. Control seems primarily related to the provision of high-quality fish that is properly stored and handled. erythr and hemosiderosis are seen histologically. [5 cm]) should be used to assure that the vaccine is deposited in the mu between muscle and blubber. Because the vaccine is extremely irritating. or body cavities. diffuse. A long needle (≥ 2 in. Hyperplasia of Kupffer's cells. Modified live bacterins should be avoid vaccination. or a sterile abscess can result. Leptospirosis is zoonotic. In seals. spleen. Fatal anaphylaxis can occur on revaccination. Vaccination is controversial. Captive animals can be vacc areas. Animals wit form usually recover with administration of penicillins. Treatment of the peracute and acute forms has rarely been attempted because the absence of prodromal signs obscures the diagnosis. sensitivity tests should be performed by injecting a small amount of bacterin submucosally on the lower surface Hypersensitive animals develop swelling and redness at the injection site within 30 min. L Icte-rohaemorrh Autumnalis. some vaccination programs have been reduced to one-time administrati antibody titers fall below the presumed effective level. For this reason. and py cause abortions and neonatal deaths in California sea lions and Northern fur seals. with renal with spirochetes. To maintain high antibody ti after 6 mo and annual revaccination are required. and appropriate precautions should be taken. even in nonsensitive mammals. immobilizing the animal for several days. but hepatitis may not be apparent grossly. Arthritis has been found in animals that have died with the chronic form. polydipsia. . Lesions include a severe. Leptospirosis This has been diagnosed in otarid pinnipeds and bears. Gastroenteritis can be a feature. Bacterin should be administered in the dorsal musculature anterior and lateral to the d Administration posterior to the dorsal fin can result in a severe tissue reaction. interstitial nephritis. Treatment in pinnipeds is similar to that in (see Leptospirosis in Dogs). the disease is characterized by depression. and L Pomona) have been identified in affected animals by fluorescent antibody techniques. reluctance to move. Antibodies to various Leptospiraserovars (L Canicola. and vaccine bre Vials of killed erysipelas bacterin should be cultured for surviving organisms before use in marine mammals. or chloramphenicol and supportive treatment. no more than 3– used at any one site.Necropsy of peracute cases generally fails to reveal grossly discernible lesions other than widespread petechiation. Control in captive animals requires serologic examination of new animals during quarantine. The gallbladder may contain inspissated black bile.

the cause of a subcutaneous mycosis. Unconfirmed mycobacteriosis has been reported in a stranded. Originally tho by Mycobacterium bovis. Mycobacteriosis Marine mammals are susceptible to various mycobacteria. wild bottlenose dolphin in Mediterranean. Sporothrix schenckii. Cutaneous streptothricosis usually manifests as sharp nodules distributed over the entire body and usually progresses to death.Streptothricosis (Dolphin Pseudopox. It must be dist sealpox. has been reported in Pacific white-sided dolphins (Laegenorhynchus obliquidens). Diagnosis is based on demonstration of the organism in biopsies or culture prolonged high dosages of systemic antibiotics can be successful. subsequent molecular assessment places the isolates from free-ranging southern hemisphere pinnipeds in a unique cluste own species in the M tuberculosis complex. Cutaneous Dermatophilosis) Streptothricosis. has been reported in pinnipeds and polar bears. Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) and New Zealand fur seals ( . Simultaneous infections of streptothricosis and pox have been recorded in sea lions. Subantarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus tropicalis) are thought to be the common link in the spread of the pinniped species because they cohabit with the other known affected species. and evidence points to mycobacterial disease being possibly endemic in free-ranging otarids off the coast of Australia. a subcutaneous bacterial infection with Dermatophilus congolensis.

Mycobacteriosis in marine mammals is an emerging disease and is possibly of public health significance also Tuberculosis and other Mycobacterial Infections. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and confirmed by identification of the organism in biopsy or. M fortuitum. Otherwise. Another case of intradiskal osteomyelitis. Topical medication of pinnipeds for dermatophytosis is feasible. harbor seals. due to Staphylococcus aureus successfully with a prolonged course of cefazolin sodium and cephalexin. and M marinum.) Miscellaneous Bacterial Diseases Marine mammals are probably susceptible to the entire range of pathogenic bacteria. S aureus also has been incriminated in a fatal pneumonia in a killer whale slow-healing wounds of cetaceans managed in open sea pens. and sirenians have developed disease due to M bovis. preferably. Intradermal testing with high concentrations of bovine or avian purified protein derivative tuberculin can be used to screen exposed animals. Pasteurella multocida has caused several outbreaks of hemor with depression and abdominal distress leading to acute death in dolphins and pinnipeds. Burkholderia pseudomallei has caused serious fatal outbreaks of marine mammals in captivity in the Far East. Plesiomonas shigelloides has been responsible for gastroenteritis in harbor seals. chitae. Cutaneous aspergillosis has been seen in gray seals (Halichoerus . Aspergillosis Fatal pulmonary asper-gillosis has been diagnosed in several species of cetaceans including bottlenose dolphins and killer whales. Mannheimia haemolytica has been incriminated in hemorrhagic tracheitis that responded to chloram-phenicol therapy. Mycotic Captive marine mammals seem particularly prone to fungal infections (see Fungal Infections). Some systemic mycoses have distinct geographic distributions. There are strong indications that immunosuppression ma the development of infections by the atypical mycobacteria. culture. provided areas of the body not being treated are kept moist.M chelonae. Staphylococcal sept the death of a dolphin with osteomyelitis of the spine (pyogenic spondylitis). environmental compromise. It has also been reported to cause pneumonia in pinniped dolphins. Salmonella spp have caused fatal gastroenteritis in manatees and beluga whales. mycobacteriosis has been a disease of captivity. ELISA screening has antibodies in seals but requires further evaluation before it can be considered a screening test. Tissue smears cleared in warm 10% potassium hydroxide can be examined to identify characteristic fruiting bodies or hyphae. Pinnipeds. and in several pinnipeds including Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella). and California sea lions. Wet mounts in lactophenol or cotton blue may render an immediate diagnosis with some of the morphologically distinct fungi. howeve and the usefulness is controversial. Cutaneous and systemic forms are seen. Smaller cetaceans can be kept out of water in a sling for 2–24 hr. Most appear to be secondary to stress. Diagnosis is made by culture and identification of the lesion biopsies. tracheal washes. Otherwise. injections in the webbing of the rear flippers should be read at 48 and 72 hr. systemic therapy is used. or other infectious disease. In pinnipeds. or feces.forsteri). cetaceans.

and vulva. is the common presentation. Early detection and treatment is usually successful. . PO. the lesions usually are found around body orifices. Another opportunistic yeast.grypus) with concomitant mycobacteriosis. In phocid pinnipeds. One anecdotal report suggests a possible toxic reaction to ketoconazole in a northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris). sid) along with correction of any environmental deficits. inflammation at the mucocutaneous junctions. anus. particularly in the area of the gastroesophageal junction. PO. Candidiasis generally responds well to ketoconazole (6 mg/kg. esophageal ulcers are often found. Candidiasis is also reported in pinnipeds. At necropsy. Candidiasis This common mycotic disease in captive cetaceans occurs secondary to stress. unbalanced water disinfection with chlorines. has been diagnosed in fatal advanced pulmonary disease in a bottlenose dolphin. sid). Fluconazole (2 mg/kg. Cryptococcus neoformans. Diagnosis is based on identification of the yeast in cultures or biopsy. or indiscriminate antibiotic therapy. Supplementation with prednisolone (0. The respiratory form has been a postmortem diagnosis. In cetaceans.01 mg/kg) may be appropriate to compensate for ketoconazole inhibition of glucocorticoid production. bid) has also been used successfully. particularly at the commissures of the mouth and around the eyes. Cutaneous lesions respond to topical povidone-iodine with ketoconazole therapy (10 mg/kg. Prolonged treatment with itraconazole (120 days) at routine mammalian doses was ineffective despite serum drug levels above the suggested therapeutic range.


Culture of the organism has . or both.Lingual candidiasis. dolphin Candidiasis. dolphin Dermatophytosis Mycotic dermatitis due to Trichophyton spp or Microsporum canisgenerally responds to topical povidone-iodine. oral griseofulvin. The disease has only been reported in humans and in Atlantic bottlenose Sotalia (Sotalia fluviatilis) dolphins. Lobomycosis This disfiguring cutaneous disease is caused by infection with Lacazia loboi.

Zoonotic transmission has not been demonstrated.not been possible. Excisional therapy and systemic antifungal drugs have been used with varying success. .

dolphin .Lobomycosis.

Other zygomycetes have been diagnosed as a cause of fatal disseminated disease in various species of marine mammals. California sea lions. gray seals. and polar bears. and sea otters. a Stellar sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). Acanthocephalans Cetaceans are the primary host of Bolbosoma spp but can be infested with parasites of the genusCorynosoma. PO. and harp seals. sid for 10 days). mites. sid) combined with antibiotic and supportive therapy when indicated. but newer imidazoles warrant consideration. Zygomycetes Dermatologic conditions caused by various Fusarium spp have been reported in pygmy sperm whales (Kogia breviceps). Coccidioidomycosis has been found in bottlenose dolphins. including various nematodes. These should be considered diseases of debilitated animals. the underlying cause of the low host resistance to these opportunistic infections must be corrected if therapy is to be successful. Three species of Profilicollis(also found in birds) are reported to cause . Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Laegenorhynchus acutus). Northern fur seals. and precautions should be taken to prevent infection when handling dead and diseased animals. but clinical disease and therapy are not well documented. Diagnosis is by detection of eggs in feces. Amphotericin B is the therapy of choice for zygomycete infections. California sea lions.Systemic Mycoses The systemic mycoses of marine mammals are a zoonotic risk. trematodes. harbor seals. fluconazole (0. Blastomycosis has caused fatal disease in bottlenose dolphins. California sea lions. cestodes. Diagnosis is based on culture or organism identification from biopsy.5 mg/kg. Fatal systemic histoplasmosis has been reported in a captive harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus). while others are commonly seen in recently captured specimens. a bottlenose dolphin. Bolbosoma spp have been reported in pinnipeds. Parasitic Marine mammals are susceptible to all of the major groups of parasites. and a Pacific white-sided dolphin. or itraconazole (1 mg/kg. lice. and acanthocephalans. which have pinnipeds and sea otters as primary hosts.5 mg/kg. C enhydra has only been reported from sea otters. Mucor spp and Entomophthora spp have caused fatal disease in bottlenose dolphins. and northern elephant seals. bid for 21 days). Cases have responded to ketoconazole (5 mg/kg. Blastomycosis has been successfully treated with intensive management including 70 days of itraconazole (3. harbor porpoises. sid for 120 days). Clinical experience with many of these is limited.

Diagnosis is made by deep skin scrapings and identification of the mite. Otostrongylus circumlitus. including Halocercus lagenorhynchi. Both of these parasites use fish as intermediate hosts. 2 wk apart. There are at least 4 species of lungworms in various cetacean hosts. allowed to dry before being dusted. however. Nonpruritic. Premortem diagnosis is problematic. Treatments must be repeated in 10–12 days. and excoriation occur on the flippers and other body surfaces that contact the substrate. Mortality usually occurs before the parasite produces ova. Secondary bacterial infection that results in pyoderma occurs in chronic cases. while true seals are usually parasitized by Otostrongylus circumlitus. No successful treatment has been reported. Demodectic mange has been diagnosed in California sea lions. scaling. Rotenone powder is also effective. which has caused prenatal infections in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. The life cycles of these mites are unknown. Animals in captivity can be freed of parasites. Nasal mites cause nasal discharge but apparently little discomfort. coughing. The mites are not readily transmitted among contact animals. Heavy infestations of sucking lice are common in wild pinnipeds and can cause severe anemia. Treatment is the same as in dogs (see Mange in Dogs and Cats). it does not produce a microfilaremia. The latter parasite is also found in the hearts of some phocids. Acariasis Nasal and lung mites are found in phocid and otarid seals. They are highly sensitive to ivermectin as well as chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides. Treatment of infected animals eliminates the problem in captive enclosures without environmental treatment. but their overall significance or treatment is unknown. provided no new sources of infestation are introduced. roughened lesions of the laryngeal area of cetaceans. The affected animal must be removed from the water. Predisposing factors in pinnipeds are unknown.peritonitis associated with intestinal perforation in sea otters. Lung mites cause rattling coughs. larva Lungworm infection can be diagnosed by examination of feces or bronchial mucus. Diagnosis is made by identifying the mite in nasal secretions or sputum. Mites have been associated with large. Sea lions have Parafilaroides decorus. Lungworm Lungworms are common in all pinnipeds. The lice can be seen grossly and are readily transmitted. and kept out of the water ≥12 hr. and sometimes blood-flecked mucus are the first signs of pulmonary parasitism. Anorexia. Infections have been cleared rapidly with 2 injections of ivermectin at 200 μg/kg. alopecic lesions with hyperkeratosis. Treatment of P decorus infection .

Cetacean lungworms probably are also susceptible to levamisole and ivermectin. PO or SC administration has been recommended. antibiotics to treat any concomitant bacterial pneumonia. however. sid for 5 days). Acanthocheilonema microfilariae Other Nematodes The Anasakidae are pathogenic nematodes found in the stomach of marine mammals. and ultimately perforation and peritonitis. sea otters. Heartworm Heartworms of the genus Acanthocheilonema are a common necropsy finding in pinnipeds but have not been reported in cetaceans. Transmission is thought to be by the same mosquitos that bite dogs.consists of mucolytic agents administered intratracheally. however. Feeding frozen fish prevents reinfection. sid for 1 wk) has successfully cleared infection in captive pinnipeds. dehydration. phocid seals are abnormal hosts. Some success in treatment has been reported using intratracheal administration of levamisole phosphate (5 mg/kg. Infections with Contracaecum spp are common in wild cetaceans and pinnipeds. Both groups of pinnipeds can be infected with the canine heartworm Dirofilaria immitis in endemic areas. A percentage of pinnipeds also show neurologic reactions to IM injection of levamisole. Lungworm infections often remain asymptomatic for long periods with clinical signs appearing only when an animal becomes debilitated for other reasons. and mucolytic agents may be more effective. Prevention in endemic areas has been successful with oral administration of ivermectin (canine dosages) monthly or diethylcarbamazine (3. Gastric nematodes can . lungworm infections are usually self-limiting if larvae are not introduced in fresh fish intermediate hosts. and neutrophilia before the parasites become patent and first-stage larvae can be detected in sputum or feces. antibiotics. Granulomas form at their attachment sites and can lead to blood loss. or sirenians. the sudden deaths of 2 beluga whales injected IM with levamisole phosphate suggest this drug administered by that route may be contraindicated. Dirofilariasis is diagnosed by identifying microfilariae in the blood. Transmission of A spirocauda is thought to be by the seal louse (Echinophthirius horridus). in food during the mosquito season (see Heartworm Disease). Raw fish is most often incriminated as the source of infection. with the advantage of oral administration. In captivity. and concurrent prednisone or dexamethasone. ulceration. ivermectin. A graded regimen of levamisole phosphate progressing to a high dosage (40 mg/kg. Phocid seals are affected by A spirocauda. and otarids are infected subcutaneously by A odendhali. however. combined therapy with ivermectin and fenbendazole given 3 days after initiation of therapy with dexamethasone. Diagnosis ofO circumlitus in elephant seals is complicated by mortality occurring after generalized clinical signs of depression. Polar bears in captivity are prone to heavy ascarid infection.3 mg/kg) weekly.

but are not known to have clinical significance. 2 treatments 1 wk apart) is usually effective. Ova of these trematodes have been associated with necrotic foci in the brains of animals showing behavioral aberrations and have been incriminated as a cause of localized pneumonia in cetaceans. Newborn pups are infected via colostrum. Several species of cestodes are reported in sea otters and polar bears. fenbendazole (11 mg/kg). Severe infections are known only in the fur seals. Cetaceans are also commonly infected with subcutaneous tapeworm cysts throughout the blubber. Contracaecum spp. Oral praziquantel (10 mg/kg. These usually are the larval forms of tapeworms of sharks. or mebendazole (9 mg/kg) given twice. Cestodiasis Diphyllobothrium pacificum is commonly found in sea successfully treated with oral dichlorvos (30 mg/kg). and Tetrabothrium forsteri and Strobilocephalus triangularisin cetaceans. Ivermectin may be considered. Nasitrema spp are found in the nasal passages and sinuses of cetaceans.5 mg/kg) or ivermectin (100 μg/kg) injected SC are effective against these parasites. and mammary gland ducts of cetaceans. Disophenol (12. ova Anisakis spp. major vessels. and heavy infection is thought to cause intestinal obstruction. Other cestodes commonly seen include D lanceolatum in phocid seals.Diplogonoporus tetrapterous in all pinnipeds. Trematodiasis Fluke infections are common in pinnipeds and cetaceans. Diagnosis is based on demonstration of typical operculated trematode ova in blowhole swabs or feces. 10 days apart. . Infections are often accompanied by halitosis and brown mucus around the blowhole and occasionally by coughing. Successful treatments are not documented but are potentially possible with systemic parasiticides. ova Hookworms (Uncinaria spp) are found in pinnipeds. Many species of a large spirurid nematode (Crassicauda spp) infect the cranial sinuses. Reinfection can be prevented by not feeding fresh or live fish. Praziquantel (10 mg/kg) or niclosamide (160 mg/kg) are effective treatments. kidneys.

bloody diarrhea. Signs are usually seen in adults and include icterus. other workers consider the parasite to have been a fish coccidia not associated with the disease. Eimeria trichechi reported from the Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis).Cystoisospora delphini. liver. These coccidia are probably susceptible to anticoccidial drugs used against other species. intestines. has been reported as the cause of enteritis in bottlenose dolphins. Methods of premortem diagnosis are currently under development. Diagnosis is based on identification of trematode ova in the feces. No successful treatment has been reported. and other abdominal organs of marine mammals. ova Various other trematodes infect the stomach. or husbandry changes. pancreas.Sarcocystis spp have been found in the muscles of many cetacean. (See also Coccidiosis. amprolium. ova Zalophotrema hepaticum is an important hepatic trematode of California sea lions. Infection can be asymptomatic or cause severe encephalitis characterized by generalized neurologic signs. Zalophotrema hepaticum.) Sarcocystis Sarcocystis neurona is found in high prevalence in the California population of sea otters. Bilirubinemia and increased serum hepatic enzymes are common. are also not associated with disease. and phocid species and do not seem to be associated with any recognized clinical signs. Treatment with praziquantel (10 mg/kg) or with bithional (20 mg/kg) has been successful. Clinical disease with this parasite is thought to be rare unless the host is stressed through capture. and anorexia.Nasitrema spp. it causes biliary hypertrophy and fibrosis of the liver. otarid. and E nodulosa reported from the Florida manatee. lethargy. Toxoplasmosis Toxoplasma gondii is known to infect the California population of sea otters causing disease that ranges from asymptomatic infection to severe encephalitis. A coccidian. handling. eg. Fatal meningoencephalitis due to T gondii has also been . Coccidiosis Coccidia (Eimeria phocae) have been found in harbor seals with a fatal. however. Pancreatic fibrosis due to trematodiasis is a common necropsy finding.

Herpesvirus Herpesviruses have been isolated from neonatal harbor seals. In humans. The most consistent lesion in marine mammals is skin vesicles. No successful treatment has been reported. Pinnipeds developed weakness. Risso's (Grampus griseus). most California sea lions have neutralizing antibodies to one or more of the serotypes. A herpes-like virus was found associa ulcers in sea otters stressed in oil spill rehabilitation processing. No evidence of adeno in the lungs. and eventually posterior paresis. By 4 mo of age.reported in a Florida manatee. the vesicles are most prevalent on the dorsal surfaces of the fore flipp vesicular lesions have been seen in association with “tattoo” lesions and old scars. To date. Several species of mysticete cetaceans have antibodies t serotypes of VESV. a relative lymphopenia and monocytosis were seen. In pinnipeds. Disseminated toxoplasmosis is reported in California sea lions. Adenovirus from California sea lions is not known to cause disease in humans. T gondii is reported from Atlantic bottlenose. No disease was noted in the cetaceans. They usually erode and l healing ulcers. skin lesions usually resolve without tre may cause premature parturition in pinnipeds. Other than a postmortem diagnosis of herpesvirus encephalitis in a dead harbor porpois herpesviral disease in cetaceans have been limited to skin and mucosal lesions with little clinical significance. polydipsia. Herpesvirus-like lesions occur in a wide variety of other pinnipeds and cetacea herpesviruses have been characterized from harbor seals and gray seals. Inoculation of marine caliciviruses into pigs causes vesicular lesions identical to those seen in vesicular exanthema. The marine caliciviruses serotypes of vesicular exanthema of swine virus (VESV. Treatment is supportive only. emaciation. abdominal splinti diarrhea. Affected pups have interstitial pneumonitis and encephalitis and fail to thrive. and opaleye fish (Girella nigricans). Caliciviruses (San Miguel Sea Lion Virus) Caliciviruses have been isolated from otarid seals. walrus. striped (Stenella coeruleoalba). heavy exposure to caliciviruses can result in neutralizing antibodies. infections have not been diagnosed in m the Atlantic Ocean. and a gray seal. Herpesvirus-like particles have been demonstr from beluga whales and dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus). a California sea lion. see Vesicular Exanthema of Swine). All pinnipeds developed pneumonia and died within The most prominent histologic lesion in all cases was hepatic necrosis. . and spinner dolphins. Localized lesions in an accidental laboratory exposure as well as isolation of calicivirus from a clin indicate that these viruses should be handled carefully. Massive coagulation necrosis without apparent zonal distribution occurred in Basophilic intranuclear inclusions in hepatocytes or granular amphophilic intranuclear inclusions in Kupffer's cells were seen. Vesicles are 1 mm to 3 cm in diameter. Phocid herpesvirus type-1 (PhHV-1) is an α-herpesvirus similar to canine Phocid herpesvirus-2 (PhHV-2) is a putative γ-herpesvirus. Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. but occasionally vesicles regress and leave plaque-like lesions. Toxoplasma spp encephalitis is also reported in harbor seals and Northern fur seals. Viral Diseases Adenovirus Adenovirus has been isolated from a sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) and bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) and in livers from 6 stranded you lions with hepatitis. Methods of premortem diagnosis are currently under development. Opaleye fish are probab the endemic status of caliciviruses in marine mammals that inhabit the coastal waters of California. photophobia.

have developed keratoconjunctivitis within 2–3 days. diarrhea. All affected people have recovere within 7 days without developing any antibody titers. incoordinated. Diagnosis is often made at necropsy or by clinical signs and observation of characteristic intranuclear inclusion bodies in biopsies of early skin lesio interstitial pneumonia caused by herpesvirus must be distinguished from bronchial pneumonia caused by influenza virus. up to 2 cm in diameter. and fev coughing. The centers of some les may contain verrucous growths. nasal discharge. was emaciated. although it reduced the severity of recrudescence in seals. there is a potential public health risk because live poliovirus may be shed Stress and immunosuppression are associated with recrudescence of latent infections. High population densities and unseasonably warm tem contribute to high mortality. oral acyclovir did not eliminate the infection but appeared to sig clinical signs in primary infections. white or bloody nasal discharge will be evident. Infection is probably comm nonspecific clinical signs were reported in the stranded pilot whale. anorexia. and dyspnea. Persons whose eyes were contaminated while doing necropsies. Occasionally. inflammation of the oral mucosa. young seals are affected and show depression. therapy is supportive. There is no evidence that the herpesviruses of pinnipeds or zoonotic. and may appear slightly depressed with a target appearance or be raised and proliferative. and identical virus has been recovered.Young harbor seals from Atlantic waters infected with PhHV-1 develop nasal discharge. o on by affected seals. Seals vaccinated with canine distempe been rendered immune to challenge with the virus (suspension of organ material) obtained from dead wild seals. crusting conjunctivitis. closely related to rinderpest (see Rinderpest) and peste des petits ruminants (see Peste d . as occurs with Newcastle disease virus. influenza pneumonia is characterized by necrotizing bronchitis and bronchiolitis and hemorrhagic alveolitis. A delphinoid distemper virus (cetacean morbillivirus [CMV]). and dyspneic. Pneumonia develops and high in previously unexposed animals. Even well-fed captive animals become weak. and lethargy that can result in death in 1–6 days. The virulence of epidemics has precluded attempts at intensive supportive care. vomiting. In a documented epidemic. the lu hemorrhagic and a hilar node was greatly enlarged. In the pilot whale. pneumonia. In harbor seals. Vaccination with 1 mL of trivalent poliovirus vaccine to control recrudescence of suspected herpesvirus lesions ha some success. In systemic herpesvirus infection. which had difficulty maneuvering. anorexia.5 cm in diameter in gray seals. The incubation period during epidemic ≤ 3 days. Disea influenza virus in seals is better characterized. Herpetic lesions in beluga whales a circular. Morbidity can approach 100% in stressed seals in crowded condi ∼50%. seeHERPESVIRUS. Systemic infections have not been documented in the whales. above. Many factors probably contribute to the explosive nature of the reported epidemics. The incubation period appears to be 10–14 days. Outbreaks in wild harbor seals have been extensive in the North Sea. Swollen necks due to fas escaping through the thoracic inlet is reported. For differential diagnosis. and was sloughing skin. which suggests that the reaction is local. Morbillivirus Phocid seals are susceptible to canine distemper virus (see Canine Distemper) and to a closely related but distinct morbillivirus (phocine distemper vir Generally. Influenza Virus Four different influenza A viruses have been isolated from harbor seals and 2 other subtypes from a stranded pilot whale. Pacific harbor seals with PhHV-1 tend to develop signs related to adrenal and hepatic dys PhHV-2 has been associated with recurring circumscribed areas of alopecia ∼0.

and Burmeister's porpoises (Phocoena spinipinnis) have also been reported. An unclassified poxvirus has also been associated with skin lesions in Atlantic bottlenose do stranded Atlantic white-sided dolphin. in large part due to lack of availability of the appropriate vaccine. After the fo begin to regress.5–3 cm. Hector's dolphins ( hectori). and Mediterranean monk seals (Monachus monachus) have been affected by PDV and/or CMV infections.5–1 cm in diameter) occur on the head. Poxviruses of marine mammals do not appear to cause systemic infections. neck. white-beaked dolphins (Laegenorhynchus albirostris). dorsal fin. respectively. They are usually light gray and may have a dark gray border. although the reverse color pattern is also seen persist for months or years without apparent ill effects. but this approach has not been a America. often due to secondary infections facilitated by the immunosuppressive impact of active infection. cutaneous. which was confirmed by immunofluorescent examination of the brain.5–3 cm in diameter during the first week and may ulcerate or develop satellite lesions during the second week.Ruminants). harp seals and pilot incriminated as apparent reservoirs of PDV and CMV. An has been isolated from pox-like lesions on a gray seal. Major differential diagnoses include cutaneous streptothricosis and calicivirus. which are not recognized by antisera to representatives of the Ephemerovirus. intracytoplasmic lesion biopsies and is confirmed by identification of typical poxvirus particles by electron microscopy. Pilot whale calves. or Vesiculovirus genera. Lesions in California sea lion and gray seals are probably due to parapoxviruses. raised nodules (0. Ring or pinhole lesions appear as solitary. pectoral flippers. A break in the epithelial surfa required to start an infection. 0. Although animals with cutaneous poxvirus lesions have died. Vaccination with a subunit vaccine is practiced in European rescue centers and appears to be protective. Other rhabdoviruses isolated from cetaceans. hooded se cristata). Miscellaneous Viral Diseases A ringed seal (Phoca hispida) in Norway was diagnosed with rabies. and several species of mystice . Diagnosis is based on the presence of eosinophilic. stippled patterns (“tattoo” lesions). Cutaneous poxvirus infections in cetaceans can occur on any part of the body but are most common on the head. and flippers of a These may increase to 1. lesions in South American sea lions (Otaria byronia) and Northern fur seals are probably not. Lesions can recur. roun blemishes. Small. may be related to rhabdoviruses of fish. The incubation period is 3–5 wk. harp seals. punctiform. Papillomavirus infections have been reported in a wide range of cetaceans including narwals (Monodon monoceros). and ta range from ring or pinhole lesions to black. Mortality in naive populations is high. At the tim epidemic of rabies in foxes in the area. Therapy to control secondary bacterial infections is indicated only when skin lesions suppurate. which sometimes coalesce. The parapoxviruses of pinnipeds can c lesions on the hands of persons not wearing gloves during contact with infected animals. striped dolphins in the Mediterrane dolphins in the western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. although nodules are reported to persist as long as 15–18 wk. dusky dolphins. Therapy is supportive. other fact responsible. In the wild. long-beaked common dolphins (Delphis capensis). Areas of alopecia and scar tissue may remain after resolution. Outbreaks typically occur in postweanling pinnipeds recently introduced into captivity. Cases in killer whales. Poxvirus Poxvirus has been identified morphologically in skin lesions of both captive and free-ranging pinnipeds and cetaceans. has been implicated in the deaths of harbor porpoises and common dolphins off the coast of the UK.

although a wide variety has been reported. Neoplastic Diseases Tumors in marine mammals are infrequent. They are of little consequence except for malignant lymphom in which horizontal transmission can occur in a closed population. An enterovirus of unknown pathogenicity isolated from a rectal swab of a California gray whale has now been reclassified as a calicivirus. No therapy is available.are typical of those found in terrestrial species. Lesions are usually self-limiting. Hepadnavirus infection with a hepatitis B-like agent has been documented in a Pacific white-sided dolphin with a long history of recurrent illness in c evidence of zoonotic transmission was identified. The only retrovirus identified to date in a marine mammal was a spumavirus isolated from recurring skin lesions in a California sea lion that subsequ of Pasteurella pneumonia complicated with herpesvirus. but no virus was isolated. Severe enteritis and vomiting that rapidly led to death in a captive beluga whale were suggestive of parvovirus enteritis. Immunohistochemical staining consistent with coronavirus infections was found in 2 adult harbor seals that died without clinical signs and a third tha a brief period of anorexia and behavioral aberration. against human influenza virus (after challenge) and poliomyelitis virus were found in bottlenose dolphins. . Antibodie with disease.

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