DAO 113:257-262 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02843

NOTE
Phaeohyphomycosis resulting in obstructive tracheitis in three green sea turtles Chelonia mydas stranded along the Florida coast

Kyle Donnelly1, Thomas B. Waltzek1, James F. X. Wellehan Jr.2, Deanna A. Sutton3, Nathan P. Wiederhold3, Brian A. Stacy4,*

1University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, PO Box 110880, 2015 SW 16th Avenue, Gainesville, Florida 32608, USA
2University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, Small Animal Clinical Sciences, PO Box 110126, 2015 SW 16th Avenue, Gainesville, Florida 32608, USA
3Fungus Testing Laboratory and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Department of Pathology, and Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA
4National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of Florida (duty station), PO Box 110885, 2187 Mowry Road, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Three wild immature green sea turtles Chelonia mydas were found alive but lethargic on the shores of the Indian River Lagoon and Gulf of Mexico in Florida, USA, and subsequently died. Necropsy findings in all 3 turtles included partial occlusion of the trachea by a mass comprised of granulomatous inflammation. Pigmented fungal hyphae were observed within the lesion by histology and were characterized by culture and sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 2 domain of the rRNA gene and D1/D2 region of the fungal 28s gene. The dematiaceous fungus species Veronaea botryosa was isolated from the tracheal mass in 2 cases, and genetic sequence of V. botryosa was detected by polymerase chain reaction in all 3 cases. Genetic sequencing and fungal cultures also detected other dematiaceous fungi, including a Cladosporium sp., an Ochroconis sp., and a Cochliobolus sp. These cases are the first report of phaeohyphomycosis caused by V. botryosa in wild marine animals.


KEY WORDS: Fungus · Reptile · Sea turtle · Pigmented · Respiratory · Veronaea botryosa


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Cite this article as: Donnelly K, Waltzek TB, Wellehan JFX Jr, Sutton DA, Wiederhold NP, Stacy BA (2015) Phaeohyphomycosis resulting in obstructive tracheitis in three green sea turtles Chelonia mydas stranded along the Florida coast. Dis Aquat Org 113:257-262. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02843

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