DAO prepress abstract  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03184

Fatal fibrino-hemorrhagic bronchopneumonia associated with Morganella morganii in a bottle nose dolphin: a case report

Ahmed K Elfadl, Seoung-Woo Lee, Ji-Hyung Kim, Kyung-Lee Lee, H M Arif Ullah, Myung-Jin Chung, Soong-Gu Ghim, Eun-Joo Lee,Yong Deuk Kim, Sung-Min Kim, Sul-Gi Jeon, Jong-Hyub Lim, Hye Joo Choi, Jin-Kyu Park, Kyu-Shik Jeong*

*Email: jeongks@knu.ac.kr

ABSTRACT: A 5 yr old, 184 kg and 262 cm total length female bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus was found dead in a display after bloody discharge from the blowhole was observed 3 h prior to death. Pathological examination revealed fibrinous bronchopneumonia with prominent areas of necrosis (sequestra) and numerous Gram-negative bacilli within alveoli and in blood vessels of the lungs, liver and those between muscle fibers. The cause of death was attributed to septicemia. Often, cases of fibrinous bronchopneumonia are characterized by bacteremia in the latter stages of infection, resulting in the death of the animal. Septicemia likely accounts for the ecchymoses and petechiae noted on the spleen, pancreas, forestomach, lungs, visceral peritoneum and small intestine. Additional lesions included hemothorax, stable red frothy fluid in the trachea, and lymphoid depletion in the spleen and lymph nodes. Pure growth of Morganella morganii, was isolated from the lungs, blood, liver, and blowhole mucosa. Sequencing of 16s rRNA of the isolated bacteria showed more than 99.6% identity with M. morganii strain FDAARGOS_172. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first report of fatal fibrinonecrotising bronchopneumonia associated with M. morganii infection in a cetacean.