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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 121:233-240 (2016)  -  DOI:

Characterization of fibropapillomatosis in green turtles Chelonia mydas (Cheloniidae) captured in a foraging area in southeastern Brazil

Alícia Bertoloto Tagliolatto1,*, Suzana Machado Guimarães1, Gisele Lobo-Hajdu2, Cassiano Monteiro-Neto1

1Laboratório ECOPESCA - Biologia do Nécton e Ecologia Pesqueira, Departamento de Biologia Marinha, Pós Graduação em Biologia Marinha e Ambientes Costeiros, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal Fluminense, 24001-970 Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2Laboratório de Genética Marinha, Departamento de Genética, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, 20550-013 Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Fibropapillomatosis (FP) is a multifactorial disease that affects all species of marine turtles, including green turtles Chelonia mydas (Linnaeus, 1758). It is characterised by the development of internal or external tumours that, depending on their locations and sizes, may intensely impact the health condition of sea turtles. The goal of this study was to characterise the disease in C. mydas found in a foraging area in southeastern Brazil, evaluate the prevalence in this region, and correlate presence and absence, size, body distribution, number of tumours, and disease severity with biometric variables of the captured green turtles. Between 2008 and 2014, the prevalence rate of FP was 43.09%, out of 246 green turtles. The size of the animals with FP was relatively greater than animals without tumours, and the prevalence of FP increased with animal size, peaking in the 60-80 cm size class. From 2013 to 2014, gross evaluation of fibropapillomas was performed. The number of tumours per turtle ranged from 1 to 158. The size of tumours ranged from <1 cm (Size A) to >10 cm (Size D); Size A tumours and turtles slightly affected by the disease (Score 1) predominated. Tumour progression (72.1%) and regression (32.8%) were seen in some recaptured individuals (n = 61). Moreover, 24.6% of these turtles showed both progressions and regressions of tumours.

KEY WORDS: Disease · Fibropapilloma · Tumour · Prevalence · Regression · Progression

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Cite this article as: Tagliolatto AB, Guimarães SM, Lobo-Hajdu G, Monteiro-Neto C (2016) Characterization of fibropapillomatosis in green turtles Chelonia mydas (Cheloniidae) captured in a foraging area in southeastern Brazil. Dis Aquat Org 121:233-240.

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