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DAO
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 130:153-158 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03268

NOTE
Pyogranulomatous obliterative laryngotracheitis by Rhizopus arrhizus (syn. R. oryzae) in a free-ranging Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis

Argiñe Cerezo1, Oscar Quesada-Canales2,*, Eva Sierra2, Josué Díaz-Delgado2,3, Antonio Fernández2, Jamie Henningson1, Manuel Arbelo2

1Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, 1800 Denison Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
2Institute of Animal Health and Food Safety, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Las Palmas of Gran Canaria, Trasmontana s/n 35413, Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain
3Laboratory of Wildlife Comparative Pathology, Department of Pathology, School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP 05508-270, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We report the gross and microscopic findings and molecular identification of fungal hyphate infection in a juvenile female Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis found dead off Arguineguin, Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). On necropsy examination, the animal had a large cranial intrathoracic mass and multiple variably-sized nodules throughout the larynx and trachea that obliterated the lumen. Microscopically, the masses were composed of abundant pyogranulomatous inflammation with numerous fungal hyphae. These were pauciseptate (coenocytic) and had non-parallel walls, non-dichotomous irregular to right angle branching, and bulbous dilations. PCR analysis from these inflammatory foci yielded Rhizopus arrhizus (syn. R. oryzae). This fungal pathogen is often ascribed to opportunistic infections in immunosuppressed humans and animals. In the present case, a potential cause for immunosuppression was not identified; PCR analysis for cetacean morbillivirus was negative. Herein, we report the first confirmed case of R. arrhizus infection in a free-living Atlantic cetacean. These findings add to the body of knowledge on fungal disease in cetaceans in general and, in particular, in odontocetes, where respiratory involvement is common.


KEY WORDS: Cetacean pathology · Fungal infection · Marine mammal · Mycosis · Zygomycetes


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Cite this article as: Cerezo A, Quesada-Canales O, Sierra E, Díaz-Delgado J, Fernández A, Henningson J, Arbelo M (2018) Pyogranulomatous obliterative laryngotracheitis by Rhizopus arrhizus (syn. R. oryzae) in a free-ranging Atlantic spotted dolphin Stenella frontalis. Dis Aquat Org 130:153-158. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03268

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