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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 132:79-84 (2018)  -  DOI:

Aeromonas induced polyostotic osteomyelitis in a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta

Antonino Pace1,2,*, Leonardo Meomartino3, Andrea Affuso2, Giuseppina Mennonna3, Sandra Hochscheid2, Ludovico Dipineto1

1Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University Federico II, 80137, Naples, Italy
2Marine Turtle Research Centre, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, 80055, Portici (Na), Italy
3Interdepartmental Centre of Veterinary Radiology, University Federico II, 80137, Naples, Italy
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Bacterial bone infections have been occasionally reported in wild sea turtles. This study reports on a sub-adult Caretta caretta affected by Aeromonas hydrophila osteomyelitis, with extensive involvement of cranial and caudal flippers. The turtle was severely debilitated, had limited flipper mobility and showed signs of pain in reaction to manipulation. Radiographs and computed tomography revealed multiple lytic bone lesions. Since an infectious polyostotic osteomyelitis was suspected, the turtle was subjected to echo-assisted fine needle aspiration to characterize the etiology of the disease. Bacterial cultures and antibiotic susceptibility testing led to the isolation of Aeromonas hydrophila responsive to amikacin and doxycycline. Therefore, the turtle was treated with these antibiotics and monitored through repeat bacterial cultures and diagnostic imaging. The turtle was released 17 mo after admission, upon resolution of clinical signs. The documentation of this case provides a treatment approach that may improve the outcome of Aeromonas-associated osteomyelitis, especially in endangered wildlife species.

KEY WORDS: Polyostotic osteomyelitis · Caretta caretta · Aeromonas hydrophila · Bacterial bone infection

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Cite this article as: Pace A, Meomartino L, Affuso A, Mennonna G, Hochscheid S, Dipineto L (2018) Aeromonas induced polyostotic osteomyelitis in a juvenile loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta. Dis Aquat Org 132:79-84.

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