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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 155:187-192 (2023)  -  DOI:

Helicobacter delphinicola infection and the risk of gastric disease in common bottlenose dolphin

Takao Segawa1,4,*, Yoshito Ohno2, Masanori Kurita2, Toshiaki Ishibashi3, Motoi Yoshioka1

1Cetacean Research Center, Graduate School of Bioresources, Mie University, 1577 Kurimamachiya, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan
2Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, 1-3 Minato-machi, Minato-ku, Nagoya 455-0033, Japan
3Japan Aquarium Association, 1-7-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0006, Japan
4Present address: Laboratory of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health, Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, 1866 Kameino, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Gastritis and gastric ulcers are well-recognized conditions in cetaceans; bacteria of the genus Helicobacter are considered the primary cause of these diseases. Dolphins have been shown to be susceptible to infection by at least 2 gastric species of Helicobacter, H. cetorum and H. delphinicola, both of which are closely related to the human pathogen H. pylori. In the present study, we evaluated the carriage rate and relationship to gastric disease of H. cetorum and H. delphinicola, based on a study population of 82 dolphins maintained at 21 facilities in Japan. Of these 82 dolphins, 79 (96.3%) and 45 (54.9%) were positive for H. cetorum and H. delphinicola, respectively; H. delphinicola infection was significantly associated with chronic gastric diseases (odds rate: 5.9; 95% CI: 2.1-16.9), but no such association was detected for H. cetorum. Of the 21 facilities, 20 (95%) and 11 (55%) housed H. cetorum- and H. delphinicola-positive dolphins, respectively, and our study suggested that the transmission between dolphins occurs quickly within pools. These findings indicate that methods will need to be established to prevent the transmission of Helicobacter infections within facilities housing dolphins.

KEY WORDS: Helicobacter · Dolphin · Gastric disease · Epidemiology

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Cite this article as: Segawa T, Ohno Y, Kurita M, Ishibashi T, Yoshioka M (2023) Helicobacter delphinicola infection and the risk of gastric disease in common bottlenose dolphin. Dis Aquat Org 155:187-192.

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