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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI:

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

    Takao Segawa*, Yoshito Ohno, Masanori Kurita, Toshiaki Ishibashi, Motoi Yoshioka

    *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 two 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.