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Publication Details

Clinicoimmunopathologic findings in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus with positive Chlamydiaceae antibody titers.

Author(s): Bossart, G.D., T.A. Romano, M.M. Peden-Adams, Schaefer, A., S. McCulloch, J.D. Goldstein, C.D. Rice, P.A. Fair, C. Cray, and J.S. Reif

NCCOS Center: CCEHBR (http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/about/centers/ccehbr)

Publication Type: Journal Article

Journal Title: Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

Date of Publication: 2014

Reference Information: 108: 71-81

Keywords: bottlenose dolphin; Chlamydiaceae antibody; Seroepidemiology; Clinical pathology; immunology

Abstract: Sera from free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida and coastal waters of Charleston (CHS), South Carolina were tested for antibodies to Chlamydiaceae as part of a multidisciplinary study of individual and population health. A suite of clinicoimmunopathologic variables was evaluated in Chlamydiaceae seropositive dolphins (n=43) and seronegative healthy dolphins (n=83). Fibrinogen, LDH, amylase and absolute numbers of neutrophils, lymphocytes and basophils were significantly higher and serum bicarbonate, total alpha globulin and alpha-2 globulin were significantly lower in dolphins with positive Chlamydiaceae titers compared with seronegative healthy dolphins. Several differences in markers of innate and adaptive immunity also were found. Con A induced T lymphocyte proliferation, LPS induced B lymphocyte proliferation and granulocytic phagocytosis were significantly lower and absolute numbers of CD 21 mature B lymphocytes, NK activity and lysozyme concentration were significantly higher in dolphins with positive Chlamydiaceae antibody titers compared to seronegative healthy dolphins. Additionally, dolphins with positive Chlamydiaceae antibody titers had significant increases in ELISA antibody titers to Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. These data suggest that Chlamydiaceae infection may produce subclinical clinicoimmunopathologic perturbations that impact health. Any potential subclinical health impacts are important for the IRL and CHS dolphin populations as past studies indicate that both dolphin populations are affected by other complex infectious and neoplastic diseases often associated with immunologic perturbations and anthropogenic contaminants.

Availability: Pat.Fair@noaa.gov