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PostHeaderIcon UPDATE: Atypical mortality events along the Thyrrhenian Sea Italian coastline

The ACCOBAMS Secretariat has received a brief and important update on the striped dolphins mortality event occurring along the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy.

At the moment about 80 carcasses have been collected in less than 2 months, between Sicily and Southern Tuscany, more than 10 times than average of the period. Post-mortem examinations revealed that 50% of the examined carcasses are positive to Dolphin Morbillivirus and in 65% of the subject a common bacterium (Photobacterium damselae subsp damselae) with hemolytic and necrotic findings was isolated. The event is continuously monitored and studied and scientists are waiting for more results from collateral analyses to understand the real cause of the event. In fact, all the animals are heavily parasited and there is evidence of a poor and/or anomalous immune response (PCB? DDT? Prey depletion?).

As it is mostly known, Morbillivirus is a virus similar to distemper which already caused at least two previous epidemics in the Mediterranean. In the past, it did not enter the Adriatic sea, but last year, a sero-positive striped dolphin stranded near to Teramo. Dolphin Morbillivirus could infect also other species.

Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae is a bacterium causing disease in fishes, but it has been reported also in human being.

Last Updated (Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:10)

 
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