Two neurotropic pathogens of concern for striped dolphins

28 Nov 2020

Di Francesco, G., Di Renzo, L., Garofolo, G., Tittarelli, M., Di Guardo, G.

Vet Record Image

Following the first isolation of Brucella ceti from a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) fetus,1 several cases of B ceti infection were reported among free-ranging cetaceans worldwide.2 These included cases in the Mediterranean sea, where B ceti infection was first described in 2009.3

As with other Brucella genus members, B ceti displays a zoonotic capability4– prominent central nervous system (CNS) involvement in B ceti infection is commonly seen in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) and in people,2, 5 but not in infected cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and dogs.6 Furthermore, B ceti-infected striped dolphins are apparently more likely to develop neurobrucellosis compared to other cetacean species.7

Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) has been responsible for at least 10 epidemic outbreaks worldwide throughout the past 30 years, with five unusual mortality events. These have mainly involved the resident striped...