Article

Pathological Findings in Harbour Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from Norwegian and Icelandic Waters

Forschungs- und Technologiezentrum Westküste, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, 25761 Buesum, Germany.
Journal of Comparative Pathology (Impact Factor: 1.1). 02/2006; 134(2-3):134-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2005.09.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A study of 37 by-caught harbour porpoises from Icelandic and Norwegian waters showed that most were in good or moderate nutritional condition and none was severely emaciated. Mild infection with lungworms (Halocercus invaginatus, Pseudalius inflexus, Torynurus convolutus) was found in 84% of the Icelandic and 91% of the Norwegian animals, usually associated with bronchopneumonia which was rarely severe. Most (91%) of the animals had parasites in the stomach and intestine (Anisakis simplex, Contracaecum osculatum, Pholeter gastrophilus), and Campula oblonga was present in the liver and pancreas of 88 and 21%, respectively. Oesophagitis, gastritis, cholangitis, pericholangitis, pancreatitis and lymphadenitis were almost exclusively associated with parasitic infection and usually mild. Bacterial isolates were obtained from 50 to 55% of the animals but were not considered to be clinically significant. There was no indication of morbillivirus infection. Icelandic and Norwegian animals showed a thicker blubber layer and a lower incidence of severe lesions, especially in the respiratory tract, as compared with reports of by-caught animals from the Baltic Sea.

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    • "Infections with lung worms are commonly associated with secondary bacterial infections (Siebert et al. 2001; Lehnert et al. 2005) and are known to negatively affect the health of marine mammals. In general, a lower prevalence of infectious diseases has been reported in harbour porpoises from northern regions (Norway, Iceland ) in comparison with animals from German waters (Siebert et al. 2006, 2009). Assessments of the health status of porpoises in Greenlandic waters were undertaken in 1995 (Wünschmann et al. 2001) and showed lower intensities of parasitic infection and less severe lesions than observed in porpoises from German waters (Wünschmann et al. 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge about parasitism in harbour porpoises and their health status around Greenland is scarce. This study provides knowledge about the poorly studied cetacean in its rapidly changing environment. Parasites and pathological findings in 20 harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) hunted in waters around West Greenland are presented. Carcasses were dissected, and parasitological, histological and bacteriological investigations were carried out. Protozoa (Sarcocystis sp.), Nematoda (Halocercus invaginatus, Stenurus minor, Anisakis simplex sensu lato (s.l.), Crassicauda sp.), Trematoda (Campula oblonga) and Cestoda (Phyllobothrium delphini, Monorygma grimaldii) were found. Parasitic infection of the peribullar cavity and lung with pseudaliid nematodes was found in most animals. Sixty per cent of the porpoises were infected with stomach worms, and trematodes were present in liver and pancreas of 90 and 30 % of the porpoises, respectively. Crassicauda sp. was isolated from perimuscular fascia in 45 % of the animals. This is the first record of tetraphyllidean merocercoids in harbour porpoises. M. grimaldii and P. delphini were found in blubber layer of 15 % and abdominal cavity of 50 % of the porpoises. Bronchopneumonia, gastritis, cholangitis, pancreatitis and panniculitis were almost exclusively associated with parasitic infection and usually mild. Compared with a previous study of Greenlandic porpoises from 1995, a significant increase in severity of parasitic infections and the emergence of new parasite species were observed, most likely associated with changes in diet, influenced by increasing sea temperatures and receding ice cover.
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    • "Infections with lung worms are commonly associated with secondary bacterial infections (Siebert et al. 2001; Lehnert et al. 2005) and are known to negatively affect the health of marine mammals. In general, a lower prevalence of infectious diseases has been reported in harbour porpoises from northern regions (Norway, Iceland ) in comparison with animals from German waters (Siebert et al. 2006, 2009). Assessments of the health status of porpoises in Greenlandic waters were undertaken in 1995 (Wünschmann et al. 2001) and showed lower intensities of parasitic infection and less severe lesions than observed in porpoises from German waters (Wünschmann et al. 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00300-013-1433-2 Knowledge about parasitism in harbour porpoises and their health status around Greenland is scarce. This study provides knowledge about the poorly studied cetacean in its rapidly changing environment. Parasites and pathological findings in 20 harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) hunted in waters around West Greenland are presented. Carcasses were dissected, and parasitological, histological and bacteriological investigations were carried out. Protozoa (Sarcocystis sp.), Nematoda (Halocercus invaginatus, Stenurus minor, Anisakis simplex sensu lato (s.l.), Crassicauda sp.), Trematoda (Campula oblonga) and Cestoda (Phyllobothrium delphini, Monorygma grimaldii) were found. Parasitic infection of the peribullar cavity and lung with pseudaliid nematodes was found in most animals. Sixty per cent of the porpoises were infected with stomach worms, and trematodes were present in liver and pancreas of 90 and 30 % of the porpoises, respectively. Crassicauda sp. was isolated from perimuscular fascia in 45 % of the animals. This is the first record of tetraphyllidean merocercoids in harbour porpoises. M. grimaldii and P. delphini were found in blubber layer of 15 % and abdominal cavity of 50 % of the porpoises. Bronchopneumonia, gastritis, cholangitis, pancreatitis and panniculitis were almost exclusively associated with parasitic infection and usually mild. Compared with a previous study of Greenlandic porpoises from 1995, a significant increase in severity of parasitic infections and the emergence of new parasite species were observed, most likely associated with changes in diet, influenced by increasing sea temperatures and receding ice cover. Other actions
    Polar Biology 12/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00300-013-1433-2 · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    • "Systematic pathological investigations have been performed on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from different areas of European waters (Baker and Martin 1992; Siebert et al. 2001; Jauniaux et al. 2002; Jepson et al. 2005; Siebert et al. 2006). Effects of anthropogenic activities have been associated with an increased occurrence of infectious diseases as well as a reduced function of the immune and endocrine systems (Siebert et al. 1999; Beineke et al. 2005; Jepson et al. 2005; Das et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: In the last decade, a number of cetacean strandings have gas embolic pathology analogous to decompression sickness in man and experimental animals. Acute gas and fat embolic lesions have also been found in mass-stranded beaked whales causally linked to high-intensity anthropogenic mid-frequency sonar activities. Sporadic chronic gas embolic lesions have also been described. This communication describes a first case of numerous gas-filled fibrous cavities in the markedly enlarged liver of a dead adult male harbour porpoise stranded at the North Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Additional pathological findings consisted of chronic parasitic granulomatous cholangiohepatitis, hepatic vein thrombosis, parasitic infestations of the bronchial tree and pulmonary blood vessels associated with bronchopneumonia and severe parasitic burden in both ear sinuses. The hepatic cavernous lesions are similar to those described in chronic gas bubble disease in other cetaceans, most likely resulting from decompression-related tissue supersaturation with nitrogen.
    European Journal of Wildlife Research 06/2013; 59(3). DOI:10.1007/s10344-013-0700-4 · 1.21 Impact Factor
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