Pathological findings in harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) from Norwegian and Icelandic waters.
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.
- SourceAvailable from: David BorchersJ. appl. Ecol. 39 (2002), 2: 361-376. 01/2002;
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Thymic cysts have not been previously reported in harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). Two hundred forty stranded or "by-caught" harbor porpoises originating from the German North Sea and Baltic Sea and 14 animals from the waters of Greenland were necropsied. Thymuses of 78 porpoises of the North Sea and Baltic Sea were considered suitable for histopathologic examination based on the extent of postmortem autolysis. Immunohistochemistry using an anti-cytokeratin antibody was employed to demonstrate thymic epithelial structures in selected cases. Thymic macrocysts were rare and were only found in animals > or =7 years of age. Thymic microcysts, lined by a single cytokeratin-positive cell layer, were common in involuting thymuses, and the prevalence increased with advancing age. Thymic cysts might have arisen from degenerating Hassall's corpuscles or condensed epithelial reticulum. Thymuses were easily identified macroscopically in most adult healthy harbor porpoises, suggesting that physiological thymic involution proceeds slowly in this species.Veterinary Pathology 10/1999; 36(5):391-6. · 1.93 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: During Norwegian and Danish harbour porpoise projects 1987-1991, subcutaneous blubber samples of 34 male harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) were collected. Animals from three geographical locations, ranging from 56 degrees N, 12 degrees E to 71 degrees N, 26 degrees E, were chosen in order to study the organochlorine (OC) contamination in this species inhabiting the northeastern part of the North Atlantic Ocean, the northern North Sea and Kattegat, at the locations of Tufjord, Vestlandet and Gilleleje, respectively. Analytical standards used consisted of the industrial chemicals PCBs (22 individual PCB congeners and 6 industrial mixtures which contained 104 PCB congeners or group of congeners) and HCB, and the organochlorine pesticides DDT, HCH, the cyclodienes endrin, dieldrin and the chlordane metabolites oxychlordane and trans-nonachlor, and heptachlor epoxide. A total of 16 PCB congeners or groups of congeners, all the DDT metabolites except o,p'-DDD, and all the pesticides were detected in all animals. The concentrations of sigmaPCB (sum of concentrations of 47 detected PCB congeners) and sigmaDDT (sum of concentrations of all DDT detected compounds) ranged from 3.7-65.3 and 3.2-45.0 microg g(-1) lipid weight, respectively. The range of mean concentrations of dieldrin, endrin and trans-nonachlor was 1-3 microg g(-1), while mean concentrations of HCHs, heptachlor epoxide, and HCB were <1 microg g(-1). No significant variation in PCB congener pattern was apparent between geographical areas. The major PCB congeners nos 147/123, 153, 138/163/164, 182/187 and 180 at Gilleleje, Vestlandet and Tufjord represented 53%, 45% and 44% of sigmaPCB, respectively. A significant difference was found between the number of PCB congeners in blubber of newborn and older porpoises. This might indicate the presence of a blood/placenta barrier and/or selective mammary transport of PCBs with specific structures. A significant OC accumulation with age was apparent, with the exception of HCB and HCHs. Geographical differences in the levels of OCs were apparent for all compounds except for dieldrin and heptachlor epoxide. Significantly higher levels of chlordane metabolites (trans-nonachlor and oxychlordane) and endrin were found in the group of animals from the northern location Tufjord, while sigmaDDT, p,p'-DDTs, HCHs and PCBs were highest in the group of animals from the southern location Gilleleje. Highest levels of the o,p'-substituted DDTs were found in specimens from the middle location Vestlandet. These findings indicate little or no regular migration of harbour porpoise between these three locations. No correlations were found between OC concentrations and blubber thickness. Although mean values of sigmaDDT and sigmaPCB were in the lower end of previously reported levels in harbour porpoise from adjacent waters in the eastern part of the North Atlantic Ocean and along the coasts of North America, these levels are relatively high. The organochlorine concentrations in harbour porpoises in the present study were 2-3 times higher than corresponding OC levels detected in harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) from the same areas.Environmental Pollution 01/1995; 89(2):137-46. · 3.73 Impact Factor